"Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here!"
Chester the cat is certain this will be the declaration of the welcome sign upon their arrival at Chateau Bow-Wow. He's not at all happy about being stuck there for a whole week with his friend and K9 family-member, Harold the dog.
Their family, the Monroes, have decided to do a road trip for their annual summer vacation. Harold has a tendency to get car sick, so taking him along was out of the question. He'd have been miserable. Chester hates being in his pet-carrier, which is where he would have to spend all of his riding hours, so Mr. and Mrs. Monroe decided the best option was to give the boys a vacation of their own at Chateau Bow-Wow.
Chateau Bow-Wow sits high on a hill, up a long, curvy, country road, a good distance from town.
The newest and youngest member of the family, Bunnicula, has been left in the good care of the Monroe's neighbor, Professor Mickelwhite. It made sense that Bunnicula might not travel well either since he has an acute aversion to sunlight, and gets ill if he isn't allowed to sleep all day. As long as Professor Mickelwhite lets him out to hop around the living room for a bit of exercise after sunset, and keeps plenty of fresh vegetables for him to sink his pointy little teeth into, so he can drain dry of the veggie juice he lives on, the little black bunny with the red=glowing eyes is a very easy keeper.
As exotic Chateau Bow-Wow sounds from the Monroe's description, Chester convinced Harold that the boarding kennel is a perilous place where they shouldn't be staying. He's certain it will be full of strangers who are guilty of who-knows-what and have horrible habits.
They'll be forced to stay in creepy kennels, eat creepy food and have creepy people taking care of them. Chester's a very well-read cat and he pays attention to current events.
This is the first time the Monroe family has gone on vacation without the boys (Chester and Harold). In the past they've always been included. But, due to it being a road trip, this time is different and both are feeling more than a little anxious about being in a strange place and in the company of strangers for a week.
The whole situation has Chester's mind leaping to all sorts of dark possibilities of what bad things might happen to them while separated from their family.
Harold, usually bright hearted and optimistic, does his best to console his friend about their separate vacation at Chateau Bow-Wow, but it isn't working. The harder he tries, the more cynical Chester becomes and by the end of their first day and night at the chateau, it seems Chester's fears may prove to be right on target!
Chateau Bow-Wow or Howliday Inn?
The guests staying with them at Chateau Bow-Wow for a week-long vacation are immediately interesting to Chester who relays his suspicions about each to Harold. Harold isn't the suspicious sort but by and large he's seldom successful at discouraging Chester with his wild imaginings, and oft times, Chester's suspicions (at least in part) have later been validated. For a great example of that, read book one in this series, titled Bunnicula, A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery. (Don't worry, Bunnicula is adorable, intriguing and a total sweetheart.)
The list includes Max the bulldog. A tough guy who loves exercise and loves to verbally protest yet secretly (so he thinks) loves being the focus of attention. Especially when it comes from the femme-K9s vying for his attention. Those being Louise, the long-legged Parisian Poodle (his steady girlfriend) and the flirty, tiny-southerner, Georgette, who smells of magnolias, honeysuckle and trouble.
Seems Georgette has taken a shine to Max, and Louise isn't taking it lightly.
Max's other adoring fan is Taxi, a mix-breed who's the president and sole member of the Max Is My Hero! fan club.
The lone outsider of the group is Lyle. No one likes Lyle, a feline with a coat of so many colors, according to Harold, he looks like a patchwork quilt. His personality is equally colorful and strange to boot.
Harold finds it difficult to understand much of what Lyle is saying because of his consistent crazy talk about escapes and referring to everyone with code names. He also has a terrible habit of leaping from the tops of the bungalows and landing on their backs.
Nope ... Lyle's definitely not a favorite when it comes to hanging out.
Last, there are the long-little-doggie hybrids, Howard and Heather. They're a couple and always walking together. They're short legs and long-bodies are so low to the ground, Harold tripped over them the first time they met.
During the day, the two are often out for short strolls. They're friendly but never have much to say because they're always needing to rush back to their connected bungalows with Heather apologizing for feeling out of sorts and admonishing Howard to be tight lipped about whatever has her feeling out of sorts. They're definitely an odd couple. Howard is nearly beside himself with anxiety as he seems to be consistently and overtly worried about Heather's welfare, like she's a crystal-cup that might break at any moment.
After sunset even bigger strangeness begins when wild howls shatter the night, erupting from Howard and Heather's joined bungalows. They're frightening enough to have both Chester and Harold quaking and cowering with fear in their own quarters.
There can be only one explanation, in Chester's estimation. He's convinced the two are hybrids. Half dachshund. Half werewolf.
If the dachshund/werewolf howling wasn't enough, more mystery and mayhem sets in when Louise winds up missing the morning after a terrible thunderstorm.
Chester immediately drags Harold through the resort, searching for clues, conducting interviews and pondering the possibilities of who dunnit. Harold isn't convinced that foul play is a-paw until the culprit strikes again and Chester disappears!
Now it's up to Harold to solve the mystery and discover what's happened to his best friend and poor Louise. Are any of Howliday Inn's guests responsible for the foul play?
Maybe Dr. Greenbriar, the staff veterinarian is up to no good! What about the shaggy inn-keeper, Harrison? Or Jill, the assistant inn-keeper? She seems super-sweet, smart and sensitive but you never know ... maybe it's a conspiracy between the three of them!
If you're brave enough, please join Harold in his quest to crack the case, find his friends and solve the mystery of Howliday Inn!
FYI - the first photo is a pic of the copy that's part of Alicia's library. She's had it since we were in grade school! She's moved several times to several states, but she still has this series. That says volumes. When her son was little he was read the Bunnicula series out of the same books we read them from.
To this day, we all still love reading through this series every now and then, and we still have a bang with it! It contains no adult content and is a series I HIGHLY recommend for readers of all ages! It will make a great gift to yourself and to other folks who love awesome stories for all ages, too!
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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