A House With Good Bones

Afraid of what might go bump in the night, or crawl, or bite?

By: T Kingfisher

Year Published: March 2023

Genre: Horror

Pages: 247

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Setting: North Carolina

Maybe you should be afraid of what goes bump in the night, or crawls, or bites.


The book starts off when Samantha Montgomery’s brother tells her that Mom seems off. Samantha is excited to be visiting her mother while on an extended leave from work. She specializes in bugs and a project she was working on is stalled.

She walks in surprised to see her mother’s usually cluttered, brightly painted home, now a sterile white and neat. Her mother’s home isn’t the only thing that seems off. Her mother acts as though she is scared and looks for every opportunity to be gone from the house for a few days. Before she leaves though, Sam overhears her mother say that Sam should be safe.

After a few strange occurrences, Sam decides to dig into what is going on. She soon finds out that some things are better left buried.


I listened to this book on audio book and I had high hopes for it. The author’s voice is very natural. I enjoyed the humor and the odd characters in the community. Loved that mom kept trying to fix Sam up with the handyman and also enjoyed Gayle the neighborhood witch who communicated with vultures. When Sam asked Gayle to help at the climax, I thoroughly enjoyed Gayle’s response that she was an herbal witch and what was she supposed to do?

Everything came together as the story was being told until the very end. I didn’t feel like it was a satisfactory ending. There were hints about the scary characters throughout the book but I couldn’t envision what the author was trying to explain in the climax. I don’t know if this is because I listened to the book instead of physically reading it. So I guess I expected more. I rated this book with three stars. That doesn’t mean I have given up on this author. I have purchased another of her books to read in the future. If you like horror that doesn’t keep you up at night, I would recommend this book.

Author Info:

T Kingfisher is the pen name for Ursula Vernon. She also writes children’s books and comics. She has won several awards including the Hugo, Sequoya, and Ursa Major. T Kingfisher is her pen name for her adult books. Goodreads says that when she is not writing, she is probably in the garden trying to make eye contact with butterflies. Which makes total sense, if you read this book.

This is my twenty-first book read this year and I have so many more to read. So many books, so little time. I am enjoying books again this year and I think setting the Goodreads goal has helped.

Coming soon: I am currently reading Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. It is a classic that I am reading for the first time. I had seen a couple adaptations, one I really enjoyed was Anne with an E on Netflix. I highly recommend that series. I have re-watched a little bit of that while reading this book. It appears that they followed the book fairly closely in that first season.

I am looking forward to my next read – After Anne – by Logan Steiner. It is an uncorrected arc I won from Goodreads Giveaways. It says it is a novel about the life of the author of Anne of Green Gables – L M Montgomery. I don’t know much more about it and choose to read the book for more information. I also decided I needed to read Anne of Green Gables book first, hoping that may help me sort through the information in After Anne. I look forward to reviewing both books soon.

May you always have a good book handy,


The Spite House

I really had high hopes for this one. It is actually a horror novel but I felt it held enough mystery to add it to my March reads. I did do a little research to find out what a spite house is. It is a house built to spite someone. Usually they are built to ruin someone else’s view or be a reminder of something to someone who may not appreciate having to look at the house everyday. There are hundreds of them all over the country and I will probably keep my eyes out looking for them when I travel now.

Spite House is the story of a father, Eric Ross, and his two daughters who are traveling around the country like fugitives. We slowly learn why as the story progresses. Eric Ross takes a job in the hill country of Texas in a house that legend says people disappear in it. The owner neglects to disclose that information when she offers him the job. Eric does understand that the house is haunted and Eunice, the owner, wants proof of the afterlife and she is willing to pay plenty to get that information.

If Eric can complete the task he and his daughters will be comfortable for a while. I did think the backstory was interesting and it might explain what was happening in the house in current time but no one really explained how or why that could happen. I can’t explain too much because I don’t want this to be a spoiler. The author did use a fresher idea as to what the ghosts were capable of doing to humans and there was a twist at the end as to who the live people should actually fear.

I love a good ghost story. This was not one. I was able to read this at night which is one clue for me that it isn’t scary. It also isn’t gory which I did appreciate. I enjoy more psychological thrillers. The ghosts weren’t believable and neither were most of the characters. This story had potential but the author didn’t follow through. Everything felt like hints of horror but I never felt the horror. This is the author’s debut book so there probably will be more books in his future and if other readers like them, I probably would give him another shot. I did like the cover art and that is probably what drew my attention to the book as well as a book seller who said he wanted to read it. But for this one, I gave it 2 stars. It wasn’t a satisfying read for me.

What do you look for when you read horror? Have you read this book and what are your views?

I am already in the middle of book three for March and I am loving it. It is a mystery and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

In the meantime, keep reading.


The Sun Down Motel

The night it all ended, Vivian was alone.

This was one of those books I’ve seen circulating the BookTube channels for a while. I had wanted to read it in October because of that spooky thing but found it too late to start then.

This was a quick read. It definitely was a page turner. The last night I finished it at 3:30 A.M. the next morning. I could not put it down until I knew what was going on. Luckily I am retired so didn’t have to get up and go to work.

This is a story told by two protagonists. The current day one, Claire and her aunt from November 1980, Vivian. Claire was born after her aunt had disappeared and she decided to make it her mission to find out what really happened to her mother’s sister. She luckily or depending on how you look at it, unluckily took the same night shift job at The Sun Down Motel, where her aunt Vivian had disappeared.

Claire quickly picks up that something isn’t right at the motel. The mysterious scent of cigarette smoke, room doors opening and closing by themselves, the ghost of a young boy around the abandoned swinging pool, and one ghost whose anger causes the electricity to go out giving Claire a warning that it is time to leave.

The motel rarely has many guests and apparently most of them don’t notice what is going on. I thought that was a little odd.

The other half of the story is as Vivian shows the reader what did happen leading up to her disappearance. Both women snag onto the fact that they believe there is a serial killer in the area, killing women. Claire believes that same killer is still hanging around. The two women’s stories merge into a very satisfying ending.

Can’t call this a feel good novel but if you enjoy getting a scare every once in a while. This might be a good read for you.

Survived Thanksgiving 2020 style. I am finding myself reading way more than I ever did but that is normal. Reading has always been my escape.

Hope you too had a good Thanksgiving and may you find some joy in a good book.

Until next time,


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