Thursday 9 November 2023

All Hallows Reads - Ghosts From the Library

My last All Hallows Reads (I did plan to read and audiobook a lot more, but got completely side-tracked. The two titles that jump out in my mind at time of writing this is Tag, You’re Dead by Kathryn Foxfield and A Taste of Darkness [Edited by Amy McCaw and Maria Kuzniar]). But not meant to be. Instead, we are wrapping up the spooky with Ghosts From the Library.

Title: Ghosts From The Library
Publisher: Collins Crime Club
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
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This anthology is a collection of either unpublished or previously uncollected supernatural short stories written by authors from the Golden Age of Crime. There’s not much more I can say about the collection but the authors involved range from Josephine Tey, Daphne du Maurier, Christianna Brand, M.R James, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Arthur Conan Doyle to name but a few.

Now, like most collections of short stories, some stories will work for you and others won’t. There’s nothing wrong with the stories. It’s just that some stories will strike a chord with you and others won’t. Not biggie.

So, let me briefly touch on two stories in this collection that kept me listening to the audiobook way past my bedtime:

TERROR by Daphne du Maurier is barely 30 minutes long (it might be one of the shortest stories in this collection) while THE WITCH by Christianna Brand is probably the longest (coming in just under two hours) but both are probably my favourite stories. TERROR reminds us of the fear of being a child and waking up in the middle of the night and your young imagination gets the better of you (and that last line is a “WTF” moment) whereas THE WITCH is a slow burn where a newly wed is worried her new husband and his former lover, a witch, is plotting to kill her.

Both these stories are very different, but both gripped me.

Like I said earlier, this collection is a good mix of supernatural short stories by authors of the Golden Age of Crime, but not every story will set your world on fire.

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