The monsters aren’t only in the museum!

Despite a lifetime of traveling with their father to collect strange artifacts, twins Topaz and Opal Cushing have never fully believed in monsters or the supernatural. Oh, sure, they share an eerie psychic connection, and their tarot card readings often come true, but… Werewolves? Vampires? Living mummies? None of those could be real. Those legends are just for rubes. Right?

Since the girls’ father has been away, though, strange things have been happening in the family’s little exhibit—and in the waxworks studio that shares their dilapidated Victorian mansion on the outskirts of London. Now, the twins’ dreams of a fun, romantic summer season are turning into a nightmare, and the monsters are running…

This was a fun novel full of monsters and all the things that go bump on the night.

Topaz and Opal are the daughters of Dr Cushing, who travels the world collecting specimens for his museum; they run the museum while their father is away. The girls have some psychic abilities which help them throughout the novel, giving hints to the various villains that are introduced.

I didn’t really feel like Dr Cushing, for all that the book is named for him, was vital to the story. His character seemed a bit forced at times.

The setting and story was lovely, I enjoyed the old-time monsters written in a new way.

I did have the issue of being a bit bogged down in the sheer length of the novel. The extended descriptions and conversations made reading a bit dreary and I found myself a bit bored at times. I fell like I would enjoy the novel more if it was a little shorter and had a faster pace.

Overall I enjoyed this monster mash, despite my small issues.

From the Author:


I was born in 1959 in Illinois, grew up in Massachusetts, attended SMU (U. Mass, Dartmouth), and moved to Wisconsin to work on Dungeons & Dragons (for TSR) in 1980. I’ve been in Wisconsin ever since, writing stories, drawing, gaming, and raising my (now grown) kids with my wife (whom I’ve been with since 1980 as well).

I’ve had more than 60 books published (counting the anthologies, collections, and the ghost-written stuff not listed by name on Amazon). I’ve also helped create more comics and games than I can either list or remember. Projects I’ve worked on include D&D, Iron Man, Dragonlance, Spider Riders, Fantastic 4, Star Wars, Speed Racer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Middle Earth, Thunderbirds, The Simpsons, Darkwing Duck, The Twilight Empire, the Blue Kingdoms (with co-creator Jean Rabe), and many, many more. My recent books include Daikaiju Attack (the giant monster novel), the finale of my fantasy epic, Tournament of Death 4, and novelizations of the horror classics White Zombie, and Manos: The Hands of Fate (Scribe Award-winner for “Best Novel Adaptation, 2016”).

My newest books are Canoe Cops vs. the Mummy (based on the film work of Christopher R. Mihm) and Manos: Talons of Fate, in which I make “The Worst Movie Ever Made” actually scary. In 2017 I also wrote scenes and extra material for Joshua Kennedy’s film Theseus and the Minotaur.

You can contact me via Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, or his website. Find out more about my projects at:

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