Summary: Skary, Indiana has made a name for itself by taking advantage of the fact that horror novelist, Wolfe Boone, aka Boo, lives in the town. People come from far and wide hoping to get a glimpse of him. They also come for the unique atmosphere of the town. The local diner is called The Haunted Mansion and serves things like Bloody Fingers and Creepy Corn. The local bookstore specializes in horror novels and sells little else.
Ainsley Parker works at the Haunted Mansion. She remembers when the diner served normal food, now all they serve are strange concoctions with strange names. She despises Wolfe Boone because he is the reason for all of this. Also, she thinks horror is horrible. When Wolfe comes to the restaurant, she asks one of her co-workers to wait on him.
Wolfe is a loner. He rarely comes down the hill to the town. There are plenty of rumors about him, but he prefers to keep to himself. But, he begins to realize that there must be more to life. Writing horror novels doesn't seem so thrilling anymore. He begins to think that he has been focused on evil for too long and it hasn't been good for his soul. He begins to realize he needs what Ainsley Parker has. So he decides to go visit Reverend Peck.
The local gossip, eighty-seven-year-old Missy Peeble, has heard the news. Wolfe Boone has given his life to Jesus. This could be a problem for the town. If Wolfe stops writing horror, the town will become nothing more than a speck on the map. Missy sets out to discover whether Wolfe's conversion is genuine. But, she is going to need some help. She convinces several people in town to help her which leads to lies, tricks, deception and poisoning.
My thoughts: This book had me laughing out loud repeatedly. The concept is unique and made for a compelling read. The author's way with words was my favorite thing about the book. Rene Gutteridge is head writer for Skit Guys Studios. If you are familiar with them, her humor is similar, just in written form. She is able to take everyday occurrences and phrase them in a way that makes you laugh. But it is not all laughs, there is depth to the characters and the story.
Wolfe Boone is an interesting character. He is very down to earth, but never feels like he fits in. So, he mostly keeps to himself. He lives on a hill outside of Skary with his two dogs. He was perfectly content with his life, until he wasn't. After becoming a Christian, he comes to the conclusion that he will need to stop writing horror. He loves to write. In fact, he would love to write poetry. Maybe he will take that up. As you can imagine, his agent is not happy. Wolfe has been a very successful horror novelist. His fans are not going to like poetry. Wolfe has been watching Ainsley from afar for years. He knows she can't stand him, but he would love to get to know her better. She is the kind of person he wants to be. I liked Wolfe's character. He is not just a horror novelist. As the story progresses, we learn more about him and his past.
Ainsley lives with her father, Sheriff Parker. She always intended to move away, but when her mom died she stayed on to care for her father. She does not like what the town has become. People are infatuated with horror and with Wolfe Boone. She thinks it is disgusting. When she hears that Wolfe has become a Christian, she doesn't believe it. But, when he arrives at the diner with Reverend Peck, Ainsley begins to wonder if it might be true. She decides to wait on him for the first time. He seems nice enough and is rather handsome. I liked Ainsley. She is kind to everyone except Wolfe, and tries to help whoever she can. She has strong convictions and stands up for what she believes in. I liked that she was unkind to Wolfe. It showed her humanity. But, I also appreciated that she gave him a chance eventually.
I listened to the audiobook version of the book read by Michael Taylor. He did a great job with each of the voices. This story was well suited to audio.
This book has a little of everything - small town life, romance, and mystery. It was just what I needed after reading a couple of heavier books.
"You could also call him your bankroll, Mr. Tennyson. He's the reason you can wear those fancy shoes and that fancy watch and slick your hair back like you are someone special. Am I right? Without Wolfe Boone, you are merely another editor, graveling at the feet of those more powerful than you." (Said by Missy Peeble)
"Melb realized she had said too many words in a row, depleting her brain of oxygen and causing the room to spin for a moment."
"But, before she got a chance, Garth walked by and Melb got a whiff of his cologne, which he always wore way too strong and cheap. It gagged her and then made her sneeze with such force that if she'd been pointed toward the fireplace, she might have blown out the fire. 'Bless you', she heard from several people including Wolfe and the Mayor. The sneeze brought Melb a new found sense of freedom that she couldn't immediately identify. She could breathe for one thing. And had someone left the door open? There seemed to be a breeze in the house. Then, with utter terror, she realized she had blown out the t-shirt's side seams and now wore what looked like a knit poncho flapping in the breeze of the nearby conversation. She gasped, jumped up and threw her coat on."