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.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Never the Bride
- Something Borrowed
- Conjugal Rites
- Hell’s Belles
- The Bride that Time Forgot
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