I continue to be strapped for time, so for now the steady flow of reviews from my back catalogue will continue.
This review was posted to the old TTA Press website on 16 November 2008:-
SOMETHING BORROWED by PAUL MAGRS
Headline hardback/trade paperback, 310pp, £19.99/£11.99
The sequel to Never the Bride, Magrs’ latest novel continues the fan boy sensibility of his recent work with yet more of the adventures of Brenda, the Bride of Frankenstein, who now lives in Whitby and tackles mysteries with her good friend Effie, the descendant of a long line of wise women. And the ladies certainly have more than their fair share of troubles to contend with, what with their old friend Jessie being transformed into a flesh eating womanzee, a plague of poison pen letters that have the town held in the grip of fear, a troublesome haunting and a set of wicker garden furniture with attitude, to name just a few. To complicate matters further, Brenda’s former beau Henry is back on the scene, an immortal who stirs old memories of things best left forgotten, of their long ago involvement with the Smudgelings and fight against Count Alucard.
If Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake books are, as one critic has remarked, what Buffy will be when she grows up, then Magrs’ work presents the erstwhile Slayer as a pensioner complete with blue rinse and bus pass, tackling the Whitby version of the Hellmouth in between trips to the chip shop and afternoon teas. Something Borrowed is Gothic fiction with a delightful comic twist, as Magrs taps into a whole heritage of Hammer and Universal films, Tolkien and Lewis and Wheatley, The Wicker Man and Fu Manchu, plus such wonderfully gaudy originals as the fearsome Mrs Christmas. The book is a hoot from beginning to end, with some larger than life characters to be found within its pages, especially Brenda and Effie, two beautiful and eccentric ladies, the best of friends and yet not without their troubles, enough tension in the relationship to keep it real. The plot holds up well, as daft as can be, but never to the point that you feel it all slipping away from you, while the constant flow of comic misadventures told deadpan are a continual source of amusement and all the genre references keep the reader on his toes. Like all good things it reaches a conclusion much too soon, but fortunately an end note hints that Brenda’s adventures are far from over. For those who like their horror fiction to have a sunny disposition.