“Never The Bride” by Paul Magrs

Date finished: 6th June 2011

I’d been on the lookout for Never The Bride by Paul Magrs for a while, as it’s the first in a series of books which I’d kept coming across the third or fourth book in a bookshop and would be really interested, only to find out they didn’t have the first book.

Brenda has finally settled down to spend her twilight years running a B&B in Whitby. Her best friend and next door neighbour, Effie, is a pensioner who runs a bric-a-brac shop, and the two of them often get together to go for tea at the local theme hotel where every day is Christmas. One day, one of the waitresses at the hotel spends a chunk of her savings getting a make over at a new, but rather strange, beauty salon in town and seems to look twenty years younger, Brenda and Effie are curious and decide to find out more. With Brenda as the narrator, we find out more about her own story as well as solving the mystery of the devilish beauty shop, the missing elves and just why Whitby seems to be the inspiration for the original vampire tale.

I loved how there are three or four mysteries within the book, and as the story goes on, the hints at Brenda’s history gradually reveal themselves and you learn all about where she has come from. I know Paul Magrs from his Doctor Who books, and I’d been wanting to read this for a while, and I’m so glad I now have, as you get a very British sense of humour mixed in with the fantasy of the story and characters, and it’s all in a very ordinary setting, just like the best Doctor Who stories.

A supernatural, comic mystery set in the usually sedate resort with an elderly cast of characters and a charming and quirky heroine, this was a cracking start to a series I know I’m going to love, and I can’t wait to make a start on book two!

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