ghostly recommendations request

minnow at minnow at
Mon Apr 11 07:17:35 EDT 2005

>On Mon, Apr 11, 2005 at 10:40:30AM +0100, Rowland, Jennifer A B wrote:
>>Jo Walton recommended a book recently (I haven't read it); it seems to be
>>in print, but might not be the easiest to find. "Mary Stewart's Nine
>>Coaches Waiting

and Roger replied:

>It is very good indeed, but not a "horror" book at all - no
>supernatural goings-on.

I'd rather agree.  Though it has some of the horror tropes (lone girl
against all sorts of skullduggery, castle, sinister owner), it lacks the
sense of Things Unknown To Mortal Ken that I feel ought to be part of
horror: it's too mundane, and the heroine too matter-of-fact, and the
threats too ordinary (shooting, poison) for it to be spine-chill-scary.  Of
Stewart's I would have said that *Touch Not The Cat* or *Wildfire At
Midnight* or *The Gabriel Hounds* were the creepiest, and might fit the
requirement better, with TNTC the nearest to supernatural, WFAM as the most
scary, and TGH as having the most gothic trappings.

The brief was "a scary book for a long flight", not actually "horror",
wasn't it?  Ghosts as a plus, vampires a no-no?  Stewart doesn't do actual
ghosts at all, that I can think of: she's more "thriller" than "horror".


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