Reviews of Old Crotchet on Amazon UK
- 'Worthy of an episode of Tales of the Unexpected? I think so. A creative short story, full of humour, and packed with historical references.' ***** Tilly Taylor.
- ''Old Crotchet' is a thoroughly enjoyable story, well paced with witty dialogue throughout. The plot itself is full of interest and develops the mystery excellently. The story is told with a light tone but still cleverly manages to produce moments of genuine suspense and unease.' ***** An Amazon Customer.
- 'Clever little story. A hidden gem. Came across the author by chance.' **** Malcolm D.
- 'Very intriguing storyline, left me wanting to hear more. Shades of Roald Dahl.' ***** Nicholas Bentley.
From the Author
This story was inspired by a singularly peculiar pair of leather mannequins who stand guard either side of a grand stone fireplace in a late-mediaeval manor house in the county of Somerset. They are referred to as 'the good companions', which seems an unusual name for a pair so sinister and striking in their appearance, and their origins are quite unknown. Their style of dress is Jacobean, or late Elizabethan, and it is supposed that they date from this era, although owing to their undocumented provenance, this cannot be stated with any certainty. Whoever created them, or owned them, this sisterly couple have survived them all, and it seems that the house belongs to them, as much as to any of their former owners; those mere mortals whose remains are now nothing more than dust.
The Christmas period in England is, for some reason, popularly associated with ghost stories, and it was in this traditional spirit that I composed this piece, setting it in the early 1920s in the immediate aftermath of the physical and psychological trauma of the Great War. Its action begins on 'Old Twelfth Night', and whereas it is a ghost story that contains elements of horror, it is of the understated English type, and much of the repartee that characterises the dialogue between the central couple possesses much in common, in terms of its mood, with Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.
This is the first novelette in the author's series of West Country Tales
, with another festive-themed ghost story - Agnes of Grimstone Peverell
- likely to be of interest to the reader.