Thursday, August 16, 2012

From My Journal: PJ Alderman's Port Chatham Mysteries

Inspired by my many book journals, this feature spotlights books I've read and loved in the past that I wish to bring to your attention.


My first introduction to this series was browsing the New Release shelf at Barnes and Noble and the cover of Haunting Jordan grabbing my attention, in particular the witch's cap perched atop the turret on that magnicifent Victorian house. I picked it up and read the blurb:

Jordan Marsh left L.A. for the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Port Chatham in pursuit of some much-needed R & R. As the prime suspect in her cheating husband's murder, she had been hoping to immerse herself in the restoration of the charming Victorian she'd just bought--and put all talk of homicide investigations behind her. But as she soon discovers, the coldest of cases cry out to be solved, too.

For this old house comes fully furnished--with two garrulous ghosts who have a century-old murder of their own they'd like her to look into. Now, if Jordan can keep the L.A. police at bay, and sort through a suspect list of shady characters circa 1890, she might just clear a wrongly accused man's name--and her own.

Instantly intrigued, I bought it and started reading it that night. I devoured 400+ pages in just a few days and it quickly became one of my favorite mysteries of all time. I was thrilled to discover it was the first book of a planned series. A long year and a half passed before the next book, Ghost Ship, was released:

A recent transplant to Washington State's charming seaside town of Port Chatham, Jordan is still getting used to sharing her slightly run-down but historic lodging with ghosts. As if living with the long-deceased isn't enough of a challenge, she's just found a corpse: The town's notorious womanizer Holt Stillwell is lying on the beach with a bullet in his head.

Before Jordan can reel in a suspect, another victim surfaces. And this one isn't taking murder lying down. Holt's ancestor Michael Seavey, the Pacific Northwest's most infamous shanghaier, has materialized in Jordan's house, seeking to solve his own death in a suspicious shipwreck in 1893. With two murders to solve and a killer on the loose, Jordan faces yet another equally terrifying prospect: her growing attraction to the very alive and criminally attractive pub owner Jase Cunningham.

These delightful mysteries are set in Port Chatham in the Pacific Northwest, and the heroine is Jordan Marsh (also a suspect in her own husband's death), who solves present-day murders and crimes from the port towns' violent past (shanghaiing and brothels!), usually assisted by a ghost or two who had been a suspect in the century-old crime. They are perfect for readers like me who can't get enough small town cozies and historical mysteries.

Sadly, another year and a half has passed and so far there is no sign of a book three. I'm crushed; I love, love, love this series. I long to spend more time with Jordan and her ghostie friends in the quirky Victorian she's restoring. Whatever the future holds for the series, these two gems will stay on my keeper shelf forever.


emaginette said...

Don't give up hope. You never know when it might appear. :-)

P.J. Alderman said...

Hi, Melissa--

Thank you for your kind words about my books--I'm so glad you've enjoyed them! The third book of the Port Chatham series has been delayed, but I plan to release it early next year. The series contains several more books, and I hope to release them more frequently in the future. Stayed tuned! And thank you again for reading my books!

P.J. Alderman

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, PJ!!! And what fantastic news!!!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

ooh these sound delightful and i love a good mystery. What a cool post..always looking for a new author

P.J. Alderman said...

LOL, no problem, Melissa. I saw a Google alert when you mentioned my name. :-) Please feel free to email me at, and I will add you to my mailing list. I don't send out newsletters, just announcements when one of my books becomes available.


Unknown said...

Any update on the 3rd book or any others in the Port Chatham series...I just found the two and LOVE them! The humor, the ghost ( who did Harriet pick...Frank or Michael??) And Darcy, Jase and the rest of the tiwn...just loved them😊

Unknown said...

The series by PJ Alderman...

Shannon said...

Does anyone know if PJ Alderman is still writing? Her website listed above isn’t active and I don’t see any further Port Chatham or Columbia River Thrillers listed. Hope she’s okay!