From the publisher—
And the three teenage Clarke sisters thought what they’d wear to dinner was their biggest problem…
Lady Kate, the entitled eldest.
Lady Grace, lost in the middle and wishing she were braver.
Lady Lizzy, so endlessly sunny, it’s easy to underestimate her.
Then there’s Will Harvey, the proud, to-die-for—and possibly die with!—stable boy; Daniel Murray, the resourceful second footman with a secret; Raymond Allen, the unfortunate-looking young duke; and Fanny Rogers, the unsinkable kitchen maid.
Upstairs! Downstairs! Toss in some farmers and villagers!
None of them ever expected to work together for any reason.
But none of them had ever seen anything like this.
There are zombies and then there are zombies, you know? To put it in TV perspective, you can watch The Walking Dead if you like the serious sort, Z Nation for pure camp or iZombie if you’re looking for smile-worthy unadulterated fun. Or, hey, go for all three!
Zombie Abbey falls squarely into the fun category although it takes a while to get there. I thought the first half or so was more like an oldfashioned comedy of manners but with a plethora of characters I had to get to know as well as possible. As an historical novel set at an English manor on the cusp of the Roaring Twenties, it reminded me a lot of the Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs stories which are very appealing to me. In fact, I almost expected an Agatha Christie kind of mystery to evolve.
The introduction of the zombie factor had its amusing moments, especially in the stereotypical ability of the British high society to live in denial, unable to fully comprehend the possibility of such a thing upsetting the routine. Each of the many primary characters has a part to play and I most appreciated the three sisters (although Lady Kate is not exactly likeable) and Fanny, the maid with attitude.
Zombie Abbey won’t be for all readers but I enjoyed it, largely because I’m a zombie fan 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2018.
An Excerpt from Zombie Abbey
Dr. Webb was lurching toward the church out of the mist, something terribly off about his halting gait. More specifically, he was lurching toward Mr. Young.
“Are you all right, Dr. Webb?” Mr. Young called, the former joy in his voice replaced now with concern for the other man.
“Merry!” Lady Grace called out a warning. “Don’t go any farther!”
“But can’t you all see?” Mr. Young said, still walking forward. “Poor Dr. Webb is sick.”
Yes, Dr. Webb was sick. His clothing and general appearance were all disheveled. And he smelled bad, too, the duke realized, as a rotting stench made its way to his nostrils, which flared in response. Why, the smell was similar to that which had enveloped the dead valet, his dead valet, yesterday. Perhaps Dr. Webb had acquired the wretched smell while tending to some poor person in the village?
Dr. Webb still lurched, his arms spreading out now as Mr. Young approached.
“Merry, please!” Lady Grace cried. Then she moved to step forward herself, no doubt to try to stop Mr. Young, but Benedict Clarke held her back, catching her with one arm around the waist.
And now Mr. Young was opening his arms wide, too, as though to warmly greet the returning doctor, but when their bodies met and the doctor embraced him, he immediately began to chew on the closest part of Mr. Young’s body that was available to him, which, in this case, happened to be his upper arm.
The duke watched, frozen in horror as no doubt the others were, too, as the doctor chewed through Mr. Young’s jacket and shirt, straight down to the flesh beneath. It might have been almost comical, were it not so downright horrifying.
Among the things you never expect to see in life: one human being attempting to feed on another like an animal.
About the Author
Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 30 books for adults (Vertigo), teens (The Twin’s Daughter) and children (The Sisters 8 series which she created with her husband and daughter). She’d love to dress up in period costume from the 1920s but she’d be a lot less excited about meeting zombies. Lauren lives in Danbury, CT, with her husband and daughter and cat, all of whom are writers (well, maybe not the cat).