It all starts with a book. Liza prefers her books old and fusty but she must make do with the shiny editions at Fangtasm, her local fantasy and mystery bookstore. But when bookseller Jack sees a classified for a bookshop at 666 Charing Cross Road, she writes to them begging for some new old reading material. Amongst the paperbacks with lurid covers she received a slightly moldy tome that fills her with dread. Her beagle, Rufus, knows it’s trouble but he’s only a dog and everyone just thinks he’s in a funny mood.

Meanwhile, Shelley has discovered an ancient effigy in the basement of the New York Museum of Outsider Art. She’s busy arranging an exhibition around the strangely alluring and smelly artifact but her boyfriend, Daniel, is acting a bit odd. He’s quite obsessed with her Aunt Liza’s latest book and is turning into a bit of a jerk.

I quite liked the bookish nature of the characters and the war between old and new books could probably mirror the ongoing debate around paper versus digital. Although books are at the centre of the story, it’s mostly a bit of fantasy fun, fighting evil and romances doomed to failure. It sort of felt like a cosy mystery with an edge (sex and blood included) and I’d be interested in reading Paul Magrs’ Whitby based series.

The prologue is the same text as chapter 11 which I found a bit odd. I’m used to the storyline starting in the past and working its way up to the present as in the prologue but to repeat the text seems a bit odd. It does give you a deja vu feeling as you read, I can imagine more so if you’re not reading in one sitting.

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Elsewhere: Gav Reads