Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Genre: Fantasy

Year of publication: 1998

Rating: ♥

This was on a list of gay/lesbian mysteries I found, and I’m not sure why. As far as I could tell, the characters are all very hetero, though it’s possible I missed something, because I didn’t read the last half of the book very closely.

Summary: Claire is a Keeper, charged with containing and sealing magical anomalies. On a dark and stormy night, Claire and her talking cat, Austin, stumble into a ramshackle B&B to take shelter. In the morning, Claire discovers that the owner has disappeared and left the inn, along with the attractive assistant/groundskeeper Dean McIssac, to her. Together, Claire and Dean discover a sleeping woman in room 6, and a hole to Hell in the basement.

While this sounds like a promising setup, the delivery falls short. I felt like I couldn’t get into the swing of the language, and I couldn’t tell if it was because I was missing something or it was just bad. I’d read some glowing reviews of this book and the others in its series, so I was surprised at how bad it was.

I think I would have liked this book a lot more when I was younger — like 12 or 13. At my current, more advanced age, I found the writing too full of mistakes, and the humor too forced. I felt the book tried very hard to be clever, and failed.