"Bustin' is a Paranormal Smorgasbord"
If you enjoy a humorous, romantic, everything but the
kitchen sink approach to the genre then Bustin' is the tale
Samantha "Sam Hammett" inherited Paranormal Pest Pursuers,
Inc. when her parents were killed in a freak accident in
Japan. Sam is one of the best in the bustin' field, it's
in her blood. Although the firm had been successful for
over eight decades, bustin' is a real challenge these days
since practically (literally) every paranormal entity
imaginable had come out of the closet. Sam and her brother
Bogie (the family is nuts about Humphrey) came face to face
on a daily basis with ghosts, goblins, gremlins, grinches,
gor -- uh well we won't spoil that one, trolls, vampires,
shape shifters and others. Triple P was renowned for their
successes that is until recently.
Sam's competition "Monsters R Us", run by the recently
transplanted Russian Strakov brothers, had begun to
sabotage Triple P's busts. In this case the third time
isn't a charm and when the Hamnett siblings take revenge
the poo literally hits the fan.
Looking for a way to put the Russian rats out of the
Bustin' business for good, Sam discovers that Monsters has
landed a plum assignment, ridding a Vampire Prince's
mansion of three annoying ghosts. She decides to beat them
at their own game by arriving early, while the vamp royal
is out of town, and getting the job done before the
competition even shows up. Unfortunately for Sam the owner
shows up mid-bust and is so tall, dark (oops) and handsome
that in spite of every rule she's ever set for herself she
falls for him hard.
But things aren't always what they appear and when his
majesty leaves her without even a "thank you ma'am", Sam is
not about to let it slide. She smells a rat, a Russian rat
by the name of Nicholas Strakhov, eldest brother and head
Monsters R Us.
Stereotypes abound as Sam is the "typical" ball bustin'
American feminist, and Nick is the "typical" arrogant,
chauvinistic European male. Their altercations lead to
endless rants that have you wondering if Sam is quite sane
at times. Get ready for a humor overload with repeated
references to Casablanca, numerous television shows both
past and present, Dr. Seuss, Rocky and Bullwinkle (really),
and a ghost named Andy who paints Campbell soup cans on
walls (a Warhol wannabe no doubt) with more than a few
groaners that threw me out of the plot an occassion
(although someone a decade or two younger might not even
Having said that when the big case finally comes along that
require Nic and Sam to work together the plot becomes quite
unique with several neat twists as well as unexpected
betrayals. The reader is left with a belief that in spite
of their differences Sam and Nic belong together.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 5, 2007