Cover Image: The Strange Casebook

The Strange Casebook

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I’m not normally a fan of short stories but these are all linked by the strangeness of them.  They are well written and quite intriguing.  A good book to read when you need to fill a void between more complex books.
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I had such high hopes for this series. It sounded right up my street: a crime mystery with paranormal elements. What more can I ask for? So when I saw this collection of short stories set in this world was on available on NetGalley, I went straight for it. Perfect way to get into the world, I thought. ... well... 


This is a collection of six short stories, each with their own twist in the tale. And while these, I believe will be great little extras for fans of the Essex Witch Museum Mystery series, not sure this was the greatest entrance for me. With each story, I kept going "How? How does this relate to the rest of the series?"

I think most fans of this series will like this collection (though I would recommend fans to buy The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas as this contains all six short stories in this collection and six new short stories), but for me... these stories didn't really leave an impression on me and, because of that, I'm a little more wary to try this series, starting with Strange Magic.
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Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to read this book!  I appreciate the kindness. 
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A quick, enjoyable read, these six short stories are the perfect read for fans of the horror genre. These fascinating, mysterious and brief stories grow in intensity and it’s very easy to connect with them, no matter how strange they get. They’re all written very nicely, carefully selected from the world of Essex Witch Museum Mystery series. Even though I haven’t read the series before, I highly enjoyed the tales and their twists. 

The style of writing is clear and it changes according to the story and its protagonist. Syd Moore was able to bring out the feeling of horror and suspense from the pages of this little book in a way that will keep you glued to its pages.

Let's take a look at each short-story individually. 

'Death Becomes Her' – Stacey Winters, a police officer, is more than she seems and knows death a bit more personally than just in the line of work. Trying to escape a traumatizing childhood, she slowly begins to understand that there is no escape from death. For me, it was a soft way to start, but no less engaging.

‘Snowy’ - Norah is a widow who lives with her numerous cats, but they’re not all that they seem. This story goes into the world of reincarnation. While I enjoyed it, I can’t say it marked me. 
'Madness in A Coruña' is my favourite story. A young, recently-divorced, semiotics academic man is visiting his friend, Xose, in the city of Coruña, Spain. While waiting for his friends, he sees more than he should and witnesses a deadly incident on the beach. His encounter with a strange, vindictive creature drives the meaning of this tales’ title. We find out from the beginning that the main character isn’t a very nice guy. Even so, I ended up feeling both satisfied and sorry for him in the end. 

‘She Saw Three Ships,’ - Ethel-Rose Strange arrives in Cornwall, travelling ahead of her family to prepare the cottage they’re to stay for their arrival. Despite the warnings she receives, Ethel-Rose decides to spend the night in Lilia Cottage. It’s the Feast of All Angel, a night that reveals more than Ethel is ready for in the most gruesome kind of way. While I enjoyed this tale, I think it would have had more depth if I’d known the historical period it took place. The language the author uses makes it impossible to place it. 

'Jocelyn's Story' – Rita watches has her ex-husband successfully seduces another woman.  She tells us the story in her own words, but there’s more to the story than meets the eye. What you should know in advance: Rita is a big fan of Betty Grable, the American actress and pin-up model, and her legs… It’s a twisted tale with a great narrator. Meet my second favourite.

‘House of Savage Lane’ - Innocent Cordelia meets a dangerous man and gets more than she bargains for. A gruesome and ghoulish way to end this amazing short-story collection. 

In all, they are the perfect length so we don’t grow bored, but at the same time, they manage to capture the horror and mystery in a way that makes these stories memorable. It helps that they're all creepy and scary in their own way. While I haven’t read any of Moore’s books, but reading this little book, made me want to discover more about them.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Accent Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This was an average story with sub-par writing.
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I enjoy short stories & collections of them. This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some I really enjoyed (such as the woman who saw death), others I struggled through. A good way to try a new author.  If you are looking for something to read but don't want to commit much time, this is worth a try.
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I have been trying to read more short story collections, and this one was a lot of fun. I love horror, and I love weird, and this collection was both! There are a few really short ones and a few longer ones, so the variety is solid. My favorite story was about a woman who is desperate to become Betty Grable, but I enjoyed all of them. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this book is part of a series, and that the other books are also available.
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This short story book was a great attention grabber!
It manage to creep me out in such a short sitting. This is a great book to read if you want to read some spooky stories during Halloween and or fall season.
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Short, dark and spooky! Very well done. This is based on her Essex Witch Museum series, which I have yet to read, but not knowing the series certainly didn't detract from this. Quick and enjoyable, particularly if you like spooky stories.
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This was an amazing collection of spooky and dark short stories. I love the themes behind each one! These would make a great fall re-read every year. When I was approved for this title, I had no idea that this was part of a series. This book could be a stand alone. You don't have to read the others in the series to understand what is happening in this one.
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I'm not a massive fan of short stories as a rule, but having loved what I've read of The Essex Witch mysteries so far, there was no chance I'd miss this.

This collection of stories were perfect! Long enough for me to grow attached to most of the characters, short enough to not feel like it's dragging on. Each of these stories were unique, yet they each ended on a great note. I totally recommend this collection if you're after creepy but fun short stories.

I can't go into too much detail because I don't want to risk spoiling for anyone, but these stories as a little more depth to the Essex Witch Museum universe. I can't wait to read more of this world.

I give this collection as whole 4 out of 5 stars.
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A fantastic book full of short stories with a creepy undertone. A perfect book to dip into on a dark autumnal evening, but not so scary that you have to leave the lights on! 

Dipping into the world of the Essex Witch Museum via these tales of supernatural occurrences and strange characters, I find myself wanting to find out more and will definitely be looking further into this area! This book is a great taster of a world not quite our own, where folklore comes to life in six short tales. I enjoyed all of the tales, a particular favourite being She Saw Three Ships, a telling of disconcerting events over the course of the Feast of All Angels. 

I loved this book, but found myself wishing it was longer - although it was a perfect taster to make me want to discover more in the future.
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A book of short stories both  unusual and spooky.
The book was engaging and entertaining and i can't wait to read more from this author
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Super spooky for Halloween! A collection of short stories, six short sharp bursts. 
The book was enjoyable & entertaining and I really enjoyed it. 
Highly recommended
Many thanks to Oneworld Publications and Netgalley & Syd Moore.
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These short tales, while a part of the larger Essex Witch Museum series, could apparently be read alone as a sort of mini spook anthology. Given that it is October and I was very much in the mood for a spooky tale, I decided to read them. Perhaps, I thought, they’d pique my interest enough to read the main series.

This, unfortunately, did not happen.

The Strange Casebook is a collection of tales of the unusual and macabre, from a woman who can see death coming to a man who falls victim to a supernatural attack while on holiday. He, in particular, was an irritatingly stupid narrator for a man who was supposed to be a professor. At one point the man is literally being exorcised, or something similar, there’s chanting and he’s tied up and an evil exits his body in some way, shape or form, and walks away thinking he just had a weird fever and ended up in a monastery. As you do.

I don’t know if it’s because I’d just read The Exorcist and thus had a pretty high standard for horror, but...none of these stories were scary. There were moment of promise, such as the morbid obsession with legs leading to an unsuccessful transplant and moments of body horror related to how badly said transplant goes in Jocelyn’s Story, but more often than not the scares fell a bit flat, and often bordered on silly. At one point there were literal ghostly skeletal pirates - think Pirates of the Caribbean set in Cornwall, and at least one of them definitely used the ‘it was all a dream’ ending which is one of those writing devices that drives me bananas. I hate ‘and then it was all a dream’ endings unless they are done very very well - and this one wasn’t.

Some of the stories had elements I really enjoyed, from the inescapability of death in Death Becomes Her to the dangerous vanity of Jocelyn’s Story, but by and large I was glad to have finished it and picked up another story which isn’t the best impression for a book to leave. Perhaps had I noticed it was part of a series before requesting it I might have read the other first and enjoyed it more. As it stands however the writing style and non-scary-scares didn’t endear me to read the others, which is a shame because a series called the Essex With Museum would usually pique my interest. Short story anthologies are hit and miss for me, as we all saw with the disastrous reading of Fearie Tales which to this date is a book I look back on primarily as one that wasted my time. Horror is a format that can work very well in small doses, that gut-sinking feeling as a short story ends somewhere dreadful, and a well-written short story can leave a lasting impression just as well as an epic novel - sometimes more som in fact. This was not one of the more positive lasting impressions for me, but I do appreciate what they were trying to do.

If you’ve read the main series and think I’ve completely gotten the wrong end of the stick and should give them a go, please do tell me. As it stands, I wasn’t a fan of this one. Well, you can’t like them all!

Overall rating: 📖📖 2 books out of 5

A copy of The Strange Casebook was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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A short spooky read, perfect for an autumn night in with tea & a cozy blanket. I can't wait for more books from Syd Moore!
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I suspect that I am in a minority on this book, but I quickly found the.stories here to be rather predictable and formulaic.  For a quick dip in and out at Halloween, they are quite fun, but I don't think that I'll be reading more. 
I have heard friends rave about the novels of this author, and they have evidently found a market that thoroughly.enjoys them.  Sadly, I don't seem to be amoung them.
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Six creepy stories that you probably won't want to read on your own at night! The ending of one of them actually made me gasp out loud. That was my favourite, though I didn't love all of them.
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I did not realise that this book collection was linked to another series, but this did not stop my enjoyment of the short stories.

There are 6 spooky short stories that are very different to each other.  The policewoman who can see death, the Professor who goes to Coruna on holiday, a twist on the cat woman, the scary ghost story set in Cornwall that was terrifying, Jocelyn the 40s bomb shell, and the creepy horror when a good woman meets a deplorable man.

The stories are creepy and the book itself is a quick read.  Pull up the chair, pull down your blinds and enjoy some good old fashioned ghost stories.
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i loved this book!!

I picked it up for Halloween and found it a perfect fit!!

A collection of short and easy-to-read stories which will make you read the book very fast!!

Definitely include this book in your Halloween tbr!!
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