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Best Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass
Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz and John Joseph (Illustrations)
Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2 by Hinowa Kouzuki
Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly
Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay
Jackpot by Nic Stone
The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason and Byron Eggenschwiler (Illustrator)
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes and Frankie Corzo (narrator)
Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany
Samantha Spinner and the Perplexing Pants by Russell Ginns
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay
The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte
Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett, Gayle Leeson and Jorjeana Marie (narrator)

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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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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