“This could be heaven, or this could be hell…” This week’s review is brought to you Don Henley’s righteous white man’s afro.
Katie: This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I believe in ghosts, so it’s kind of ironic (or something, anyway) that this week’s selection is about a “Ghostbuster” named Wolf Hellsinger and a children’s book author/illustrator named Tristan Pryce who sees dead people. After all, my middle school looks like it should be haunted, I grew up in a town that takes pride in its Cities of the Dead, and attended a college that regularly turns up on most haunted lists.
Patty: I believe in LOOOOOVE! Hot, sweaty, man love. And ghosts too, sure, but mostly the first thing. Anything that goes bump and grind in the night.
Katie: I’ve been saying what equates to hawks-knee in my head, but do raptors even have knees? Or birds in general for that matter? …Sorry, I digress. Squirrel!
Know what I’m having trouble with? Jack the ghost dog. I can’t believe a ghost Jack Russell terrier would smell worse than a live 200 pound wolfhound named Boris. Also, is Wolf’s last name Hell-singer or more like Kissinger?
Patty: Well, it stands to reason that a dead dog would smell worse. We must discuss this further after copious imbibing.
Katie: But, Paaaatttyyy, it’s not a zombie. IT’S A GHOST. Everyone knows they don’t smell… and I’d suggest Macallan since it’s the favored liquor in the book, but that’s out of my price range. Rex Goliath, anyone?
Patty: The 25 yr Macallan is out of anyone’s price range – I feel fancy drinking the 12 yr out of a real glass. Specially if the glass is clean and I’m actually wearing pants. Wait, what were we talking about?
Katie: So Wolf has been hired by Tristan’s extended family to prove that the family manor isn’t haunted.
Patty: Right! They want to declare the reclusive Tristan insane in order to get their hands on the property. Greed notwithstanding, their skepticism is understandable except for the actual freaking ghosts that stay at Hawks Knee, using it as an afterlife B&B on their way to… wherever it is spirits go.
(Thanks for the pronunciation guide, btw… I kept stumbling over it in my head HONKSXNE GRUNGE).
Tristan is the defacto Innkeeper and Greeter of the Dead. Aside from the various Hotel California ghost guests, there is this maidservant repeater spirit circa 1800’s London that shows up looking for employment every Tuesday at the same time. Very Oliver Twisty with the “Can I have a job, sir?”
How doesn’t that get annoying after the first oh, 200 times? Reminded me of that awful Jeckyll & Hyde movie – and I only had to see that once to grow weary – starring Julia Roberts… and those bangs… and that awful accent… and whatever bet John Malkovich lost …
The cool thing about this story is that it was equal parts mystery, romance and paranormal mixed with a good dose of dry humor. Spooky without making you second-guess that midnight trip to the bathroom and cute with an m/m romance that doesn’t devolve into gratuitous penis wrangling. Well balanced and fun.
Katie: I thought it was decently written and really appreciated that it was easy reading when I’ve had a stressful week. All I really wanted was something to entertain me without having to actually ponder anything. It fit that bill beautifully.
Finally, and for no reason what-so-ever, other than this is my review: