Deadtime Stories: The Beast of Baskerville
by Annette and Gina Gascone
Tor, $14.99, 175pp
Release Date: May 8, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It evoked in me the experiences of childhood and ended with a twist O. Henry would have loved. It is set on Tent night, a night when the children of Baskerville camp out in their backyards and play Kick The Can in the dead of night. It was also the night when J.J. Leads, the most disliked child in town, scheduled his birthday party, a party which his mother had forbidden. It is also said to be the anniversary of the night when the stories say that The Beast of Baskerville, the son of an Accursed Witch, killed all of the children in the village and was thrown into the well. Some say he is still around. Before the night is over the wanderings of the children teach them more than they ever wanted to know about the relationship J.J. Leads and his mother have to The Beast and The Accursed Witch. When they end up unwillingly attending J.J.'s party it begins to look like another generation of Baskerville children will perish. The plot runs through twists and turns with a shocking twist at the end.
The characters are interesting and alive enough to carry the story. I enjoyed it and I suspect that the young adults will love it too. ~~ Gary Swaty