A paranormal romance novel by Martine Leavitt. The protagonist, Keturah, takes a page out of Arabian Nights to delay Death, so she can warn her village of an upcoming plague.
Impressed with her storytelling, Death agrees and even promises to not take her if she manages to find a love like the one in the story she told. Thus begins her task of preparing a medieval village for plague and finding true love with the help of her friends and a witch.
This work provides examples of:
- And Now You Must Marry Me: After being impressed by her storytelling, Death decides this is Keturah's fate. She has her work cut out to prevent it.
- Babies Ever After: Played straight for some of the Beta Couples, but for Keturah "dowry is the children she will never have".
- Bullying a Dragon: When the townsfolk suspect Keturah of making deals with Death, they decide to follow the girl they think can kill them by asking.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A villager named Naomi is only mentioned at the very start and very end of the book.
- Compelling Voice: Keturah is known to be a very accomplished storyteller, to the extent that even Death is charmed by her tales.
- Death by Despair: Choirmaster tries to do this. He briefly gets over it by the end in marrying Beatrice, Keturah's friend, but in the epilogue he eventually does die of a broken heart after she dies.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Keturah is in love with the personification of Death.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Choirmaster, Tailor, and Cook are called their jobs most of the time.
- False Soulmate: John isn't Keturah's destined love, and the magical eye seems to weep because he loves her while she loves him as a friend, being in romantic love with Death.
- Henpecked Husband: A lighthearted example. Gretta affectionately nags the local Tailor, despite being an older widower with kids. They eventually get married.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Death offers Keturah her life at the end, but she refuses.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Keturah searches the entire book for lemons to win a pie contest, only to find they're the source of the plague.
- Rags to Royalty: Averted. John Temsland, son of the local lord, arranges for the king to make Keturah nobility so John can marry her; however, she turns the offer down.
- Scheherezade Gambit: Keturah tells Death stories so he'll keep er alive past his date.
- The So-Called Coward: Death, interestingly. Keturah calls him a coward for hiding in the darkness and cold. Death calmly explains that he openly walks about everywhere and people can see him if they wished to.
- Spoiler Title: Despite the book jacket's attempt to play up the mystery and Keturah having several false leads, the title is a pretty big clue of whom she'll end up with.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Beatrice dresses as a man to save the Choirmaster's performance. He ended up knowing all along.
- Weddings for Everyone: Happens at the end. Interestingly, not all of them are happily ever after.