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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Coffin Maker (book #1) by Breeann Allison

The Coffin Maker (book #1)
written by Breeann Allison

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Twenty-three-year-old Jesse Burns lives a tranquil life as the coffin maker in the enthusiastically eerie town of Gregor’s Hollow. Here, the By the Pricking of My Crumbs Bakery sells deep-fried candy corn year round, and manmade mist swirls through the streets every afternoon at three-thirty. As for the graveyard bells that chime at midnight, and the Victorian portrait that materializes in the hotel guest rooms? Well, no one can account for those but they still look impressive in the brochure.

Few in the town are admired more than the trustworthy if reclusive, coffin maker. Praised for his intricate carvings and flamboyant artistry, Jesse creates his masterpieces in the workshop that belonged to his father, the previous coffin maker who vanished nine years ago.

Jesse’s isolated routine is disturbed when Death appears on his doorstep one October evening. Wearing a sharply pressed suit and a condescending smile, Death demands eight coffins by Halloween. Jesse is horrified to learn that the coffins are intended for Death’s next eight victims—all of them citizens of Gregor’s Hollow. In exchange for the eight coffins, Death will tell Jesse what happened to his father.

Despite striking the bargain and starting work on the coffins, Jesse vows to save the Eight. But investigating a mystery is challenging in Gregor’s Hollow, the third-most-famous Halloween tourist town in America. Home to horror enthusiasts and gothic fanatics alike, the town boasts a daily carnival of macabre spectacles, complete with ghostly sound effects in the streets, slasher chase scenes in the alleys, and a John Carpenter Orchestra in the park. Distinguishing staged horror theatrics from genuinely suspicious activity is impossible enough on an average day. But with the holiday approaching, the tourist season has just begun, forcing Jesse to conduct his detective work amidst the increased chaos of Hitchcock festivals, Edgar Allan Poe pageants, and monster movie reenactments.

Together with an alluring and untrustworthy stranger, he seeks the answer he needs to thwart Death’s plan.

Welcome to Gregor's Hollow, listed the third-most-famous Halloween tourist town in America. Reading this I couldn't help but think of my favorite cartoon. Remember - Crystal Cove, the most haunted town in America, made famous by that lovable Great Dane, Scooby-Doo.

That's where the similarities end. The Coffin Maker is a wonderful introduction to a new series written by Breann Allison. If you love Halloween you will love the Coffin Maker. The town itself plays a big role throughout the novel. It comes to life as Halloween approaches with every kind of creepy, spooky, eerie element you can think of. The town's people go all out and then some to deliver the ultimate Halloween experience.
There's even some Edgar Allen Poe!

We meet a host of characters, most of whom are interesting, well thought out, and down right fun. Jessee Burn's is the star of this first book.
Nine years ago Jessee's father simply disappeared. Jessee continued his father's legacy of building custom coffins. Intricately detailed, beautifully designed - these coffins are true works of art. Haunted by unanswered questions, Jessee is basically a recluse. That is until Death places a rush order!

Yep, you read that right. . .Death. Sharply dressed, with a wicked smile Death demands Jessee build eight coffins. Jessee strikes a deal with Death -he will build the coffins and in return, Death will answer his questions. But Jessee has more than those answers on his mind. He intends to outsmart death, head-off this horrible tragedy, and save the lives of the eight people for which he agreed to build the coffins.

The tension builds when Jessee meets Robin and she agrees to help him. But what is really going on?
Can Death be outsmarted? Tricked? Or Fooled? Allison built a setting that is as perfect for this book as Rembrant is on a museum wall. She then populated the small town of Gregor's Hollow with an array of characters that will have you laughing out loud. This is a fast read that you can devour in a few hours. I enjoyed The Coffin Maker and anxiously await the next installment.

Happy Reading,


*Cover art not available at the time of this review.

**Note: If you don't like reading about the death of animals and it really nags at you - you should skip this one. It's not graphic and gory, but it's there. I love animals. I have four cats and a dog myself. The deaths bothered me, but not the kind-of-bother that sticks in your mind and nags at your heart. Definitely not bad enough to stop reading. However, to share my honest experience with this book I have to mention this

Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press for the courtesy copy of this book.


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