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A Ghostly Shadow by H.L. Marsay

Title: A Ghostly Shadow (Chief Inspector Shadow #3)

Author: H.L. Marsay

Published on: 14th October 2021

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

The notorious rivalry between York’s iconic ghost walk tour guides spins out of control when one of the guides dressed as the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin is found hanging from a tree. A few days later, a tour guide dressed as Guy Fawkes dies in an explosion.

Chief Inspector John Shadow and his assistant Sergeant Jimmy Chang are in charge of the case. Their station is currently short-staffed; the rest of the team is away on a two-day team building exercise.

Halfway through the story, John is forced to look after a stray cat – this results in an ‘adventure’ in the middle of the night and leads to a ‘sprained ankle.’ Ouch! Injury or not, John must solve the case before the murderer strikes again.

A Ghostly Shadow is the third book in Helen Marsay’s Chief Inspector Shadow mysteries. I have read the first two books of this series and was excited to get a chance to read the third before the release date. *wide smile* This is also the first time I started reading the book immediately after receiving a copy from the publishers. *wide, wide smile*

I am a fan of Helen’s storytelling. I really love the characters of this series- especially, John Shadow and Jimmy Chang. In the previous two books, we saw Shadow adjusting to his new partner Jimmy. Shadow is used to working alone but is forced to work with an overly enthusiastic sergeant. Two mysteries later, Shadow has now comfortable around Jimmy – he still gets irritated at Jimmy’s ‘antics’ but deep down, he’s come to like the young lad.

The story begins with Shadow entering the station to see a huge crowd of tour guides. Everybody has only one complaint – their tour-guide leaflets go missing every day. They blame their rivals for this act. The station is currently short on staff – the rest of Shadow’s team mates are on a two-day team building event. The case of the missing leaflets and the case of the troublesome geese at the parking lot are to be solved – by Jimmy and Shadow.

Shadow takes up the missing leaflets case while Jimmy is to handle the cackling geese. Shadow receives a ‘breakthrough’ – almost – when one of the tour guides is found hanging from a tree. Investigation on this murder leads Shadow and Jimmy to the rival group. This further leads them to an old connection from Oxford. Soon, another guide succumbs – this time, in an explosion. Is someone trying to kill tour guides? Or, is there a connection between the victims – something that the detectives are yet to discover? Only time will tell…

Halfway through the story, Shadow gets injured – nothing to worry, just a sprained ankle. This is the time when he realizes there are people to look after him. After the death of Luisa, the only woman John Shadow ever loved, Shadow never let anybody in his life – no friends or new lovers. But when he sprains his ankle, his boat/home Florence sees a lot of visitors – from Jimmy’s family to Maggie( Shadow’s school friend) to Julie (the waitress at Betty’s) everybody comes over with food – John doesn’t cook for himself but loves to eat Italian food.

The mystery behind the murders kept me guessing till the end. The identity of the perp was unexpected and shocking – I could never imagine them to be a killer. Wolf in a sheep’s clothing kinda scenario.

A Ghostly Shadow is an entertaining and completely engrossing mystery. If you are looking for a Halloween read, A Ghostly Shadow by H.L. Marsay might be THE book for you.


Many thanks to Helen Marsay and Tule Publishing for sending me a copy of A Ghostly Shadow.

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