Treasure, Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends cowboy action with a touch of steampunk technology and magic to create a tale that might appeal to both fantasy and western fans. Clark grew up in the brothel where his mother works, sneaking the occasional valuable from her clients’ clothes while they’re distracted. However, when the flask of absinthe he steals from … Continue reading Treasure, Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth


A poetry community to which I belong selected one of my haiku for October Poem of the Month. Which obviously brought me joy, but also highlighted how subjective the experience of poetry can be. A little cuckoo Echoes from beneath my feet A cave in winter The haiku is part of an ongoing series shaped … Continue reading Cucku

Ordinary Problems of a College Vampire by Matthew S. Cox

With a title that is both descriptive and ironic, this novel blends the issues of attending college (and attending college as a vampire) with the decidedly not ordinary issues of being blamed for one’s maker’s actions and sharing a house with two ill-disciplined sources of magic. This novel is the seventh in the Vampire Innocent … Continue reading Ordinary Problems of a College Vampire by Matthew S. Cox

Curse of the Amber by Kathryn Troy

Troy balances universal human qualities with unsettling magics, to create a novel that will appeal to fans of both supernatural horror and paranormal romance. When Asenath Hayes uncovers not just a mummified man in the peat bogs of Anglesey but the best preserved one in recorded history, she hopes it will provide the sort of … Continue reading Curse of the Amber by Kathryn Troy

Wild, Dark Times by Austin Case

Case filters Abrahamic dualism through the lens of post-modern subjectivity to create a religious thriller that both relies on artists rather than academics and treats the mystery at the heart of things as genuinely magical rather than merely political. Elizabeth Megalos works as a bank teller in St. Louis, another art-school graduate who gave in, … Continue reading Wild, Dark Times by Austin Case

Our Glass

Unshockingly for an author of creepy tales who is Gothic in heart if not fashion, I make more than occasional visits to cemeteries. Over the last couple of months, one of the houses between my most frequent ossuarial destination and the river path into the centre of town has received a sprucing up, including a … Continue reading Our Glass

How Not to Summon Demons by Matthew S. Cox

Relying on strong characterisation rather than flashy effects, Cox skilfully extends his exploration of neophyte vampirism beyond the immediate challenges of metaphysical limitations while retaining the immediately accessible echoes of becoming an adult. This novel is the sixth in the Vampire Innocent series. Possible spoilers ahead. While being a vampire makes going to college a … Continue reading How Not to Summon Demons by Matthew S. Cox