Friday, December 29, 2017

Mistletoe & Mayhem: Mini-Review

Mistletoe & Mayhem is another holiday-themed anthology edited by Richard Dalby.  This collection takes readers on a more grim and ghostly journey than his Crime for Christmas. I thought I had picked up another mystery collection and missed the small print that says "Horrific Tales for the Holiday," so I got an unexpected shiver or two up the spine when I began reading this one. "The Stocking" by Nigel Kneale is a particularly disturbing little story about the furry, green-eyed Minkeys who visit a little boy on Christmas Eve--one that I might have by-passed had I known what was in store (yes, I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to creepy horror). Some of the stories were quite good in a chilling sort of way...and I'd actually rate this collection a bit higher than the previous one. These authors are compelling storytellers even if they are a bit more bloodthirsty than my usual fare. ★★ and 3/4.

Here are a few of my favorites:
"Jerry Bundler" by W. W. Jacobs: A group of men sit up one Christmas attempting to scare one another with ghost stories...until one man tells a tale that seems to be coming true.

"Tarnhelm" by Hugh Walpole: A young boy is sent to Cumberland to spend Christmas with his uncles. He is haunted by dreams and waking visions of a ghastly yellow dog. Or is it just a dream?

"The Crown Derby Plate" by Marjorie Bowen: Martha Pym tells her cousin that she's never seen a ghost, but she would like to. When she hears that a neighbor of her cousin has a fabulous china collection, she decides to drop in for a visit--never suspecting that she just might get her wish.

"Wish You Were Here" by Basil Copper: When a man inherits an old family house and begins to restore it, he begins to receive musty antique postcards from a distant, dead relative which seem to herald an unearthly arrival.

(Actually finished on 12/8/17)

1 comment:

Tarissa said...

I've read Tarnhelm before. The others you mentioned sound interesting enough. :)