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  • A spirited cozy mystery!

    The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait by Cleo Coyle is the 7th A Haunted Bookshop Mystery. This enchanting cozy mystery can be read as a standalone for those new to the series or if you have missed a tome or two. This is an entertaining and unique cozy mystery series. I love visiting Penelope and Jack Shepard. Penelope and her two bickering friends are off to pick up some artwork that will displayed at Buy the Book as part of an exhibit. They end up finding the owner dead and it relates back to a case Jack investigated before his death. I like how the past and present tie-in together. It is neat how Penelope gets to “see” Jack’s memories. The interplay between Jack and Penelope is delightful. The mystery was complex which makes it fun to solve. There are good suspects, a red herring, and exciting twists. I appreciated that everything was neatly wrapped up at the end. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait is well-written with friendly, developed characters. Buy the Book is a wonderful place to visit with its charming owners. The romance between Penelope and Jack is special. We can see how love can transcend time and space (reminds me of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir). I enjoy the 1940s lingo. The authors captured how a 1940s PI would talk and act. This cozy mystery has good friends, close family, mysterious acts, a dead art collector, books, and humor. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait is a unique cozy mystery with precious paintings, a dashing detective, ambiguous acts, concealed clues, treasured tomes, and a suspicious specter.

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  • Fabulous!

    This is the seventh book in Cleo Coyle's Haunted Bookshop Mystery series and though it was my first instalment I didn't feel at a disadvantage and still found the story absorbing and the characters winsome. In this cozy mystery, I got to meet bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure. She is preparing for an event to be held at her shop, Buy the Book, and is collecting paintings of vintage book covers. One of the paintings, a portrait of a beautiful woman who he learns is Harriet McClure, an ancestor of Penelope's late husband, has caught the attention of the local postman, Seymour who buys it. The picture, according to the locals is haunted, and when strange occurrences begin happening, and there is a fatal accident, Seymour still hangs on to it. Wondering if the painting is cursed, Pen turns to private investigator and ghost Jack Shepard for help. Cleo Coyle has a lively writing style that sets the stage for the book with plenty of vivid imagery, making it easy to visualise scenes. The mystery is skillfully woven filled with intersecting stories, past and present and there are clues galore. The characters are expertly created and developed. Pen and Jack make a fascinating sleuthing duo and I could tell that they care about each other. Even though Jack has a rather gruff manner, he clearly has feelings for Pen who is smart, diligent and caring. I was totally invested in the story and reading The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait has given me the desire to check out the rest of this series as well as continuing with Cleo Coyle's other series, the Coffeehouse Mysteries. A very highly recommended, fun trip to the 1940s for cozy mystery readers. Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Cleo Coyle and Berkley Publishing Group for a complimentary copy of The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait via Netgalley at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

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