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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hell of a good tale...,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Hardcover)After Never the Bride and Something Borrowed, it looks like Magrs has finally found the real plot with Conjugal Rites. Not to say the previous two books were not five star stroies in their own right, but with the latest publication, he sinks right into the story, opening up with the return of the slick and smarmy Mr Danby and his strangely subversive radio phone in talk show. Also from the outset Mrs Claus is back in there and up to no good of course along with foolishly doomed lackey Harry the Cat. It's not until the anticipated return of Frank (eagerly by readers; with horrific trepidation by Brenda), to claim his eponymous rites that the plot thickens and quite literally descends into hell. Can hell be any worse than Whitby? Go ask one of Effie's dead aunts. Which one? Well by the end of the book you may know.
A hell of good yarn and one that promises much more for a whole string of sequels/new adventures. Who the hell is Mrs Claus anyway and will we see the return of Mumu Manchu?
GggglllllooooOOOOOooooopppp-ingly good fun!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More please!,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Paperback)Finally the third installment in the Brenda and Effie series is available and of course it is worth the wait. We get to learn more about the origins of Brenda and how she came to be were she is now and Effie's past unfolds a little too.
As ever the inhabitants of Whitby and the town itself throw up obstacles, create diversions and confusions; can there be a more colourful town?
If you haven't read the first two books in the series you would be well advised to order them now and get yourself up to speed. Paul Magrs is a wonderful writer and I cannot recommend him highly enough. The book is great, the only problem being that it is read all too soon and we are left waiting for the next installment - hopefully not too long!
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL,
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This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Kindle Edition)This was fantastic, Effie and Brenda just get better and better.
I think this . Was my favourite of the three , Mr Danvers, Sheila Manchu Mrs Claus even even Alucard all m and an appearance
Hugely enjoyable And funny too x
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Kindle Edition)Brenda and Effie are my new favourite crime fighting duo. Whitby is the perfect setting for these other worldly events.
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking and funny read,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Paperback)This is the third outing for the dynamic duo of old biddies, Brenda and Effie, where they battle the supernatural in Whitby, and then go for a nice cup of tea and a slice of walnut cake in the local cafe. This time around the supernatural menace is something much closer to home and a lot more personal for Brenda. Book 2 ended on a bit of a cliffhanger when Brenda received a note from her betrothed, the person for who she was originally created in the literal sense. Her Frank is coming back and he wants them to be together forever and won't take no for an answer. But Brenda is a modern woman and after many years of moving from place to place she has finally found a place she can call home. She doesn't want to move on but she doesn't think he is just going to go away because she asks him nicely.
As if that wasn't enough to worry about the town seems to be turning against Brenda and other locals because of a new late night radio show run by the creepy Mr Danby. Gossip and rumours are abound and the ever glitzy and sparkly Christmas Hotel and its humongous evil owner, Mrs Claus, seems to be the nexus of all the goings on. A convention of retired and wrinkly superheroes in costume with rubbish powers adds even more fuel to the fire and by this point I was just waiting for someone to strike a match. The result was very colourful as anticipated, but the story went in a very different direction to the one I expected which was a good thing, as I don't like it when I can predict what will happen next.
This novel was different to the previous two books in a number of ways. Firstly the novel is more traditional in that it is set around one story, whereas the previous books were split into different sections or connected novellas and each had its own mystery. That isn't a complaint at all as there is a lot of to sink your teeth into with this book and I've been waiting for Frank to turn up at some point ever since I found out who Brenda really is.
The story is also more fantastical than the others. It dips into it and then just throws the characters into it head first. The supernatural and bizarre has always been present and quite often its written as quite tongue in cheek. Brenda and Effie both have a certain amount of experience with it, but they're also quite dismissive. They have a duty, but they don't like any shenanigans spoiling the peace and quiet of their lives and their schedules. They want to deal with it as quickly and quietly as possible, without attracting undue attention to themselves, so life can go back to normal again.
Whereas the previous books were dotted with nice Easter Eggs from literature and history, Conjugal Rites leans more heavily on what has been set up before in the series. There are still a few little nods here and there, but it felt to me like a very different sort of book. I think this story was one that had to happen at some point, and without spoiling anything, I'm glad to say I didn't see the end coming. This isn't the last book in the series but it's clear from this point forward the foundations of the series have shifted a bit. Effie previously had a man-friend and that nearly ended in disaster and it upset her friendship with Brenda for a time. This time it's Brenda's turn to rock the boat and I have a feeling both of their beaus will end up coming between them.
Overall this was a funny, dark, silly, giddy and laugh out loud book. It's incredibly rare that I ever laugh out loud while reading, but Paul Magrs does it at least once every book in this series. A wonderful, light hearted and very enjoyable read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brenda , a real star,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Paperback)A lovely quirky book . It's best to have read the series from the start as the characters build with each book . Easy paced , compulsive reading , and really nice plot lines . Makes you want more . Won't say too much as that would give away alot about the characters .
4.0 out of 5 stars To Hell and Back,
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This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Paperback)Everyone is listening to the new all-night radio phone-in show `The Night Owls', hosted by our old friend Mr Danby, but why are people telling their darkest secrets, and those of their friends? It seems there is a movement afoot to drive Brenda from her adopted home of Whitby, but this is not the only problem she has to face: someone from her past is on her trail, someone she was, quite literally, made for. Her efforts to escape, and keep herself and her friends safe, will take her on a journey to hell and back.
This is the third novel in the Brenda and Effie series, following Never the Bride and Something Borrowed. It is the first to be written in the third person, which allows Magrs to show scenes at which Brenda herself was not present. It also allows her to be absent for part of the story. Her friends Effie and Robert take a more central role in this novel, and Effie begins to see beneath Robert's surface and see him as Brenda does, as a good man and a true friend. Magrs's vision of hell is clever and unexpected, and there are plenty of twists in the narrative to keep the reader guessing, as old friends - and enemies - return to help or hinder the intrepid investigators. This novel differs from its predecessors not only in being told in the third person, but also in having very short chapters, something I found rather distracting. As soon as one scene begins it's practically over, though it does keep the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next. Overall, an entertaining novel.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Entertaining Read,
This review is from: Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) (Paperback)This is the first book I have read by Paul Magrs but it's the third installment in the Brenda & Effie mystery series.
This is such a great read. It's quirky, fun and light-hearted and totally absorbing. The characters are brilliantly written and there are moments of humour that had me laughing out loud. The story has an old-fashioned charm about it and with the backdrop being Whitby, Yorkshire, the place Bram Stoker's Dracula resided, it has a sense of the macabre too.
Brenda is a lovable character who has retired to Whitby and gets into all sorts of trouble with her best friend and neighbour Effie, who comes from a powerful line of witches. Brenda is also the Bride of Frankenstein, a horrible monster in her eyes and all she wants is to live a normal life in Whitby and forget her past, which she has been running from for the past 200 years. Unfortunately, Whitby is also the gateway to Hell and so she and her friend Effie have to guard the entrance with their lives. This is quite a funny scenario as they are both retired ladies! But they can fight with the best of them, and many of the scenes has Brenda boxing the ears of her adversary!
There is also the supporting cast: Mr Danby, who is the host of a nightly radio talk show and seems to have the whole town hypnotised. Frank, who comes back for his Bride to be and his destiny, Brenda, who fights against their so called destiny and together they find themselves in Hell, and the evil Mrs Claus, who owns a hotel that is dedicated to Christmas all year round but beneath the surface there are more sinister goings on, including murder.
I was swept along with Brenda and Effie's adventures and enjoyed every moment. There wasn't one point where I was bored, it was just so much fun to read. This book is a mixture of humour with the supernatural including monsters, witches and vampires. There is something for everyone.
After reading Conjugal Rites I will definitely be rushing out to buy books 1 & 2, although this is still a great stand alone read. Absolutely brilliant - I highly recommend it.
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Conjugal Rites (Brenda 3) by Paul Magrs (Paperback - 5 Mar 2009)
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