Sunless Solstice Ed. By Lucy Evans and Tanya Kirk

3.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

As the nights draw in after the clocks go back, stories with darker moments are what some people seek out. And the editors of this book have sought out what they think that people want to read in the depths of midwinter. The twelve selected stories are drawn from some well-known authors, like Daphne du Maurier and Muriel Spark, to others that I have never heard of.

It wouldn’t be a collection of ghost stories without a moor and the first is The Ghost at the Cross Roads and a card game with a dark stranger. There is a tense story about a séance that goes wrong and another about a man who has a dread of cats. It is not just the winter that is chilling in some of these stories…

As with any collection, there were some I liked and others that I didn’t. It leans heavily on the gothic melodrama as I was kind of expecting, but there was the odd one or two in here that I did find unsettling. Not all were as scary as I thought that they’d be, but it is a nice wintery collection of stories. A ghost story told around an open fire in a pub is going to come across very differently when told walking down a misty holloway. If you like your Christmas stories less twee, then this is a good place to start.

Three Favourite Stories
On The Northern Ice
Ganthony’s Wife
A Fall of Snow

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  1. N@ncy

    Ghost stories never really appealed to me….world of creaking floorboards, creepy servants … and gas lamps that caused hallucinations. The only writer that makes me shiver is Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately I have to get through 4 books of GS on my TBR. (P. Heyse, C. Dickens, E. Wharton and S. Lefanu)
    This book does get high marks for the cover!!

    • Paul

      I am not a huge fan either, but I have a growing interest in folklore where this intersects to an extent.

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