Review: Phantom Traces by Claire Gem (@Mollykatie112, @gemwriter)

Posted February 23, 2016 by Lorna in Lorna, Paranormal Mystery, Reviews / 32 Comments

Review: Phantom Traces by Claire Gem (@Mollykatie112, @gemwriter)
Phantom Traces by Claire Gem
Published by Indie
Published on: February 17, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Pages: 280
Format: eBook
Source: Author
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A history professor in a tweed jacket, a cheeky Goth chick, and a pipe-smoking, book-hurling ghost. Put them all together in an antiquated library and, well…

Professor Jack Wood’s silver-streaked hair definitely ages him, and he can thank Killer Dawn for that. He won’t be falling into the love trap again anytime real soon. But this new librarian has him curious, with her head-to-toe black Goth garb, piercings, and a defiant attitude to match. Definitely not his type of girl, but still…

Abigail Stryker’s got her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn’t last a month before airborne books chased them off. But Abby’s determined to make her new life a go–and to stay as far away from older men as possible. Once was enough. Might be tough to do when the library’s best patron is none other than dreamy-eyed Jack Wood. And it seems the eccentric ghost may have taken a shine to her as well.

Paranormal Mystery Romance

Ghost stories have always interested me, even as a young child. That being said, I don’t read that many of them. When I came across the synopsis for this book, it intrigued me and I decided to go for it. I am really glad I did.

Abigail Stryker, fresh off of getting her masters in library science, takes a job in a small town library. She’s twenty six, nursing a heartache, all the while trying to re-invent herself. To that end, she now looks not only edgy, but goth. She knows that the library is supposedly haunted, but she’s not going to let that stop her. The small town is the one her beloved aunt lives in, so that’s where she wants to live. Her aunt is Wiccan and runs a small store in the town. She meets history professor Jack Wood her first day at the library. He is thirty eight, fit, handsome in a kinda nerdy way, and is immediately drawn to Abby. On Abby’s part, she is over romance and wants nothing to do with it, especially if it involves an older man. Oh, those best laid plans..

On the ghost’s part, he’s fond of throwing books around, opening a window to let his pipe smoke out, dimming the lights, and occasionally spinning the hands of the clock around-and backwards, as well. It’s not long before Abby and Jack team up to find out why the ghost wont move on. To make things even dicier, Leda, wife of the county commissioner, Dennis Ludwig, has her own agenda concerning the library, and she is determined to have the historical library be closed. She goes out of her way to ruin anything good that Abby tries to do with the library.

This was a lot more than just a ghost story. It ended up being a sweet and even sexy at times love story, a mystery, and a story about how a town helps a young librarian find her way back from a horrible heartache and chapter in her life. There’s typical small town characters, and some not so typical small town characters introduced. It all takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and in the surrounding forest. Beautifully described by the author, it made me want to visit-or at least go there for a picnic!

I found this book to be well written, with characters I could easily picture, along with a good premise. For awhile I had a big problem with the way one of the peripheral characters was acting and I thought it was just for no real reason, until I was proven wrong. I should have just had faith and waited to see what was going on. It’s one of those easily read books, ones that make you want to curl up with it and enjoy in front of a fireplace, or in my case, in bed.

Adult read. I received a copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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I’m Lorna and I live in Maryland. Since retiring, I spend my time mostly reading and reviewing books. My favorite reads are Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. I read a lot of indie books in addition to traditionally published books. Favorite paranormal creature? Vampires, but I am really liking werewolves more everyday.


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32 responses to “Review: Phantom Traces by Claire Gem (@Mollykatie112, @gemwriter)

    • Thanks for your comment. We lived in Lenoir, NC, the town after which the fictional Caldwell is fashioned, for a year. There was such magic there, I just had to write about it.

  1. The first sentence of the synopsis has my curiosity piqued! It’s always a pleasant surprise when an author gives you so much more than you were expecting. I’m glad you took a chance on Phantom Traces and found it such a delight, Lorna. I like the sound of the characters and the setting…love the Blue Ridge Mountains! (you should definitely visit – Asheville is a fun town) I’m off to add this to my tbr. 😉

    • Asheville, and that entire area of the Blue Ridge is magical. Boone is my favorite 😉 My fictitious town of Caldwell is fashioned after Lenoir, where we lived for a while. Just had to write about it 🙂