cover image The Ghosts of Kerfol

The Ghosts of Kerfol

Deborah Noyes, . . Candlewick, $16.99 (163pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-3000-3

In five wonderfully chilling short stories, Noyes (Red Butterfly ; Gothic! ) pays homage to Edith Wharton’s ghost story “Kerfol,” about the wealthy Anne de Barrigan—terrorized by a husband who murders her dogs and then is himself murdered by their ghosts. The first entry retells the story from the point of view of the chambermaid Perrette; the following stories march forward chronologically from the original’s 17th-century setting but remain at the Kerfol chateau. In suspenseful prose that evolves from Perrette’s antique speech (“I kept close by [Milady], especially when the moon swelled and paw prints dotted the mud round the moat come morning”) to a contemporary perspective, Noyes follows four more unsuspecting and vulnerable victims as they enter Kerfol, now filthy with neglect, where their thoughts are overtaken by the voices and visions of those long dead. Ghost dogs appear from nowhere; the evil, twisted Yves de Cornault inspires terror from the grave; and the still beautiful spirit of Anne haunts the estate. Readers will be eager to know how next this house and its ghosts wreak havoc—and even death—on those unlucky enough to darken its doorstep. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)