Monday, May 2, 2016

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood


If you like circuses, carnies and unusual people, you'll love this book.  There's something for everyone in this story of fantasy.  This is a story of love, hate, murder, a plague and people that society might not find acceptable.  What I saw was a group of unwanted people doing all they could to protect those they loved and to stay alive...

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 7th.

Kitty is lost and alone.  She and her mother checked into the hotel.  Her mother got sick and the doctor sent her clear across town to get medicine.  When she gets back, the receptionist tells her she's mistaken.  She's never had a room there, her mother is gone, and she doesn't even have her baggage.  At the moment, she just has a park bench to sit own and a mystery to ponder.  She's also grieving because her brother died in the war.  So when a con man comes to join her and talks into going after some food, she's game.  She hasn't eaten for a couple of days and she'd love to have some food!

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet is just that.  You never know what you're going to find as you go from display to display.  They have a flea circus that puts on performances.  There's a crazy professor in the attic and a half man (no legs) at the counter.  There's a bar in the basement where the carnies drink.

Coney Island is where the rich come to play.  There's a tall man, a midget city, rides of all kinds and even a half male/female performer.  Oddities galore live in this neighborhood.  They get along when they're all together but no one trusts the ones who go home to the moneyed neighborhoods.   Then the plague comes and everything gets worse.

This story is both heartbreaking and hopeful.  Some die that shouldn't and some that should don't.  I really liked what happened to the nasty young man who kept trying to get Magruder's burned down.  It was ironic and a nice touch.

I enjoyed this read.  It was set in an earlier time frame and the author wrote it like someone from that time.  It reads like a classic story even though it's modern.  Life is tough for everyone but it's worse for those who are unusual.

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