06 June 2009

Tombstone Tea; Joanne Dahme

Tombstone Tea Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

At first I thought this would be a slightly creepy version of Spoon River Anthology, but it's more a revenge tale with Really Angry Ghosts.

Jessie (a spiritualist who "blanks out" occasionally) has moved to a new school, a charter school linked to a nearby cemetery. In an effort to make friends, she agrees to spend the night in the cemetery getting gravestone rubbings. The "spend the night" part just seems cruel, but then it wouldn't set up the rest of the book. Jessie meets Paul, a really cute cemetery worker. Paul takes her to some of the graves, explaining that the activity going on was part of a local actors Tombstone Tea reenactment. He explains her meeting several of the graveyard denizens as though she were at Colonial Williamsburg, but Jessie senses he's not quite telling the truth.

When Jenny, the vampire-ish mother arrives, things go from scary to terrifying (for Jessie; it's just a confused mass of action for the reader). Jenny's not a vampire in the True Blood/Angel/Twilight sense, she's one in the sucking-the-life-out-of-her-daughter sense. And the rest of the book explains how Jenny/Amy and Paul got to the cemetery, and the plotting to finally rid the dead of Jenny's unwelcome, disturbing presence.

The flashbacks were interestingly evocative, but the rest of the plot seemed a bit muddled. I wish the characters had been more developed and the terror a little more subtle.

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