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Customer Review

on 14 July 2006
If Tim Burton ever makes a book into TV show, this would be a fantastic choice. It's a quirky, whimsical fantasy which draws heavily from the `classic horror' genre. Our heroine is a sort of patchwork Miss Marple with a terrible past. In Whitby (of course it would be Whitby), she owns a B&B and stumbles onto one monstrous villain after another. The main character and her witchy neighbour/best friend are endearingly spooky/crabby old ladies, and I enjoyed their adventures a great deal. The setting is a sort of alternate reality in which many of the classic sci-fi and horror stories such as War of the Worlds and Dracula actually happened, yet most facets of modern life remain unchanged. There's a lot of scope in that for future plots!

Each chapter has a sort of episodic feel, yet none of the plot lines is completely resolved by the end--we're left a bit wanting. This ending is the reason I'm giving it 4 stars--one of the plot devices was a tiny bit derivative of Buffy, which I found a bit disappointing, and none of the mysteries that we saw along the way was worked out completely satisfactorily.

Still, the fact that we are left hanging means that we'll get to read more about our two supernatural old dears, and so I'm already excitedly awaiting the next book! I would recommend this book to fans of Charlaine Harris, M.C. Beaton, Gregory Maguire, or Jasper Fforde.
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