________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 13 . . . . November 27, 2015


nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre.

Nancy Kilpatrick & Caro Soles, eds.
Calgary, AB: Edge/Hades, 2015.
259 pp., trade pbk. & e-Book, $15.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77053-085-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77053-086-7 (e-Book).

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4



IT WAS AN OLD HOUSE, a relic of the Gilded Age, abandoned almost forty years ago after a sixth powerful hurricane had plowed right through the area, pulling off huge sections of the old roof, shattering windows, demolishing most of the central chimneys, spilling bricks in all directions, and stripping the east side of the structure of shingles and 1880s gingerbread. Since it was ravaged, trees and lower-growing plants had made inroads on their reclamation of what remained of the place, repossessing it for the island; and odor of decomposing wood, plants, mortar, and excrement hung over it in an all-but-visible haze.

For the last half hour of their drive to the enormous house, Jeff Milton and Peregrine Rudolph had been discussing
Moby Dick, and the historical incident on which it was based. "Melville didn't need to have an actual event to tell the story," Milton had declared for the third time as they rounded a particularly steep curve in the poorly graded road.

"But he knew about it. People talked about it," Rudolph had insisted, clinging to the steering wheel." He used that to add credibility to his work." (From "
The Gold Bug Conundrum".)

nEvermore! is described as a homage to Edgar Allen Poe, 22 original stories, many by top authors, all written in the style of Poe, or as riffs on his classic tales. The collection opens with an introduction and an essay: "A Rather Scholarly View of Edgar Allan Poe, Genre Crosser." Each story opens with a paragraph of comments by its author. At the back of the book, there is a nine page section titled "Contributor's Bios".

      The first story is "The Gold Bug Conundrum," a version of the possibly haunted house tale.

      This is followed by "Street of the Dead House" which might provide the reader with insight into Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" from the killer's point of view.

      Next is "Naomi" which was inspired by "The Tell-Tale Heart" and lays vengeance on some bullies.

      "Finding Ulalume" leads the reader on a search and rescue mission in a haunted forest.

      Next in line is "Obsession With The Bloodstained Door" which sends a man back to a place where he was afraid as a child.

      "The Lighthouse" is a story set in Newfoundland, in a lighthouse, where the keeper stumbles across a stranger.

      This is followed by "The Masques of Amanda Llado" and a search for a valuable recording in a deep, dark locker.

      "Atargatis" is a story about a search for a ruin that might be connected with an ancient Syrian sea goddess.

      The next story, "The Ravens of Consequence", takes an unusual walk in the woods with some unpleasant memories.

      A fantasy tale, "Annabel Lee", leads the reader into a mysterious land to meet the child of an ancient family.

      "Dinner with Mamalou" takes three busy executives and escorts them to an interesting dinner in the middle of the bayou.

      Next we have "The Deave Lane", a story of the finding of a body on Dartmoor where nightmares may come true.

      "133" is the tale of how one warden treats the serial killers in his care.

      The story, "Afterlife", begins with an expert in finding old things for clients searching in a bookstore.

      In "The Drowning City", the reader follows a tourist who becomes lost in Venice and discovers an unusual performance in an old church.

      "The Orange Cat" is a courtroom drama and a murder defense attempt based on a peculiar feline.

      In the tale, "The Inheritance", a reluctant beneficiary of an old house receives aid from an unusual source.

      A lengthy war in a strange land, magic, and an unfortunate prisoner under torture are described in the story, "Sympathetic Impulse".

      In "Asylum", a young lady goes on a search for a very unusual sanitarium for the insane – to study its methods, she says.

      "The Return of Bernice" is a tale of the burial of a young woman and what befalls her intended.

      In the story, "The Eye of Heaven", a disturbed young woman with a large knife searches for peace.

      "The Opium Eater" is a complex tale about what great misfortune may happen due to a seemingly minor incident.

      nEvermore! is not a collection for the faint-hearted, but it is one for the fans of Edgar Allen Poe, or for his style at least, of macabre tales, murder, and mystery. Most of the tales are linked to, or inspired by, one of Poe's stories and are quite varied. Recommended for those who enjoy the gothic fiction genre.


Ronald Hore, involved with writers' groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy and science fiction in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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