Steve Burt's three Devaney & Hoag Vermont ghost buster mystery stories, previously published as three different books, are collected here in one large volume.
"The Witness Tree", "The French Acre", and "The Chambers Crypt" are all set in Norwich, Vermont. Hoag is a Valley News reporter who is frequently called upon to investigate unusual paranormal stories. Devaney is his retired-teacher father-in-law who tags along to snap pictures.
Dr. Burt is the author of many books with New England settings, including the Bram Stoker Award-winning Stories to Chill the Heart series, and the FreeKs paranormal teen detectives series. His inspiration New England holiday collection, A Christmas Dozen, was a national best seller.
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I'm biased. I live in Vermont and love nearly everything about the state, so Burt pretty much had me from word one, but it's the final words that really make these stories so enjoyable and memorable. There's a campfire quality to the tone and atmosphere of these stories. They start off with soberly skeptical yet evenly open-minded folks just checking out strange events. They finishing having leveled the reader with a Poe-like jab to the face.
I don't know anything about Steve Burt, and this book is my first encounter with Devaney & Hoag, but I hope there are other stories to be anthologized, and if not I hope Burt finds inspiration for future stories.
The voice work is fine in this audiobook addition but New Englanders may find the accents a bit distracting. They tend to skew more mid-west than Northern New England, but that lapse of authenticity aside, it's a sturdy rendition.
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