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The Ghost Quartet

Edited by Marvin Kaye

      The Ghost Quartet, edited by Marvin Kaye, is a collection of four novellas, each one a super ghost story written by one of four of the world's leading horror and fantasy writers. Brian Lumley leads off with "The Place of Waiting." Set in Dartmoor, the scene brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskerville's to mind immediately. But this talk isn't about ghostly hounds, but human ghosts, ghosts that haunt artist Paul Standard. There are two, each with a different agenda. What do they want with him? Will he survive the encounter?

The second story, "Hamlet's Father" is a different perspective on Shakespeare's play. All the characters are there, but their motives for doing their crimes is totally different and unexpected. This is not the original ghost story we're all familiar with!

Next in line is Marvin's Kaye's "The Haunted Single Malt." Kaye  provides information on the distillation of whiskey, about the blended and the single malt. He adds information on the difference between the two and the merits of each. Then he tells a chilling tale of a bottle of single malt that was haunted.

Last, but by no means least, is Tanith Lee's "Strindberg's Ghost Sonata." This tale is set in Russia but it is the Russia of a parallel universe. It is the story of a young university student and a beautiful ghost. The occupants of the tenement she inhabits call her the swan. She died there and cannot leave.

These are well-written, absorbing stories that have believable characters, wonderful settings and fascinating plots. Even the ghosts are totally human. The settings are based on actual places, so they seem familiar.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Ghost Quartet.  These four stories are good lessons to young authors on how to make an old topic fresh and exciting. Read The Ghost Quartet. You'll enjoy it."

The Book

Tor Books
September 2, 2008
0765312514 / 978-0765312518
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NOTE: Contains Violence

The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2008
© 2008