June 12 - The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories - Marjorie Bowen
How can we let this major writer of spooky fiction disappear?
(Click Book to purchase from Amazon.com)
The answer is we can't & this representative collection of her best tales is a great step in getting Majorie Bowen the recognition she deserves.
Her dialogue is simple & easy to follow, making it the perfect bedtime read. Some of the tales are deceptive, almost innocent, made up of simple and often gothic elements of horror.
These are classic ghost stories, the way they are meant to be.
Women play key roles in most of the stories & as you read, you really feel that Bowen is one of the pioneers in writing stories in which women are well-represented rather than minor add-ons.
Her descriptions are powerful, her eye for detail incredible. She has a flair for the macabre but never overdoes it & as you would imagine, there are no floods of blood amongst these pages.
Highlights for me include the classic `Crown Derby Plate' - which sees a spooky story set on the marshes, with echoes of A Woman in Black - maybe this story was an inspiration for this the book. `The Bishop of Hell' was not my favourite story but is still powerful.
`The Avenging of Ann Leete' is one of the best of this fine collection, with the reader keep on the edge until the dramatic conclusion. It tells the tale of a mysterious but haunting painting & becomes a tragic tale of lost love....
With these tales, nothing is certain until the last page & even then, sometimes it is worth going back through these outstanding tales.
I have great admiration for the many female ghost story writers of this era & thoroughly recommend this superb volume to those who appreciate well-written & crafted tales of gentile horror.