The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes

Mousy and shy to the point of agoraphobic, Em Moore is the writing half of a celebrity biography team. Her charismatic partner, Teddy, does the interviewing and the public schmoozing. But Em’s dependence on Teddy runs deeper than just the job — Teddy is her bridge to the world and the main source of love in her life. So when Teddy dies in a car accident, Em is devastated, alone in a world that she doesn’t understand. The only way that she can honor his memory and cope with his loss is to finish the interviews for their current book — an “autobiography” of renowned and reclusive film director Garrett Malcolm. Ensconced in a small cottage near Malcolm’s Cape Cod home, Em slowly builds the courage to interview Malcolm the way Teddy would have. She finds Malcolm at once friendlier, more intimidating, and much sexier than she had imagined. But Em soon starts hearing whispers of skeletons in the Malcolm family closet. And then the police begin looking into the accident that killed Teddy, and Em’s control on her life — tenuous at best — is threatened. In this stunning breakout novel from the beloved author of the Carlotta Carlyle mystery series, Linda Barnes slowly winds the strings tighter and tighter, leading the listener ever more deeply into the lives of her characters with pitch-perfect pacing and mesmerizing prose.

THE PERFECT GHOST is available from Brilliance Audio.

*****

From Publisher’s Weekly: “. . . A captivating story of love, rivalry, and revenge.”
From Booklist: “delivers a delicious twist. . .” (starred review)
In this stunning breakout novel from the beloved author of the Carlotta Carlyle mystery series, Linda Barnes winds the strings tighter and tighter, leading the reader ever more deeply into the complex lives of her characters with pitch-perfect pacing and mesmerizing prose.

 *****

Before writing her first stand-alone novel, The Perfect Ghost, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “a captivating story of love, rivalry, and revenge,” Linda Barnes wrote 16 mystery novels, 12 featuring her 6’1” redheaded private eye Carlotta Carlyle, and four featuring actor/detective Michael Spraggue, an amateur sleuth. In addition to best-selling mysteries, she has also written award-winning plays and short stories.

Linda Barnes’s celebrated Carlotta Carlyle first appeared in 1985 in the award-winning short story “Lucky Penny.” Since then, Barnes has written twelve Carlotta Carlyle novels: A Trouble of Fools (1987), The Snake Tattoo (1989), the Boston Globe bestsellers Coyote (1991), Steel Guitar (1993), Snapshot (1994), Hardware (1995) and Cold Case (1997), which also appeared on The Boston Globe bestseller list. Flashpoint came out in 1999. The Big Dig was published in 2002, followed by Deep Pockets in 2004 and Heart of the World, in 2006 and Lie Down With the Devil (2008).

Among her many honors, Barnes won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story (“Lucky Penny,” 1986) and the American Mystery Award for Best Private Eye Novel (A Trouble of Fools 1987). She has been nominated for both the Shamus and the Edgar. The Snake Tattoo was named one of the outstanding books of 1990 by The London Times and Lie Down With the Devil was named one of the Best Mysteries of 2008 by Publisher’s Weekly.

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