Book: Tanya Huff’s ‘Summon The Keeper’ – “There were tiny purple three-toed foot-prints on the bedside table”

I don’t remember why I sought out ‘Summon the Keeper’ , I suspect that I was wandering around a certain internet shopping site and bouncing from book to book trying to find one that sounded like light hearted fun but not too stupid.

Due to stock issues – despite the book only being released in 1998, I ended up getting a second hand copy and the condition wasn’t as described. Bluntly the book smelt really bad, so I aired it for six months before trying to read it.

summon the keeper

(Book cover)

I’ve stayed in a couple of bad hotels in my life, but never one with a portal to Hell in the basement. However Claire is a Keeper – a member of a group tasked with keeping the universe in one piece despite the best efforts of evil, and is used to difficult situations. She also has a large cat called Austin who is very opinionated and, as he can talk, likes to share these opinions, he can also answer the phone. He could be less reminiscent of Salem from ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Claire finds herself accidentally in charge of the hotel – and the portal to Hell, where most of the guests aren’t entirely normal. Fortunately she also found herself in charge of Dean the hunky young handyman. She also has Jacques who is a horny ghost… which is something that I haven’t previously encountered even in urban fantasy!

tech support cat phone

(Photo from

‘Summon the Keeper’ is light hearted and silly, but with characters that you care about. It has enough quirky events to be interesting but doesn’t aspire to be action packed. It is a surprisingly sedate book overall, there is no gore, no death, mostly unacted upon sexual tension and very mild peril.

There are two sequels, but I felt this was a rather nice standalone book and I don’t want to run the risk of spoiling it – despite the lure of having more of Austin’s smart-mouth cat grumbles.

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