The writer is Kentucky novelist J. W. Coffey, and her book is called A Wager of Blood. Here's the skinny on it.
Matthew Harper and his wife Hannah own and operate a small in New Hampshire, along a route that is about to become a very busy road - and the perfect stop-over on the way through New Hampshire to points north. Lodging is lush but affordable, and the food is to die for.
One night in 1760, foolishly enters into what he thinks is just a wee game of chance between friends with Newell Thornton. Before the night is over, and with the aid of loaded dice, Thornton owns the Inn, and the Harpers along with two others are dead.
Over three hundred years later, the Thornton Inn is still owned by the descendants of Newell Thornton, and by some strange fluke of cosmic fate, Zach Harper is the manager. It's more of a restaurant than anything else now because over the years, the place has gained the reputation that it's haunted.
Coffey has managed something that I honestly haven't done since probably Ann Rice's Vampire Armand - she's written something I simply could not put down! Twists and turns, brilliant characters you actually care about, fast paced action are all part of the stunning vista that her pen brings to life. The scenes shift seamlessly between the past, the present, the real and the surreal.
I read a lot, and often pass on to my friends recommendations. This is a list topper. If you are a fan of well written horror, you will want a copy of A Wager of Blood for your personal library. And, while they last, there is a nice caveat - Coffey will send a singed book plate to anyone who requests it. Get your book, and snatch up that autograph. When she's famous, you're gonna be able to say you read her way back when... I ordered mine.