Hell Manor - Lisa Morton
Hell Manor is a haunted house run by Jack Lichtner and in the process of interviewing and hiring staff he makes the acquaintance of the beautiful and mysterious Meave. Unknown to Jack Meave has a secret she is part of the family of malicious fairies the "shee" and she is being haunted by three elders Finn, Angus and Cormac who wish for Meave to return to their world and are prepared to use any means to achieve this end. I thought the first third of this book was a great read, Jack is mesmerized by the porcelain beauty of Meave and she uses bloody black magic to entertain the visitors to Hell Manor. There is one scene I particularly enjoyed; Meave "The Blood Queen" asks for a volunteer and then cleanly removes the young man's head with the swipe of a sharp sword. The crowd goes wild, Meave in a jubilant mood displays her trophy "the head" for all to see...and then magically the head is reunited with the body and our young hero returns to his friends to tell the tale. Naturally when this happened there is laughter and then cries of disbelief and finally looks of astonishment when the boy is unharmed. The rest of this short story involves the attempts of the shee to find and punish Meave...or is that their true intention? I found the remainder of this story somewhat tedious and rather predictable and apart from an amusing conclusion not one of my favourite reads.