Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Halloween is creeping closer and closer. That means it’s time for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds!

That also means that ’tis the season for pumpkin spice everything. OMG.

Are you Team Pumpkin Spice Everything?

Or are you Team Pumpkin Spice NOOOOOO?

Lucifer (not actually MY Lucifer but his evil twin!) and I will be over here while you decide. Answer in the Rafflecopter below for a chance at your choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book. If you decide to buy pumpkin spice ANYTHING with the gift card, please do not let me know!

~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

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And for more fabulous prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

Howl-O-Ween Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Howl-O-Ween Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island.

It’s that time of year. Actually it feels like several “that” time of year. It is now the Pumpkin Spice time of year. And the Halloween candy in the store time of year – although I believe that anyone buying Halloween candy this early is buying it for themselves and not the trick-or-treaters!

It is theoretically fall, although that’s always a bit dubious here in Atlanta. It’s still in the 80s. In some neighborhoods its the season for Halloween decorating on the front lawn, although this neighborhood, not so much.

It’s also the time of year when I dip into the virtually towering TBR pile to pull one, well, let’s call it horror-adjacent book to read for Halloween. Horror is not my jam, but I do try to get into the spirit of the thing.

We’re in a new neighborhood again this year, so we’ll see how many trick-or-treaters ring our doorbell this time. There seem to be lots of kids around here, so we’re expecting a bunch!

But you might want to stay in with a good book this Halloween – or get a little bit of help buying that Halloween candy. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance at your choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository.

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For more spooky or not-so-spooky prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Review: Black Box Inc by Jake Bible

Review: Black Box Inc by Jake BibleBlack Box Inc. by Jake Bible
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genres: urban fantasy
Series: Black Box Inc #1
Pages: 216
Published by Bell Bridge Books on October 20th 2017
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Goodreads

Need to hide something from the fae?Got a tricky trans-dimensional delivery to make?Need a big ball of magic that can destroy the world?Call Black Box Inc.

The world as we know it is gone. Since the “extradimensional happening,” every creature, monster, and fairy tale goblin has turned Asheville, North Carolina, into their personal playground. An uneasy truce exists between the races, but Chase Lawter’s unique ability puts him squarely in the crosshairs of treachery, feuds, and monsters looking to make a buck on black market goods. Chase is the only known being who can pull material from between dimensions and shape it into whatever he likes—like boxes. Like boxes in which folks hide smoking guns and severed heads. Only Chase can hide the boxes, and only Chase can recover them from the Dim. All for a tidy sum, of course.

His crack team—a yeti, a zombie, and a fae-trained assassin—have his back. What could possibly go wrong?

My Review:

I picked Black Box Inc to read for Halloween both because it looked interesting (which turned out to be true), fun (which definitely turned out to be true) and because the author is best known for his horror stories – even though Black Box Inc didn’t look exactly like horror – which was a good thing for this reader.

In that sense, I got what I expected. Black Box Inc is more like horror-adjacent, and that’s about the way I like it. It’s urban fantasy, in a universe where the things that go bump in the night do come out to play, as well as many of the other standard character groups that populate urban fantasy as well as horror.

And it’s a road novel. The gang, quite literally has to take the road to Hell. The caper, as there often is in urban fantasy, in this case is to steal the soul of Lord Beelzebub. Who both is and isn’t who you are thinking of.

And Hell kind of looks like Detroit – in all of its Motor City heydays. And yes, I meant that as a plural.

The set up of the universe is, while not unique, certainly interesting. Like the break in the wards around New Orleans after Katrina in Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series, or the mashing together of the fae and human dimensions in Kai Gracen’s world (by Rhys Ford), there was an extradimensional happening in the quite recent past of Chase Lawter’s version of our world.

All the dimensions have become connected through portals. Earth’s portals, not very surprisingly, are in places where the veil between dimensions has always been a bit thin. Places like New Orleans, and San Francisco, and, Asheville NC, where Chase and his gang at Black Box Inc operate their extradimensional business.

Chase was among the many humans who picked up interesting powers in that happening. But Chase is unique, not just among the humans, but seemingly among the many other species who have suddenly acquired connections to our world. Chase can manipulate the “Dim”, the stuff that exists between dimensions. He can create weapons from it. But mostly, Jake makes boxes – hence the name of the company, Black Box Inc.

Because Jake makes “dim boxes” big and small, that allow him to hide things that people don’t want found, or lost, or stolen, in the dim, where only he can retrieve them.

It’s a living. Sometimes a very good living. Sometimes a very dangerous living. But it’s a living that keeps Jake and his colleagues busy and pays the bills.

About that gang…Jake’s friends and colleagues are an assortment of beings and personalities that could only have existed after the happening. His transportation manager is a Yeti, his business manager is a zombie, and his bodyguard is definitely human – but a human who learned to be an assassin while she was a fae changeling. Oh yeah, his lawyer is a banshee. It seems like ALL the lawyers are now banshees.

And Jake needs every hand on deck – even the ones that he doesn’t know he has – when he and his friends find themselves caught in the middle of a manipulative game between Daphne, the Queen of the Fae, and Lord Beelzebub, the ruler of a dimension that Jake calls hell.

Daphne wants Beelzebub’s soul so that she can get past his defenses and conquer his dimension. Beelzebub wants to use his soul, which he doesn’t really need anyway, in order to trap Daphne and as many of her warriors as he can so that she will stop trying to take over his dimension.

And everyone seems to think that threatening Chase and using Chase and manipulating Chase is the best way to get what they want.

They might even be right. But when both sides are playing you, you kind of get to choose which one you’re playing with, and which one you’re playing against. And it feels really weird that the Lord of Lies is on the right side of anything.

After all, all is fair in love and war, and this is definitely war.

Escape Rating B+: Black Box Inc is a hoot and a half from beginning to end. Sometimes complete with actual hoots – because the snarkitude exhibited by all the characters, but especially Chase, is often laugh out loud funny.

But Black Box Inc basically is urban fantasy of the snarky anti-hero school. While we don’t see nearly as many of those as we used to (Harry Dresden has gotten pretty damn serious over his last few books), it is a familiar trope. Black Box Inc is a damn good example of that trope, but it is familiar territory.

Part of what makes this particular book so much fun is the way that the author pokes at some of the craziness in the real world by holding up the post-happening changes as pointers to how things really are anyway, no matter how they are dressed up in real life. That all the law firms on Earth have been taken over by banshees is clever and feels right – but in some ways it doesn’t feel different from popular perceptions of real-world lawyers.

The best part, however, as with all urban fantasy when it works, is the gang. It’s not just that everyone is smart and everyone is interesting and everyone cracks wise at the drop of a hat, but that they are all different and likeable (even when they aren’t supposed to be) and that the author shows both how smart they are and how much they care about each other.

And just enough things get stood on their heads to make it seem fresh.

The worldbuilding also holds up quite well. While this is not a version of Earth I’d actually want to live in, as a construct, it makes sense and hangs together. Well done.

In a week where real life was going completely insane, Black Box Inc was marvelously diverting. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series. I definitely hope there are lots more!

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Halloween is creeping closer and closer. That means it’s time for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds!

It also means that pumpkin spice is taking over the world. hopefully only on a temporary basis.

Is it my imagination, or did the pumpkin spice parade start rolling out even earlier this year than it did last year?

But seriously, or at least semi-seriously, it’s that time again when the air starts to get just a bit crisp, for relative definitions of crisp depending on where you live, the leaves start to fall, if they haven’t already, and everyone buys large packages of small bars of candy and pretends that all the candy is for the veritable hordes of trick-or-treaters expected to bombard your doorstep on Halloween.

I try to only buy candy I can’t eat – it saves loads of regret the next day (week, month, year). On that other hand, my husband really likes Snickers. To each their own.

As usual, I tried to pick a book with some vague relationship to scary stuff to review for Halloween. I don’t read much horror, so this is always a stretch. The planned book is Black Box Inc by Jake Bible. It’s urban fantasy, which is usually as close to horror as I get, in a post-extradimensional happening world. It looks like it has definite possibilities on the slightly creepy scale, just perfect for Halloween.

I don’t read horror (or watch it) because it scares me. If I want to be scared, all I have to do is watch the news. But what really creeps you out?

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For more fabulous (and not frightening) giveaways, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!



Review: Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes

Review: Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. HughesShadowed Souls by Kerrie L. Hughes, Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, Rob Thurman, Tanya Huff, Kat Richardson, Anton Strout, Lucy A. Snyder, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Erik Scott de Bie
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: horror, urban fantasy
Pages: 352
Published by Roc on November 1st 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository
Goodreads

In this dark and gritty collection—featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman—nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil..
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Cold Case, Molly Carpenter—Harry Dresden’s apprentice-turned-Winter Lady—must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you’re a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad...
New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s Sleepover finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything “weird.” They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie.
In New York Times bestselling Kevin J. Anderson’s Eye of Newt, Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble’s latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner...
And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman’s infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals wih some overdue—and nightmarish—vengeance involving some quite nasty
Impossible Monsters
.
ALSO INCLUDES STORIES BYTanya Huff * Kat Richardson * Jim C. Hines * Anton Strout * Lucy A. Snyder * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Erik Scott de Bie *
From the Trade Paperback edition.

My Review:

Shadowed Souls seemed like an absolutely perfect book to review for Halloween. This is a collection of slightly creepy, slightly spooky urban fantasy stories where all the heroes are anti- and all of the action is conducted in the darker shades of gray. And by gray I mean cases where the heroes commit acts that may seem villainous, or at least questionable, in order to prevent an even greater evil.

These are stories where the ends actually do justify the means, as long as you like your means on the dark and grim side of the equation.

Most story collections have hits and misses. It’s the nature of the beast. That’s not true in this case. All of the stories in Shadowed Souls are at least very good, and many rise to excellent, sometimes hauntingly so.

While I liked every story in this collection, there are a few that stood out from the ghostly crowd.

Tanya Huff’s If Wishes Were is a return to the world of her Vicki Nelson series, 20 years after the end of Blood Debt. Victoria Nelson has been a vampire for 20 years, and looks permanently in her mid-30s. But the man who keeps Vicki tied to her humanity, Mike Cellucci, is now pushing 60. Vicki is forced to face the inevitable future, that the man she loves will die, possibly of his current injuries, but certainly in what will, to her, seem like a short and painful 20 or 30 years. Even if Mike were willing to become a vampire, it is no solution. If he changes, they will be forced to part. If he dies, they will be forced to part. When a villain tempts Vicki with a third choice, she has to decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice to retain what’s left of her humanity – along with what’s left of her heart.

This story is haunting and bittersweet, and resonates both with Vicki’s particular situation, and for anyone who has faced the inevitable loss of a loved one.

Sales. Force. by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is definitely a story from the dark side of the house. Like If Wishes Were, this is also a story about love and loss. And not just the loss of love but also the loss of humanity. The revenge in this story is served icy cold. Even as the reader shivers with that cold, one is left with the feeling that it wasn’t enough. That as dark as this ending is, nothing would be enough. Read it and weep.

In all of the deep and dark and serious in this collection, there is one ray of light. Definitely call it gallows humor. Eye of Newt by Kevin J. Anderson is a short story set in his Dan Shamble series, and it is laugh out loud, read out loud to your partner, funny. In this definitely urban fantasy series, where the private investigator is a zombie, his girlfriend is a ghost, and nearly every name is a pun, the author manages to set up both a mystery and a riotous send up of TV cooking shows at the same time. You will laugh until your sides ache. And want more of the series.

Escape Rating A: I don’t DO this for collections. There are always at least a couple of stories that fail for me. But not this time. The stories are all different. Except for Eye of Newt, they all reside creepily in the neighborhood of dark urban fantasy. And they are all at the least compelling, if not absolutely enthralling.

Read this one with the lights on, and have a scary good time.

Happy Halloween!

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

spooktacular-2016

Halloween is right around the corner. That means it’s time for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds!

So let’s talk about what spooks us.

I’ll admit that Pumpkin Spice Everything is really starting to creep me out. I like pumpkin pie as much as the next person, but seriously, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios? Never mind the Pumpkin Spice Triscuit crackers. That just sounds WRONG. But maybe not as wrong as the Pumpkin Spice Bailey’s and the Pumpkin Spice-filled Truffles. The only Pumpkin Spice thing I’ve liked so far is this one:

pumpkin spikes latte

 

So what are you scared of this Halloween? If you’re looking for a scary book to read, I highly recommend Teeth, Long and Sharp by Grace Draven, Antioch Grey, Aria M Jones, Jeffe Kennedy and Mel Sterling. All the stories in collection are good, but the last one, Voice of the Knife by Mel Sterling, gave me the shivers to the point I needed a hug and hot drink afterwards. And the hot drink was NOT Pumpkin Spice Anything!teeth long and sharp by jeffe kennedy et al

For Halloween, I have two books that have spooky-related themes, but are probably not too scary: Shadowed Souls edited by Kerrie L. Hughes and Jim Butcher here at Reading Reality, and Ghost Maker by Robin D. Owens over at the Book Pushers.

What scary books are you planning to read this Halloween? Or what’s your favorite scary book? Answer in the Rafflecopter for your chance at a $10 Gift Card or $10 Book. No pumpkin spice allowed!

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And if you are looking for more bookish and scary prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop.



Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2013

Welcome to the 5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer!

The spooks are back in town. Pumpkins are everywhere and Halloween candy is filling the store shelves.

We’re in a new apartment this year, so we wonder whether we will get trick-or-treaters. We also wonder whether or not our lack of knowledge in this area will affect our purchases of Halloween candy! (There are no calories in those little, teeny, tiny chocolate bars, are there?)

living dead dollsMy Halloween book this year is going to be Duck, Duck Ghost by Rhys Ford. At first, I was planning to review it earlier, but when the doll heads tried to smother one of the heroes, my creepy meter went off the scale.

Attack of the Killer Baby Dolls! Doesn’t that sound like a terrific title for a scary movie?

In honor (or memorial, or creep-festing) of Halloween, I will be giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to one lucky entrant.

May all your reads be haunting, whether in a spooky way or not!

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Review: Something Wicked by Angela Campbell

Something Wicked by Angela CampbellFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Psychic Detectives #2
Length: 263 pages
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Date Released: October 31, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance

Psychic medium Alexandra King is sick of being pestered by her boss’s dead mother demanding help to reunite her two estranged sons. Determined to get some peace and quiet again, Alexandra follows a lead in finding the younger Collins brother to Charleston, South Carolina, where she immediately meets the hottest man she’s ever laid eyes on and finds herself a willing participant in seduction. Of course, her one-night-stand turns out to be none other than Dylan Collins — her boss’s younger brother and a homicide detective who believes psychics are a complete waste of time.

All Dylan wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of The Holy City — a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he’d just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.

It doesn’t take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra is the real deal – and the killer’s next target. Dylan’s protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn’t sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra’s secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness — if the killer doesn’t strike first?

My Review:

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes”, or so says one of the witches in Macbeth.

Something Wicked is also the darker second book in Angela Campbell’s Psychic Detectives series, after the first book in the series, the light-hearted romp On the Scent, reviewed at Book Lovers Inc.

I picked Something Wicked as my Halloween review because it considerably darker than the first book in the series. While the story still contains a romance, there is much more of a feeling of suspense and absolutely a heart of darkness; psychic medium Alexandra King and Charleston Police Detective Dylan Collins are on the trail of a serial killer calling himself “Grim Reaper”; all the while that Grim Reaper is stalking them.

on the scent by angela campbellThe story starts as a simple quest. At the end of On the Scent, the late, lamented Rebecca Collins pesters Alexandra King until she agrees to go to Charleston to attempt to reunite her two sons, Zachary and Dylan. Alexandra left Zachary in Atlanta, happily in love with Hannah at the end of the previous story, but unfortunately very much estranged from his younger brother Dylan.

Dylan is a cop in Charleston, and Rebecca is sure that he is in danger, and not just the everyday kind of danger a cop usually faces. In case you missed it, I called Rebecca the “late, lamented”. Rebecca is a ghost, and Alexandra does, indeed, see dead people. This is that kind of story. It is Halloween, after all.

There’s “meet cute” and then there’s “meet really cute.” Alexandra gets to Charleston, goes to a bar/restaurant recommended by her hotel, has a meal, picks up a gorgeous guy, has a night of really fantastic sex, and never gets the guy’s name.

The next morning, her visions show her that there’s a serial killer in town, and that the cop leading the case is both her one night stand and the guy she came to find. Only then does she discover that Dylan Collins hates psychics. Dylan does not want her on the case. His boss does. The police need all the help they can get, even from a psychic.

Something Wicked should have been the same kind of lighthearted romp that the first book was, but it isn’t. Not just because the serial killer is not merely a sick bastard, but he’s chasing Alexandra and Dylan while they’re chasing him. It goes further than that. Alexandra has a sympathetic relationship with ghosts, she helps them “cross over” to the other side. Something evil is messing with the ghosts of Charleston, and is making living people get sick, too. A demon gives Dylan’s partner pneumonia. Charleston has LOTS of ghosts (think Civil War) and the demon is suborning those ghosts and getting them to attack the living. It’s very creepy.

So we have a live serial killer, killing people, and a dead serial killer messing with ghosts doing even more evil. Kind of a double-creepy effect. This shouldn’t work but it very much does.

Because Alexandra talks with ghosts, she can be affected from both planes, so both the serial killer and the demon are out to get her.

It all starts because one mother wanted to make sure her sons reconciled. If Zachary and Dylan work together, maybe they can manage to save both Rebecca and Alexandra.

Escape Rating Boo+: Something Wicked is a wickedly fun read for Halloween, although it will help you enjoy the story if you read On the Scent first to get introduced to Alexandra and the other Collins brother, Zachary. The scene late in the book where Zach figures out where Alexandra is will be way more fun (and loads funnier!) if you know their history.

Dylan and Alexandra have a lot to work through. They start out not being honest with each other, at least partially because they start out not sharing much except hot sex. No introductions were made. It’s only later that Alexandra neglects to mention that she’s in Charleston because she knows Dylan’s brother.

The scene where Alexandra gives Dylan a complete dressing down for his assumptions about psychics is funny but also spot-on. He has a lot of baggage he needs to lose before they can have a real relationship. He spends most of the story dropping those bags, piece by piece.

This story had just the right amount of creepy factor for a Halloween read for me. I don’t like straight out horror, but I was looking for something with those elements to give the season that appropriately shivery sensation. Something Wicked was just right!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux

Format read:ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: Trade paperback, ebook
Genre: Horror, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Date Released: October 15, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.

Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.

But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.

The Gravedigger’s Brawl is a massive Halloween bash that takes place in Gravedigger’s Tavern. Where is that, you might ask? The historic district in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

So we have an eerily named bar in a historic preservation district on the spookiest night of the year. And did I mention that everyone who works in the bar has started seeing ghosts? That’s right, ghosts. Poltergeists aren’t just thumping the walls, they have started screwing with the electrical wiring. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Gravedigger’s Tavern doesn’t just have a weird name, it has some bad stuff in its history. It might be linked to the LaLaurie family in antebellum New Orleans. They were so evil, even their fellow slaveholders turned them in for their human experiments.

Richmond had its own version of the LaLauries, the Dubois family. It looks like they owned the land that Gravedigger’s sits on. One of the Dubois’ might still haunt the place, along with all of his victims.

The Gravedigger’s Brawl is a terrific, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, as in terrifying, ghost story. Spirits do haunt Gravedigger’s, and one man, Ash Lucroix, acquires the ability to see them, after a head injury.

Unfortunately for Ash, he’s not paranoid. One of them really is out to get him.

So is Wyatt Case, but that’s in a good way. The director of the historical society, although he might have been out of the closet for a long time, has an incredibly difficult time getting out of his shell. His academic reserve is a different problem all-together.

Opposites do attract. The academic introvert and the flair-expert, bartending extrovert with the gaslight aesthetic do take hesitant steps toward a relationship.

Meanwhile there are the ghosts. As more mysterious thumps and sparks manifest in the tavern, Wyatt starts researching the history of Gravedigger’s. (He’s a historian, it’s what he does). He finds paydirt. Or gravedirt. Amidst the urban legends, ghost tours and fanciful tales, he finds the Dubois family, and their misbegotten scion Vincent.

Vincent conducted human experiments on the land that is now Gravedigger’s. And every couple of decades since Vincent’s death, someone connected with that property has died, on the premises, of suicide. All under very mysterious circumstances.

And they’ve all looked very much like Ash Lucroix. So did Vincent Dubois. And it’s starting to seem a lot like Ash is next. Unless the bar burns down first.

Escape Rating A-: And a very chilling story this one is. The chills and thrills in this story come from the ghosts. The romance, although it exists, takes a back-seat to the ghost story.

I found the secondary story about saving Wyatt’s job at the Museum, and museum politics in general, to be hilarious and all-too-familiar. All non-profit institutions have some similarities. Wyatt’s co-worker Nash, especially his love of true-but-obscure facts, is laugh-out-loud funny.

This was a perfect Halloween read. It’s chilling and scary and terrifying. There are ghosts, and a fire, and a fight in the museum (in costume!). And in the end, what’s important gets saved.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.