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Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Kevin Carolan – Churchyard Whispers

Posted by demonik on April 2, 2009

Kevin Carolan (ed.) – Churchyard Whispers (Hodder & Stoughton, 1999)


Cover picture: detail taken from SC24848 Stoke Poges Church by John Constable (1776-1837)
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK/Bridgeman Art Library.

Tales Of Mystery & Suspense

Introduction

W. E. Aytoun – The Man In The Bell
Guy De Maupassant – The Graveyard Sisterhood
Edgar Allan Poe – The Pit and the Pendulum
Viscount De L’isle – The Torture Of Hope
Herman Melville – The Bell-Tower
Walter de la Mare – All Hallows
O. Henry – The Cop And The Anthem
Sherwood Anderson – The Strength Of God
T.F. Powys – The Hunted Beast

Tales Of Crime & Detection

Jack London – The Master Of Mystery
Melville Davisson Post – The Angel Of The Lord
Catherine Louisa Pirkis – The Sisterhood
H. Jenkins – The Gylston Slander
Robert Louis Stevenson – The Young Man In Holy Orders
J. MacLaren-Ross – The Episcopal Seal
E. C. Bentley – The Genuine Tabard
R. Ellis Roberts – The Narrow Way
H.C. Bailey – The Yellow Slugs
Kevin Carolan – Churchyard Shadows

Blurb:
Most of us must have walked around a country churchyard at some time or other, looking at the carefully laid-out gravestones, and felt a sense of peace and order. But there can also be movements in the shadows which make us uncomfortable. The desolation of many churches and cemeteries makes them an ideal spot to commit atrocious crimes. The vicarage can be filled with bitterness and religious frenzy as much as spiritual calm.

Churchyard Shadows draws together the best stories of crime and mystery that take the church as their backdrop, written by some of the greatest masters of the short story. Tales such as Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum, T.F. Powys’ The Hunted Beast and Walter de la Mare’s All Hallows hold us in unbearable suspense. H.C. Bailey’s The Yellow Slugs sees spiritual cruelty lead to murder. Robert Louis Stevenson examines the corrupting effect of an enormous diamond on a young clergyman. On the other hand, we witness the celebrated Uncle Abner and Jack London’s tribal shaman solve crimes using their religious insights. This is an anthology to entertain and enthrall – but not to be read in a darkened churchyard!

These covers with embossed lettering are sent to try us, but the content looks very strong. Hadn’t heard of Kevin Carolan before, but, from the back cover, he “writes and lectures on a wide variety of subjects, and is the editor of the short-story collection Celtic Mysteries.”

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Deborah Shine – Haunting Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on April 2, 2009

Deborah Shine (ed.) – Haunting Ghost Stories: Illustrations by Reg Gray (Octopus, 1980)


[image]

A spine-chilling collection of stories by the masters of horror and suspense.

Walter De La Mare – The Riddle
Stanley W. Fisher – The Sybarite
Roger F. Dunkley – Echoes In The Sand
Oliver Onions – The Mortal
Michelle Maurious – Fame
H. Brinsmead-Hungerford – Giovanni Paolo’s Land
H. G. Wells – The Red Room
Paul Dorrell – Lonely Boy
Colin Thiele – The Phantom Horses
Michael Joseph – The Yellow Cat
Stanley W. Fisher – A Little House Of Their Own
E. F. Benson – Expiation
John Gordon – Kroger’s Choice
Saki – Laura
Paul Dorrell – Tea And Empathy
M. R. James – The Haunted Doll’s House
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Brown Hand
W. W. Jacobs – The Well
Robert Arthur – The Haunted Trailer
Walter De La Mare – Bad Company
Lucy M. Boston – Many Coloured Glass
Ambrose Bierce – The Stranger
Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart
H. R. Wakefield – The Gorge Of The Churels
E. Nesbit – Man-Size In Marble
Brian Alderson – The Wooing Of Cherry Basnett
Ambrose Bierce – A Tough Tussle
W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw
Glenn Chandler – The Late Departure
H. R. Wakefield – Damp Sheets
Sorche Nic Leodhas – The Battle With The Bogles
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – A Pair Of Hands

Another anthology aimed at a young audience which can be enjoyed by all ages. Clung onto a copy of this for years, eventually got rid of it along with most of the young adult books i’d acquired, regretted it ever since. Found this copy in a cardboard box full of old plugs, a computer mouse and a moth-eaten dayglo pink fright wig (i was tempted but didn’t have the £3 to stump up) at the local flea market on Sunday for 50p! With all the books and mags flying around just now, it will probably be a while until i get around to a rematch, but with the likes of John Gordon, Lucy Boston and Robert Arthur fighting it out with acknowledged classics and welcome, less obvious selections from Wakefield and Benson you can hardly go wrong. Minus point for the unnecessary childish doodles repeated on the inside covers (would have been just the thing to put me off the book as a kid), ‘specially after they’d done so well with the skull photo, but otherwise a dead commendable collection!

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