Publisher: (this edition) Fantasy and Horror Classics Genre: Gothic Horror; Ghost; Fantasy M R James’ ghost stories have a foot firmly placed in the dark romantic gothic story telling traditions from the 18th century (which later saw a revival in the Victorian age with the likes of his contemporaries, Bram Stoker and Dickens, and with... Continue Reading →

Publisher: Serpent's Tail (October 2018) Genre: Gothic Fiction After reading an unnerving manuscript, Helen Franklin becomes convinced that Melmoth the Witness now follows her path: a woman in black, both beguiling and fearsome, condemned to walk on bloodied feet, bearing witness to sin. This is one suspenseful gothic mystery that combines vignettes of classic gothic-terror... Continue Reading →

To celebrate the wonder of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein this 'Frankenstein Day', here's an extract from my novel, The Procurement of Souls. Have you concocted fiendish machines in your own fiction or have a favourite monster in literature? I'd love to hear from you: leave a comment below!

The Little Stranger

Genre: Gothic; Mystery; Horror; Supernatural Publisher: Virago When Dr Faraday attends the Ayres’ Hundreds Hall estate, he quickly becomes a family friend and privy to their troubles: Roderick’s lingering post-war trauma; Mrs Ayre’s grief for her late daughter; their collective struggles to maintain the increasingly dilapidated estate. Waters’ haunting narrative has shades of Shirley Jackson... Continue Reading →

The Masque of the Red Death

I couldn't resist recommending another of Poe's gothic short-story masterpieces: Genre: Gothic Horror Publisher: Various – Public Domain When the Red Death follows Prince Prospero and his revellers to their masquerade ball, no one is spared. Poe’s ruthless allegorical tale of human mortality is saturated with gothic tradition: from the castellated abbey setting; to the visceral... Continue Reading →

The Cask of Amontillado

Genre: Gothic Horror Publisher: Various – Public Domain Fortunato’s latest insult will be his last when Montresor leads him in a vengeful plot to his live-entombment. The narrative is unashamedly macabre; the description vivid and sinister. The king of the 19th century American short story sucks all glimmer of hope from this brutal tale until... Continue Reading →

The Stress of Her Regard

Genre: Alternate History; Gothic Horror Publisher: Corvus Books When Michael Crawford inadvertently attracts a vampiric Nephilim for a life-mate, it gruesomely murders his bride in their wedding-bed. Crawford fleas, befriending Keats and other Romantics, Shelley and Byron, whose own viciously jealous Nephilim are at once the source of their creativity and of their isolation. Gory... Continue Reading →

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Genre: Mystery; Gothic Horror Publisher: Penguin (Modern Classics) A family poisoned by arsenic. Two surviving sisters made pariahs of their community. The tension spirals; the atmosphere grows thick with a leaden dread. This a mystery heavily laced with gothic horror: in the Blackwood’s sprawling, ramshackle grounds; in Merricat’s superstitious rituals; in the insidious, underlying violence... Continue Reading →

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