Best-selling author Ignatius B. Grumply is in a pickle--in more ways than one. He hasn't started the children's book he's been contracted to write, and he needs a quiet place to do so.
Grumply's writer's block is resolved--or so he thinks--when he rents a creaky 32 1/2-room Victorian mansion on Old Cemetery Road in Ghastly, Illinois. But an uninvited and unwelcome houseguest (young pretentious boy) makes Grumply alternately grumpy and uppity. Throw in a playful ghost (single invisible female); a demanding, yet rather accommodating, publisher (Paige Turner); and an overbearing real estate agent (Anita Sale) and the Klise sisters have crafted a delightfully fun, frolicsome and fast-paced read. Told in a series of letters back and forth among the key players, Dying to Meet You sets up playful tension against a spooky backdrop--it's the perfect ambience for the ghost stories Grumply allegedly pens (it's been 20 years since his last installment, but who's counting?)
The book reads like a diary, laden with hilarious exchanges, faux newspaper pages, the young boy's handwritten notes and crafty sketches and omniscient observations by the ghost (Olive C. Spence). Punny names abound (including librarian M. Balm and attorney E. Gadds), an addition sure to be enjoyed by the target audience.
Even reluctant readers can embrace the easy-to-read format and lighthearted ghost story--which shows some shades of Lemony Snicket-esque whimsy.
But will Grumply continue to be grumpy? Can the cohabitants of 43 Old Cemetery Road live in peace? Will Olive's chicken paprikash be a dinner success? And, perhaps most importantly, does the 13th entry in the Ghost Tamer series ever get written? The award-winning Klise sisters have dubbed Dying to Meet You as Book One in an intended series--so future adventures and mayhem in the manse can be eagerly anticipated . . . if readers dare!
Former children's librarian Sharon Verbeten lives in a house inhabited only by the squeals of an active two-year-old in De Pere, Wisconsin.