by Bob Mayer, Jennifer Crusie
Publication Date: March 15, 2010
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
This was the last book Jennifer Crusie wrote that I hadn’t yet read (except for the Temptation books; I started Welcome to Temptation and something turned me off and I never finished it). It’s a co-wriiten book with Bob Meyer, and their previous effort Agnes and the Hitman is one of my all time favourite good-time reads.
But I avoided this one for years because I’m not a fan of carnivals and amusement parks as story settings. Stephen King might have ruined this for me, but there’s just something WAY too creepy and seedy about them in books. Nevertheless, I had bought this and after years of languishing in a forgotten corner of the TBR, I found it just in time for Halloween Bingo, and the setting was perfect.
Mary Alice (Mab) is just finishing up a massive restoration of an early 1920’s amusement park, putting on one of the last touches, when she’s attacked by a giant iron clown that calls her by name. The owners of the park seen unsurprised, though they pass it off as a hallucination. Soon, however, there’s no escaping the truth: the park is the prison for 5 untouchable demons (all from the Etruscan mythology, it seems) and two have escaped. It’s up to Mab and her fellow Guardia to re-capture them and keep the other three from escaping.
Believe me when I say there is nothing deep or philosophical about this book. It’s pure silliness and funnel cake fun. It’s not nearly as well plotted or written as Agnes and the Hitman, but it’s well written enough that it kept me reading and the eye rolling only happened a few times.
I doubt I’ll ever re-read this again, though it did make me want to climb that ladder to grab Agnes for a re-read.
I read this for Halloween Bingo 2021. It’s a perfect fit for the Creepy Carnivals square, which is really my Stone Cold Horror square – I used my Transfiguration Spell card, as it’s chock full of demons (including minions that possess teddy bears and characters ripped completely from Small World) and it takes place entirely within the grounds of the Fun Fun Amusement Park.