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4.6 out of 5 stars44
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 1998
This book was a fun, delightful read. It was chock full of great characters. Claire, the Keeper, finds herself the caretaker of the Bed and Breakfast from Hell. She inherits a sexy ghost, a guest in room six who has been asleep for 40 years, a hunky caretaker who happens to be the most trustworthy person in the world ("Total strangers probably handed him their packages while they bent to tie shoelaces"), and a gateway to Hell in the basement. With the help of her smarter-than-you-or-me cat, Austin, Claire deals with all of this plus the temptations of Hell and a slew of interesting out-of-this world guests. The overnight visit of the geriatric, ex-Olympic Gods and Goddesses is by itself worth a second read ("Aphrodite travels with more clothing than Ginger took on that 3 hour cruise").
I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a series. How many other books out there can I read where Hell laments that no one knows the classics anymore when his reference to Citizen Kane goes unrecognized? I recommend.
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on 10 April 1998
"Summon the Keeper" is a hilarious entry into what I hope will be a new series from the talented pen of Ms. Huff. Claire Hansen is a Keeper, one of the descendents of Adam and Lilith who, well, basically saves the universe from the forces of evil on a regular basis. As the book opens, Claire is on her way to answer a summons when she and her smart-ass cat (are there any other kind?) Austin get caught in a rainstorm. (Did I mention that Austin talks?) They duck into the less than welcoming shelter of the Elysian Fields Guesthouse. The next morning, Claire awakens to find herself the new owner of the guesthouse, which comes complete with: 1) a lascivious French ghost, 2) a sweet, yet hunky young caretaker named Dean, 3) a (very dusty)woman who's been asleep in Room Six for decades and 4) a hole to Hell in the furnace room. Claire has to find a way to seal the hole to Hell without awakening the occupant of Room Six (trouble with a capital T), resist the charms of her amorous ghost, fight her attraction to the wholesome Dean, and deal with an impetuous younger sister with more power than commonsense. You think YOU'VE had a hard day? Highly recommended!
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on 20 August 1999
My SO was upset because I sat in the front room and giggled my way through many of the scenes in this book, especially the retired Olympians. I truly hope that there is eventually a sequel to this book...I need another nine hour stint of sitting on the couch ignoring the world!
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on 8 December 1998
I grabbed this book as something to read aloud to my husband on a long drive, and was delighted to discover that Tanya Huff had set her capable hand to an intriguing story that is also a delightful romp, full of jokes and references. As other reviewers have noted, her main character is Claire, with her cat, Austin. Claire is a Keeper, one of the folk who help humanity, and the universe, survive cosmic "accidents." But of course they do it quietly, kind of behind the scenes. In this case, Claire gets stuck with a rather "interesting" B&B-type house complete with a Sleeper you don't want to wake, a lascivious but appealing ghost (whose French provided me with a great challenge reading this book aloud!), a very hunky, good-hearted caretaker (whose name happens to be Dean and whose description immediately reminded me of a certain other Dean who played a good-hearted hunk not too long ago on television), and a Pit to Hell-which just happens to talk to itself. Of course, Claire comes to conclusion that the "accident" is that Pit, and that she must be there to close it. This problem (and its connection to that Sleeper in Room 6) is complicated by an obstreperous nosey neighbor and her dog, various eclectic visitors, and Claire's younger sister. Not to mention Austin (who talks). The humor had both of us laughing aloud. Highly recommended!
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on 4 December 1998
I am a fan of Tanya Huff, having read all of her books to date. She has a wicked sense of humor and a great dramatic sense. I enjoyed this book almost as much as the others. She told a very humorous story, creating wonderful characters. There is only one flaw that kept me from giving it 5 stars. Having two overly macho men fighting over one woman who can't make up her mind which one she wants is a plot device that is wearing very thin, especially after being used all through the Victory Nelson series. When the ghost showed up and both men began to argue, I almost gave up on the book. Still, I read it through and found it to be very satisfying except for that element. I will be looking forward to the sequel but I hope Ms. Huff will lose that formula. She is creative enough not to need it.
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on 22 December 1998
Please, Miss Huff, can we make a series?
Summon The Keeper is one of the best books I have read, by one of my favorite authors. Tanya Huff is witty as always and seamless in her plot. Austin, Claire, Dean, Jacques, Hell, and all the other characters are delightful, individual and amazingly developed. In most books there is always at least one character you don't like, one unrealistic name thrown in for fun, whom you never really want to read about. Not in this book! Everyone is delightful, definately not least of all the cat. Some criticize this book as too "light-hearted", not "deep" enough. So what? If you want a serious book, go buy something by Charles Dickens. If you want a *good* book, buy Summon The Keeper! (Sing the Four Quarters is also excellent). My recommendation? Feed the cat, and then buy this book. ::wink:: You'll understand it when you read it.
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on 1 September 1999
I've read and enjoyed Tanya Huff's Four Quarters series, but never truly expected the twisted shadings of humour that pepper this book. A hole to hell in the basement (that seems to have a split personality), an elevator that opens to the bridge of the Enterprise, a snide geriatric cat and a male housekeeper that not only does windows, but looks REALLY good while he does it...and that's just the bare bones of this carnival ride to the Elysian Fields Guest House. As a Canadian, I'm thoroughly delighted to see such a great book poking fun at our usual image. When can we expect a sequel? Soon, I hope.
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on 9 July 1999
Huff provides the reader with a pleasant escape to a possible reality in Summon the Keeper. Although I intially had trouble connecting with Claire, I hated to close the cover when finished. her interactions with the other characters - expecially Austin and Mrs. Abrams (with a "b" and two esses) had me laughing out loud. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton (like myslef) will truly enjoy this book as it also offers a blend of reality and the metaphysical with a good dose of humor tossed in. I can only hope that Ms. Huff won't leave us hanging by publishing many more of Claire's, Austin's and Dean's adventures. But, since evil can never be truly vanquished, maybe we won't have long to wait. A Keeper's work is never done!
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on 23 April 2008
I picked this up because it had a cat on the cover. It features a talking cat called Austin, who kind of looks after a Keeper called Claire. Keepers are guardians who move around and monitor paranormal and evil hot spots, general saving the world stuff.
Where Claire is now is a run down B&B that happens to have a portal to Hell in the basement that is self-aware and irritating. Plus there are some other This great location wasn't her choice, she got conned into it and she is not pleased! But...there is always the pleasant Dean to distract her from her monotonous existence, and the horny french resident ghost Jacques! Throw in some family issues, with an annoying sister, pestering mother and you have something quite fun! A good start to this series.

This is a great read, entertaining and different! A nice change from ultra dark bleakness, I would describe it as horror-lite! I really enjoyed it, be sure to get the others in this series, Second Summoning and Long Hot Summoning.

Try this is if you like things like Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine
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on 26 July 2011
I am a great fan of Tanya Huff's 'Blood' and 'Smoke' series and having finished these I started this with high hopes. It is very different to the excellent vampire books and the characters very quickly became real enough to relate to. I have now almost finished the third in the series and this is the ebtter of the three. My likes ;the on off desire for romance, the guest house, the sibling rivallry, the 'french canadian' ghost and especially Austin the cat whose sense of humour and comments mirror my own. Only negative is that it sometimes rambles a bit but this is only a minor problem. Read it and you will probably go on to read the rest. Strangely you get the impression that all keepers are female until, in the third book when she mentions a keeper who falls asleep on the 'otherside' and wakes up naked at his old school. Pity its not on Kindle though as this series is one of the few where I buy 'solid' books these days.
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