Like everyone else who shopped at the haunted bookshop, Titiana charmed me. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning. The 18-year-old arrives to her bookshop apprenticeship in a fur stole, after all, so can you really blame me–or her father–for making the mistake of thinking her frivolous?
But you learn in The Haunted Bookshop (by Christopher Morley) (Kindle here) not to judge a book by its cover. Things are not as they seem and the bookshop may be haunted by more than the spirits of great literature.
Mr. and Mrs. Mifflin run the store, called Parnassus at Home, and live above the second-hand shop. Roger Mifflin is as passionate about books as Titiana is beautiful, and he is delighted to take her on as an apprentice at the behest of Titiana’s father. Her father wants to get some of the finishing school nonsense out of Titiana’s head and fill it with books and hard work instead. An admirable goal, and Roger and Titiana are both excited to teach and be taught.
But even before Titiana arrives, things are strange in the little, crowded shop. An advertising man, Aubrey, stops in to meet Roger and ask for a chance at his business, and the two quickly become friendly. But after a particular book disappears and reappears from Roger’s shelves, Aubrey begins to suspect foul play in this queer place.
Although most of Brooklyn is basking in the peace after World War I ends, Aubrey, Titiana, and the Mifflins become caught up in mystery after mystery. Every character is delightful to spend time with, even Bock, the Mifflins’ terrier. Roger’s passion for books is contagious, and at less than 200 pages it was the perfect easy read as things settle down for me in Chicago.
I drew Titiana as she arrives for the first time to meet the Mifflins. She is much wealthier than her bookstore benefactors, and her expertly tailored clothes show off her figure and complement her coloring. She is wearing brown tweed, a fur stole, and tan spats–like a boss.
(I picked out this book on my own and wasn’t paid to write about it. The links are affiliate, though, so if you buy through my links I’ll receive a little bit of money.)