Horror · Short Stories · Suspense

The Strange Casebook (Essex Witch Museum Mystery) by Syd Moore

A quick, enjoyable read, these six short stories are the perfect read for fans of the horror genre. These fascinating, mysterious and brief stories grow in intensity and it’s very easy to connect with them, no matter how strange they get. They’re all written very nicely, carefully selected from the world of Essex Witch Museum Mystery series. Even though I haven’t read the series before, I highly enjoyed the tales and their twists.

The style of writing is clear and it changes according to the story and its protagonist. Syd Moore was able to bring out the feeling of horror and suspense from the pages of this little book in a way that will keep you glued to its pages.
Let’s take a look at each short-story individually.

Death Becomes Her‘ – Stacey Winters, a police officer, is more than she seems and knows death a bit more personally than just in the line of work. Trying to escape a traumatizing childhood, she slowly begins to understand that there is no escape from death. For me, it was a soft way to start, but no less engaging

Snowy’ – Norah is a widow who lives with her numerous cats, but they’re not all that they seem. This story goes into the world of reincarnation. While I enjoyed it, I can’t say it marked me.

Madness in A Coruña‘ is my favourite story. A young, recently-divorced, semiotics academic man is visiting his friend, Xose, in the city of Coruña, Spain. While waiting for his friends, he sees more than he should and witnesses a deadly incident on the beach. His encounter with a strange, vindictive creature drives the meaning of this tales’ title. We find out from the beginning that the main character isn’t a very nice guy. Even so, I ended up feeling both satisfied and sorry for him in the end.

She Saw Three Ships’ – Ethel-Rose Strange arrives in Cornwall, travelling ahead of her family to prepare the cottage they’re to stay for their arrival. Despite the warnings she receives, Ethel-Rose decides to spend the night in Lilia Cottage. It’s the Feast of All Angel, a night that reveals more than Ethel is ready for in the most gruesome kind of way. While I enjoyed this tale, I think it would have had more depth if I’d known the historical period it took place. The language the author uses makes it impossible to place it.

Jocelyn’s Story‘ – Rita watches has her ex-husband successfully seduces another woman. She tells us the story in her own words, but there’s more to the story than meets the eye. What you should know in advance: Rita is a big fan of Betty Grable, the American actress and pin-up model, and her legs… It’s a twisted tale with a great narrator. Meet my second favourite.

House of Savage Lane’ – Innocent Cordelia meets a dangerous man and gets more than she bargains for. A gruesome and ghoulish way to end this amazing short-story collection.

In all, they are the perfect length so we don’t grow bored, but at the same time, they manage to capture the horror and mystery in a way that makes these stories memorable. It helps that they’re all creepy and scary in their own way. While I haven’t read any of Moore’s books, but reading this little book, made me want to discover more about them.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Accent Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.

The Strange Casebook
(Essex Witch Museum Mystery)
by Syd Moore

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