Howliday Inn is the sequel to Bunnicula by James Howe and, like the rest of the major books in the series* is a perfect mix of humour and horror. (Much funnier than it is scary, but scarier than that Goosebumps junk.) The main characters are Harold X and Chester, a dog and a cat who live with the Monroe family. the Monroes go on vacation leaving Harold and Chester at the Chateau Bow-Wow--"A Special Boarding House for Special Cats and Dogs"--for a week. (I should mention that Bunnicula is staying with a neighbor and is not a major character in this book.)

At Howliday Inn--as Chester soon nicknames--it they meet the other inmates--er, guests:

  • Max, an athletic bull-dog.
  • Max's jealous French girlfriend, Louis.
  • Georgette, friend of Max, and cause of all Louis's jealousy.
  • Lyle, the only cat at Howliday Inn other than Chester, and even more out-of-touch with reality. He's always a spy, or a fighter jet, or something even wackier.
  • Taxi, a dog who won't notice you until you say hello several times, and then will forget he's talking to you after a couple seconds. He follows Max everywhere, much to Max's annoyance.
  • Howard and Heather, wire-haired dachshunds who howl all night and whom Chester is convinced are half werewolf.

Shortly into the week Max and Louis have an argument, and immediately afterwards Lyle threatens Louis after he pounces on her back ("Ace-One to Four-Seven. Come in, four-Seven. Have bombed the target area. Meeting resistance. rover. Over and out."). That night, Louis disappears.

It turns out the gate had been left open and the people who work there, Jill and Harrison, presume she escaped. Chester, of course, is certain she'd met with foul play. He theorizes that Georgette killed Louis so she could be with Max. Then Harold recalls when he, Max, and Taxi had been discussing women (Louis in particular) Taxi had brought up the subject of a movie he'd seen recently where a guy put poison in his wife's soup. (Split pea.)

And, of course, Lyle did threaten Louis. Everyone is suspect in Chester's eyes.

But then, if you've read Bunnicula, you know Chester tends to have, shall we say, a bit of an overactive imagination.

Howliday Inn is my favourite in the series.

ISBN0-380-64543-2.

* By 'major' I mean the chapter books. Non-major books include The Fright Before Christmas and perhaps others.
The major books in the series are Bunnicula, Howliday Inn, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Nighty-Nightmare, and Return to Howliday Inn. I don't know about Bunnicula Strikes Again!

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