Cover Image: The Strange Casebook

The Strange Casebook

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Member Reviews

This is a small collection of 6 short stories by the author of the Strange Magic mystery books. I’m sad to say they didn’t have much impact on me. As a collection, it felt quite rushed and like it hadn’t really been given much thought. But a couple of the stories themselves were quite fun. I enjoyed “Death Becomes Her”, a story about a woman who can see Death, and “Snowy”, a simple but poignant tale about a woman and her cats.

On the whole, all of the stories had elements that were entertaining and interesting, but it just didn’t pull together as a whole collection of ghost stories. I haven’t read the Strange Magic books, and I understand some of the characters are pulled from that. This could be affecting my perception of the book.

Moore does a decent job with a wide variety of voices, and even though I didn’t like this book, I’ll still be giving the Strange Magic series a go. I think her writing will have more impact in long form.
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The Strange Casebook is a collection of six unsettling tales narrated by characters connected with The Essex Witch Museum series. I haven’t read those books (yet) but these can easily be enjoyed as stand-alone stories perfect for a dark night.

The individual tales are varied but all carry a feeling of malice or foreboding. They are all well written but I particularly enjoyed ‘Death Becomes Her’ and ‘The House on Savage Lane’. These would both be great little reads on Halloween and the latter would make for a suitably spooky episode of ‘Inside Number 9’!
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Having read the first book of the series, I was interested in seeing what these short stories held. I seem to be in the minority but I was rather disappointed. The best story was 'She Saw Three Ships'; a great story about wreckers (people who would lure ships onto rocks, murder the crew, and then plunder the cargo) which had shades of Jamaica Inn. The rest were so-so.

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Oneworld Publications, for the opportunity to review an ARC.
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Loved this one from start to finish! A collection of 6 creepy/spooky stories, each one was thoroughly enjoyable. Really glad I had the chance to read this one and have recommended it to others.
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Having previously read and thoroughly enjoyed Syd Moore's wonderfully creepy supernatural thriller Witch Hunt I decided that I would spend the evening of Halloween in the good company of the author's collection of six short stories that she has written as part of the Essex Witch Museum series. As the light faded and dark descended and with  parties of children and adults in costumes parading excitedly in the streets outside I settled down expectantly. It took only about three hours to complete and at the end I felt suitably entertained having experienced several spine chilling moments. The stories are different in length and content and have a good mixture of the supernatural and horror. 

There are three stories I particularly enjoyed which were firstly Madness in A Coruña this being the longest story in the book. The narrator is reminiscent of a MR James character being the academic who despite warnings from the locals will not leave well alone.  Here a local legend begins to look something much more. A warning to the curious indeed.

Secondly I really liked Three Ships which is more in keeping with a traditional English ghost story and set during Michaelmas eve where  Ethel-Rose Strange makes the mistake of arriving early at the remote Lilia Cottage in Cornwall and despite the opposition of the again all knowing locals decides to stay there overnight when no one ever stays there on this particular date each year. The other favourite was The House of Savage Lane which has an end you will not forget in a hurry.

So if you have a spare evening and like experiencing a few chills down your spine then I would recommend this collection.
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My thanks to OneWorld Publishers for an ARC via NetGalley of this fun and spooky collection of short stories.

I am not particularly a reader of short stories, preferring novels where characters and plot are developed at a more leisurely pace. Yet I enjoyed these and they made me more determined to read The Essex Witch Museum series as soon as possible.

I was a bit concerned in advance that not having read any of the other novels that I might feel lost but the collection worked fine and provided a taster of Syd Moore’s style.

A perfect treat for Halloween!
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Syd Moore's The Strange Casebook is a quick read to get you in the mood for Halloween! This collection of six short stories is fun and spooky; it also stands alone so that if you haven't read the other Strange novels, you won't lose out here. 

Opinions differ on which stories in the collection are the "best." This of course depends on your preferences as a reader. If you like a longer, fully detailed story, reminiscent of a Victorian ghost or horror story, then you might enjoy "Madness in A Coruna" and "The House on Savage Lane" most, while "Snowy" might appeal to readers who like quicker, more modern-sounding reads. While I enjoy both styles, my personal favorite from the collection is "Snowy": it's a lovely take on the old cat lady stereotype and also has a bittersweet ending. I wasn't particularly enthralled with "Jocelyn's Story" simply because the narrative voice seemed forced, whereas characters' registers in other stories, like "Madness," felt more natural to the characters and stories. 

"She Saw Three Ships" is a Strange story, and this is one I really liked. For me, the title is a tongue-twister, while the story itself is a nice twist on the figure of the wrecker. Plus, the setting made me want to read a Daphne du Maurier! I also enjoyed "Madness in A Coruna" which had a light Lovecraftian undertone. The title "Death Becomes Her" is a nice play on the plot of the story, although I did predict the ending fairly quickly, and thought the story was a bit abrupt.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of typological and formatting errors, but that might be because I read the Kindle version. These did impact the readability of the stories for me, since the sporadic comma usage broke up the narrative when it shouldn't have. However, the editing isn't bad enough that you won't enjoy this collection!
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A spooky collection of 6 short stories each with different dark and paranormal aspects and characters with thier own eerie atmosphere.
Having not read any of the Essex Museum series by Syd Moore I was worried I would not follow along. These were easy to read regardless and having done so I'll be seeking out his other works and reading.

The imagery in each story transports the reader into the dark setting and certainly while reading every creak and groan and flicker of light had me freaked out and constantly alert.
The collection is well written with unique and interesting paranormal characters each with great spooky characteristics. 
The House on Savage Lane gave me that traditional horror feel the classic horror tale with an eerily creepy atmosphere with a dark undertone to the things that go bump in the night.
As death reigns the centralised theme the stories are peculiar and wonderfully wicked each with thier own take on the horror story concept.
I really enjoyed the entirety of this collection and with Halloween impending it's the perfect book to settle in with when the thinning of the veil comences. 

Thanks to Netgalley and One World publishing and Syd Moore for an ARC to review with an honest opinion.
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These short stories are absolutely perfect reading for the Halloween season! I enjoyed "Snowy" and "She Saw Three Ships" the best, but each of them has eerily creepy aspects that fit right into dark rooms with low fires and creaky doors.
Grab some cocoa (and maybe a friend!) and dig into these six spooky stories before the next full moon!
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Thankyou to NetGalley, Oneworld Publications,  Point Blank and the author, Syd Moore, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of The Strange Casebook in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
This book offered six short, spooky stories. They were a good quick read. Each was well thought out and written and will keep you enthralled. 
Well worth a read.
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The perfect book for Halloween! A collection of short stories unusual and spooky.
The book was engaging and entertaining and I couldn't put it down.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Oneworld Publications and Netgalley for this ARC
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Looking for another Halloween read for the month, I picked this up not realising it was connected to an established series by the same author – it didn’t matter one bit.  Six standalone short stories are featured in this collection and they were firing on all cylinders, which I’ve found is rare in most short story collections.  With memorable characters in each tale, every story takes a different approach to the paranormal and peculiar so it never feels repetitive.   

Standouts were the sublime Snowy which was unexpectedly moving, and The House on Savage Lane for having a rather classical horror story feel, and giving me a dark chuckle. 

This was an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  With thanks to Netgalley and Oneworld Publishers
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SPOOKY VIBES EVERYWHERE 😈

“Just because it’s a story, doesn’t mean it’s not true.” 


Halloween is coming and I was looking for intriguing and spooky books navigating through Netgalley, when I found this book. Even if it is part of a series I decided to request it because short stories always attract me. 

There are different themes and plot resolutions in this little book. Death is the main protagonist, I would say. I liked a lot the strangeness atmosphere, I don’t know how to explain this feeling. The author describes some scenes and you understand what are you reading, but at the end of the story there are a lot of unanswered questions and all you can think is that you are missing something. 

The weird and the wicked is everywhere in this book. And I liked it. 
The first story is about a woman who can see the Death. 
The second story is about a woman with a lot of cats.
The third story is about a man who goes to La Coruña and find something unexpected.
The fourth story is about a woman who sees three ships and doesn’t understand what’s going on.
The fifth story is about a woman who wants new legs.
The sixth story is about two twins and their different characters.

The atmosphere is creepy in every story, but I liked it the most in the first, the second and the fourth story. I guess the fourth and the sixth were the best, really. They are disturbing and unexpected and freakish. 

I recommend this book to everyone who want a rapid and enjoyable experience during Halloween night. 

*I received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review *
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I haven't read any of the Essex Museum Mystery series by Syd Moore and was unsure what to expect from this. However, if you haven't read any, don't worry - there's no prior knowledge needed. What start off as weird, odd little tales that you have no idea where they're going, it often seems they stop abruptly, much sooner than you had anticipated - much sooner than you would expect to be able to wrap it up nicely - even for a short story. But it does end, and in most cases, there is one final line of the story that wraps things up nicely while simultaneously making you question everything and make you wonder what the hell you've been reading. Weird and, yes, definitely strange, these stories are turned on their heads to bring the wonderful and supernatural to life in just a short snippet of a story. I am definitely going to dive into more of Moore's work!
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The Strange Casebook is an enjoyable collection of six paranormal and fantastical short stories, with the stories all short enough to read one in a sitting quite easily.

This is from the same world as the Essex Witch Museum Mystery series, none of which I've read, but I could still like the short stories, although I'm sure I will have missed the background of the characters in the stories, so if you have read the series, I'm sure you'll really get a kick out of them.

The Strange Casebook by Syd Moore is due to be published on 31st October, which is very appropriate, as these are quite spooky!  Here's the pre-order link from Amazon!

I was given this book for free in return for an unbiased review, so my thanks to NetGalley and OneWorld Publications (the publishers) for this book.

Check out my GoodReads profile for more reviews.
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These short stories are based on the Essex Witch Museum series and feature some of the characters that Rosie and Sam have either met or learned about in their work on the museum. This is such a fun series, who doesn’t love stories about Salem and witchcraft, and this short story compilation is a nice holdover until the next book is released
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Six stories that are creepy and strange to get you in the mood for Halloween.  They were all well done and I enjoyed them all. I hope to read more by Syd Moore.
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A very enjoyable collection of spooky short stories. I'm not familiar with the Essex Witch Museum series, but i found lots to enjoy here and will be checking the other books out now I've discovered Syd moore!
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The Strange Casebook caught my attention because it promised a collection of short stories that suited my fascinations well; the peculiar and the paranormal. Admittedly I yet to read the main Strange books, but these stories stand so perfectly alone that I didn't have a worry about whether or not I would be missing something.

Short stories collections are an inherently hit-and-miss sort of thing; some are liked, others not so liked. The Strange Casebook is no different. Jocelyn's Story was my least favourite; it felt wholly disjointed from the rest, focused on human vanity and obsession rather than what I had come to expect from the collection - the paranormal. Conversely, I enjoyed She Saw Three Ships supernatural and chilling aspects, but its length had my focus wavering.

Despite my differentiating opinions on the short stories, the one thing that they all have in common is that they are well-written. Indeed, they remain intriguing and the horror of the thriller lies within the suspense. Whilst I predicted the first twist of The House of Savage Lane quickly, the latter twist-come-cliffhanger caught me completely unawares. Yes, the stories are entrenched in the tropes of horror and thrillers, but those tropes do not weak these stories. Instead the tropes give the stories strength, as they play on our preconceived notions and fears.

Except, that is, for Snowy. This one is my favourite, and not merely because it includes cats. The second of the short stories, Snowy is perfectly placed to create a small break in the suspense and horror. Indeed, it exists without any of that and instead is a beautiful and gentle ode to love, loss and hope.

In all, The Strange Casebook is a perfectly spooky and quick short story collection to read on Halloween.
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This is a collection of spooky and strange short stories with stories and characters connected to Rosie Strange and Sam in the Essex Witch Museum series. You do not need to have read the series to enjoy this selection of tales, so apt for autumn and this time of the year. In Death Becomes Her, Stacey Winters, a police officer, has been burdened with a gift from childhood, but no matter how hard she tries, death is hard to cheat. In Snowy we meet Norah and her cats, and the theme of reincarnation. In Madness in A Coruna, a semiotics academic celebrates the disintegration of his marriage to young Sheila by visiting his friend Xose, only to find himself witnessing a public suicide, encountering a strange and vindictive creature, and truly experiencing Madness in A Coruna. In She Saw Three Ships, Ethel-Rose Strange has arrived early to Cornwall, to ensure all is ready at Lilia Cottage, she insists on staying at the cottage for the night despite opposition. It is the Feast of All Angels, a night to beware of as Ethel-Rose is to discover to her horror. In Jocelyn's Story, Rita is obsessed with Betty Grable, and her legs in particular. The House of Savage Lane is a tale of horror for the innocent and good Cordelia when her path crosses that of a deplorable man. This is a short book, and none of the stories are very long, but nevertheless they manage to be scary and creepy. Perfect for this time of the year. Many thanks to Oneworld Publications for an ARC.
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