Dead of Winter

Black Spot. Jan. 2021. 270p. ed. by Lindy Ryan. ISBN 9781645480594. pap. $16.95. HORROR
Winter has always been a time for creepy stories. Before electricity, winter meant unyielding darkness, bitter cold, questions of survival, and monsters in the shadows. This collection harkens back to the time when the season and terror were synonymous. “A Face Inside the Christmas Ball” by Daniel Buell reimages the final days of a young boy’s belief in the magic of Santa as a terrifying nightmare with mortal consequences. “The Tinker’s Son” by Cassondra Windwalker, a native Alaskan who knows about long, dark nights firsthand, is a witch story framed as a menacing fairy tale featuring an engaging narration that begs the reader to enter its world from the first lines. In addition to these standouts, the volume includes six more stories that range from the terrifying to the atmospheric. This collection by emerging voices is worth curling up by the fire with—if you keep the lights on.
VERDICT While COVID-related publishing shifts delayed this collection by a few months, readers will enjoy being immersed in these winter-themed stories any time of year. Pair it with the excellent collections of Victorian winter solstice and Christmas ghost stories published by Biblioasis.
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