The Turn of the Screw

Title: The Turn of the Screw Writer: Henry James Publishing House: Penguin Popular Classics Date of Publication: 1994  (first published October 1898) Rating: 5 stars “I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his perhaps being innocent. It…

Bellman & Black

Title: Bellman & Black Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Atria Date of Publication: November 5th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the few minutes since the boys had left the place, rooks had come. They circled above the oak, fifteen or twenty of them. More were arriving from all directions. They stretched across the sky, loose skeins of dark marks, converging…

Things In Jars

Title: Things in Jars Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Below her, streets and lanes, factories and workhouses, parks and prisons, ground houses and tenements, roofs, chimneys and tree tops. And the winding, sometimes shining, Thames- the sky’s own dirty mirror. The raven leaves the river behind and charts a…

The Haunted Dolls’ House

Title: The Haunted Dolls’ House Writer: M.R.James Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: 2008 (first published March 1923) Rating: 5 stars My first ‘’meeting’’ with M.R.James was through the marvelous Classic Ghost Stories series narrated by the living legend that answers to the name Robert Powell. The strange thing is that for some unknown reason I hadn’t actually read…

Dracul

Title: Dracul Writer: Dacre Stoker, J.D. Barker Publishing House: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’A crescent moon dangling in the sky offered the thinnest of illuminations, bathing the world in nothing but faint outlines, silhouettes, and shadows. The tower of Artane Castle was barely visible in the distance, lost behind rolling hills and…

Wakenhyrst

Title: Wakenhyrst Writer: Michelle Paver Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: April 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I…

Fear and His Servant

Title: Fear and His Servant   (original title: Strah i njegov sluga ) Writer: Mirjana Novaković Publishing House: Peter Owen Publishers (originally published by Beograd:ReVision Publishing) Date of Publication:  April 1st 2018 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Like everyone else, I want gifts that come from the heart, the gift without a price. I’ve wondered this earth for such a long…

The Dollmaker

Title: The Dollmaker Writer: Nina Allan Publishing House: Quercus Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In 21 cases there was death but no burial; in 10, funerals but no burials; in 8, funerals but no death.’’ Dolls never found a top spot in my favourite toys list. My mum didn’t like them at all but my…

The Conviction of Cora Burns

Title: The Conviction of Cora Burns Writer: Carolyn Kirby Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Cora Burns. Born to crime.’’ A young woman, named Cora Burns, hears the gates of Birmingham Gaol closing behind her. She is free from her incarceration but not from her past. A horrible dead has been haunting her…

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

Title: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories Writer: Tim Burton Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: October 4th 2018 (first published 1997) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The final gasp of his short life Was sickly with despair. Whoever thought that you could die From breathing outdoor air?’’ For most lovers of the 7th Art, Tim Burton…

The Familiars

Title: The Familiars Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: MIRA Date of Publication: February 19th 2019 (first published February 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Justice means fairness. Luck of prejudice.’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe. The fascinating legends found…

Once Upon A River

  Title: Once Upon A River Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published December 4th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Around Radcot they grow the watercress, harvest it, crate it up and send it to the towns in barges, but they don’t eat it. It’s bitter, they complain, so bitter it…

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Writer: Various edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: September 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’ If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and…

Chinese Ghost Stories

Title: Chinese Ghost Stories: Curious Tales of the Supernatural Writer: Lafcadio Hearn Publishing House: Tuttle Publishing Date of Publication:  September 10th 2011 (first published 1887) Rating:  4 stars “You will ask me who she was-beautiful Xue Tao…Gor thousands of years and even longer, the trees have been whispering over her stony bed. And the syllables of her name reach…

Odette

Title: Odette Writer: Jessica Duchen Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication: 29th November 2018 Ratings: 5 stars ‘’Now I talk but you don’t believe me.’’ My mother and I have a Christmas tradition that we try to follow religiously every year.  Both being avid lovers of ballet, we have associated Christmas with this beautiful form of Art. Usually,…

Unbury Carol

Title: Unbury Carol Writer: Josh Malerman Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: February 5th 2019 (first published April 10th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’To someone outside the coma [….] I appear…dead. Hardly a heartbeat. Far from fogging a mirror. And a pulse as slow as a slug. There’s no light in there, John. I can hear the world…

House of Glass

Title: House of Glass Writer: Susan Fletcher Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This was the time of day my mother had warned me against, years before. The half-light, she explained, can change how things appear so that distances may seem less. Our eyes might detect movement when in fact there is none; a…

Melmoth

Title: Melmoth Writer: Sarah Perry Publishing House: Serpent’s Tail Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust; look…

The Corset

Title: The Corset Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing House: Raven Books Date of Publication: September 20th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps I do have the liberty to come and go as I please. But I do not attend for my own amusement. I came for you. To offer some comfort.’’ Jesus Christ, this book…Where do I begin? After the outstanding The…

The Impossible Girl

Title:The Impossible Girl Writer: Lydia Kang Publishing House: Lake Union Publishing Date of Publication: September 18th 2018 Rating: 4 stars “The impossible girl with two hearts.” One of the most controversial, grim and fascinating aspects of the Victorian era was the exhumation and selling of corpses for medical purposes. The advancing need for therapies over a multitude of…