Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hell's Belles by Paul Magrs

Synopsis From Inside Flap:

Brenda never meant to tell anyone the truth. She's got used to keeping secrets over the years. But in Whitby, people have a habit of working it out. Especially best friends like Effie, who sniff out the unusual, and expect the unexpected. And Brenda needs friends. She can't keep us safe all by herself. Not any more

Reading over the synopsis I can honestly tell you that it doesn't do this book justice. I have not been this amused by a book in a long time and I'm now going to have to get my hands on the 3 previous books. Now since this is the 4th book in a series I'm obviously missing out on a lot of the back story so I can only tell you the basic premise of this book.

The basic premise is this, a classic horror movies is being remade in the small coastal town of Whitby. This isn't your normal B horror movie though. The original is associated with mysterious deaths and audiences going crazy and killing themselves. The Government actually ordered the movie to be destroyed so no known copies are in existence.

Well, this remake brings back the scream queen who starred in the first movie and she is in working for a bunch of cultists who's motives are murky at best, the director is the son of the original director and is bent on full filling his father's mission, and the lunch wagon lady, who fed the first crew, is now bent on making sure this is one movie that doesn't get remade, because if it does the mouth of Hell will open up and God only knows what will come through.

By the way did I mention that that lunch lady is in fact Brenda, the Bride of Frankenstein and her best friend is a witch? I loved both these hilarious old women and their relationship glues all the wild happenings and wonderful cast of characters together into one cohesive story.

Speaking of some of the other characters we actually have Brenda's husband Frank is in the story as well as a their father, the resurrected Victor. The famous Alucard, Effie's beau, makes his appearance towards the end of the book though I get the impression that if I were to read the earlier books I would be seeing a lot more of him. Throw in a divorcee goth woman who isn't sure what to make of what's going on, a gay hotel manager who has a secret friend, a Mrs. Claus who isn't all that jolly, and a Faerie King and you got a wonderful romp through time and space that I can't imagine anyone not enjoying.

This will qualify for the Typically British Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.


Peter S. said...

Hi, Ryan! Thanks for posting this review! I must though that I'm not familiar with the series, but what caught me was the blurb by Susan Hill. I'm always partial to black comedies. I can't get enough of them. The cover reminds me of Christopher Moore's books. Moore writes very delightful black comedies.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Hmm, usually I don't like these kinds of books, but then I recall how much I loved the movie "Witches of Eastwick," and more recently, the TV series "Eastwick."

How different could a book like this be? LOL

Alexia561 said...

How did I miss this series? Doesn't look familiar, so thanks for the heads up!

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

This is the first time I'm hearing of this series too. It does sound pretty entertaining. Great review Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Sounds hilarious. I need to see what the first in the series is.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

This sounds like a great read. And to pick up book 4 and still love it and have to get to the previous books says a lot of it in itself. That is great too.