A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar


A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors, Michael Farquhar, 2001 My favorite quote: “The rigid, repressed [Queen] Victoria was never a particularly cozy mum, candidly acknowledging early on that she derived ‘no especial pleasure or compensation’ from her large brood ofContinue reading “A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar”

Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham


Pearls Before Swine (#12 in the Albert Campion series), Margery Allingham, 1945 (originally published as Coroner’s Pidgin) My favorite quote: “Nobody, nobody ever killed anyone simply in order to provide an awkward corpse in someone else’s house.” Notable characters: Albert Campion, the detective Most memorable scene: Campion in the bath while his servant, Lugg, andContinue reading “Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham”

Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul


Comes the Blind Fury, John Saul, 1980 My favorite quote: “All she knew was her anger. Her anger and her hatred … ” Notable characters: Michelle Pendleton, the new girl; Amanda, the blind dead girl Most memorable scene: I’m not gonna lie … Amanda, sailing off the cliff …  Greatest strengths: I have to say,Continue reading “Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul”

The Long Walk by Stephen King


The Long Walk, Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman), 1979 My favorite quote: “They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn’t like to look at them. They were the walking dead.” Notable characters: Ray Garraty, the main Walker; McVries, a Walker who befriends Garraty; Stebbins, a Walker with a secret; theContinue reading “The Long Walk by Stephen King”

Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy


Midnight Cowboy, James Leo Herlihy, 1965 My favorite quote: “Her voice went soft and sweet: it seemed to be luring some small child into a gas chamber with promises of candy.” Notable characters: Joe Buck, the cowboy; Ratso Rizzo, the con-man Most memorable scene: The bus ride to Miami, of course … Greatest strengths: Clear,Continue reading “Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy”

Behind the Book: The Forgotten, by Tamara Thorne


The Forgotten: Cozy Horror I haven’t revisited my novel, The Forgotten, since the early 2000s, when I first wrote it. Now, I’m listening to it chapter by chapter, as the audio producer turns it in, and it’s quite an eye-opener. While there is, as always, plenty sex and violence — along with ribald problems likeContinue reading “Behind the Book: The Forgotten, by Tamara Thorne”

Masking the Monster


Do you prefer in-your-face horror or suggestive horror? Which frightens you most when you’re reading a ghost story or watching a scary movie? In Poltergeist, while we do see a number of masks worn by the real supernatural entity, for most of us, the clown doll that we see in place of the monster itselfContinue reading “Masking the Monster”