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The Ghost and the Femme Fatale: 11/14/21

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly is the fourth book in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series. Quindicott's local movie palace has been restored and is hosting its first ever Film Noir festival. Hedda Geist and her co-star are the honored guests. On the first night Hedda is nearly killed by a falling speaker. After that the festival is plagued by murder.

As it happens, ghost Jack Sheppard has a cold case related to Hedda Geist and the studio she used to work for. Through dreams he's able to bring along bookseller Pen to help with his case while he helps her figure out the modern day murders.

The book relies heavily on the history Film Noir and weaves together actual films and film history with the fictional one created for the mystery. Throughout the series, the mysteries have used Film Noir and the hardboiled detective tropes since Jack was working during the heyday of these films and mysteries. This particular volume enters into a dialog between the tropes and its awareness of them. Interestingly, Jack for his usage of the language, seems otherwise unaware of the genre conventions.

The mystery itself was interesting and complex. There's the original case and how it influences the modern day murders. An observant reader will probably figure things out before Pen and Jack do. A reader familiar with this plot as its been done on TV in a variety of mystery series will be even more prepared for putting together the clues.

The fifth book is The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (2009)

Five stars

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