cover image The Haunting Season: Eight Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights

The Haunting Season: Eight Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights

Bridget Collins et al. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64313-797-1

Harsh winter weather and vague Victoriana bind these eight terrifying new horror shorts showcasing human depravity and grisly murder. Several tales feature cruel men, including Collins’s “A Study in Black and White,” in which a mean-spirited chess enthusiast rents a menacing chess-themed house, and “Monster” by Elizabeth Macneal , which finds aspiring paleontologist Victor Crisp haunted by his choice to sacrifice a child in his careless quest for fame. Heroines Lucinda Lisle of “Thwaite’s Tenant” by Imogen Hermes Gowar and Catherine Blake of “Confinement” by Kiran Millwood Hargrave face life-threatening misogyny: Lucinda’s father demands she return to her abusive rapist husband, and Catherine struggles alone during her haunted postpartum recovery. Sitting at the intersection of murder and romance are Jess Kidd’s “Lily Wilt,” which finds photographer Walter Pemble willing to do anything to resurrect his late subject, Lily Wilt, and Laura Purcell’s “The Chillingham Chair,” in which Evelyn Lennox uncovers the deadly truth about her in-laws while using their haunted wheelchair. Natasha Pulley’s “The Eel Singers” features characters her fans will recognize escaping a memory-eating village, while Andrew Michael Hurley’s twisty “The Hanging of the Greens” takes its characters on a similarly harrowing Christmas trip. Bleak and brutal, these tales will appeal to historical fiction readers and horror lovers alike. (Oct.)