Books

A CURIOUS CARTOGRAPHY

Tales of dark lore, inescapable hauntings, peculiar beasts, strange birds and mysterious happenings from across the known world and beyond…

The twenty stories in A Curious Cartography not only chart a writer’s journey but range across the globe: from Vietnam to Sweden, from London to New York, from Cornwall to Lancashire and the Yorkshire coast. Some discover lands more curious still, beyond the reach of any map…

Available from Black Shuck Books.


THE OTHER LIVES OF MISS EMILY WHITE

WRITING AS A. J. ELWOOD

Banished from her parents’ farm to a boarding school for young ladies, Ivy feels utterly alone. In a crumbling and isolated seminary that has seen better days, she is shunned by the other pupils for her working-class origins, and mourns for her sister, who died not long after she was sent away. Hope comes in the form of a new teacher, Mademoiselle Emélie Blanc, but almost immediately, suspicions are raised that she is not all she should be. Ivy, however, is captivated, and the teacher is the only one to encourage her artistic talent. Yet as Ivy’s devotion grows, odd reports begin to circulate that Mademoiselle Blanc has unusual powers. She has been glimpsed in the garden picking flowers whilst also teaching a class, leaving the school but stalking the halls at the same time. A book in another pupil’s possession tells of a teacher overseas who had a doppelgänger, their sinister powers driving pupils to hysteria.

Soon Ivy’s fellow students are convinced Mademoiselle Blanc – Emily White – can appear in two places at once. As increasingly strange rumours abound, Ivy’s obsession spins out of control, and with Emily White’s future at stake, she will do anything to keep her only friend.


THE FLOWERING 

This is a micro-collection, published as one of Black Shuck Books’ popular Shadows series. It features six short stories, all set in the Victorian era: The Zoetrope, The Marvellous Talking Machine, Meet Me at the Frost Fair, The Ballad Box, The Winter Tree and The Flowering.


THE COTTINGLEY CUCKOO

WRITING AS A.J. ELWOOD

Rose dreams of a life away from the confines of the Sunnyside Care Home she works in, until elderly resident Charlotte Favell offers an unexpected glimpse of enchantment. She keeps an aged stack of letters about the Cottingley Fairies, the photographs made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle, but later dismissed as a hoax. The letters insist there is proof that the fairies existed and Rose is eager to learn more, but Charlotte only allows her a piece at a time, drawing Rose into her web. As the letters’ content grows more menacing, Rose discovers she is unexpectedly pregnant, and feels another door to the future has slammed. Her obsession with what really happened in Cottingley all those years ago spirals; as inexplicable events begin to occur inside her home, she begins to entertain dark thoughts about her baby and its origins.

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book


MISTLETOE

Following the tragic deaths of her husband and son, Leah is looking for a new life. Determined to bury her grief in hard work and desperate to escape Christmas and the reminders of what she has lost, she rushes through the purchase of a run-down Yorkshire farmhouse, arriving just as the snow shrouds her new home.

It might look like the loveliest Christmas card, but it’s soon clear it’s not just the house that needs renovation: the land is in bad heart, too. Leah soon begins to see visions of the farm’s former occupants – and of the dark secrets that lie at the heart of Maitland Farm. Now she must find a way to lay both her own past and theirs to rest – but the ghostly visions are becoming disturbingly real . . .

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book.


THE CROW GARDEN

Susan Hill meets Wilkie Collins in Alison Littlewood’s latest chiller: mad-doctor Nathaniel is obsessed with the beautiful Mrs Harleston – but is she truly delusional? Or is she hiding secrets that should never be uncovered . . . ?

Mrs Victoria Harleston’s husband accuses her of hysteria and delusions – but she accuses him of hiding secrets far more terrible. Nathaniel is increasingly obsessed with her, but when he has her mesmerised, there are unexpected results. Increasingly besotted, he finds himself caught up in a world of séances and stage mesmerism in his bid to save her.

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book. 


THE HIDDEN PEOPLE

Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to death on her own hearth – but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.

Albie begins to look into Lizzie’s death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the ‘Hidden People’ supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book


THE UNQUIET HOUSE 

Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and isolated. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging. It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.

When she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book.


PATH OF NEEDLES 

Some fairy tales are born of dreams . . . and some are born of nightmares. A murderer is on the loose, but the gruesome way in which the bodies are being posed has the police at a loss. On a hunch, Alice Hyland, an expert in fairy tales, is called in – and it is Alice who finds the connection between the body of Chrissie Farrell and an obscure Italian version of Snow White. When a second body is found, she is dragged further into the investigation. But now Alice must fight, not just to prove her innocence, but to protect herself…

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book.


A COLD SILENCE

A sequel to A Cold Season.

Ben Cassidy has strict instructions from his mother, Cass, never to return to his childhood home of Darnshaw. But when an old friend dies, he returns to investigate a computer game she was playing named AcheronAcheron claims it will give you all that you ask for, something Gaila, Ben’s sister, knows all too well. But there is a price…

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book


A COLD SEASON

A Richard and Judy Book Club pick.

Cass is building a new life for herself and her young son after the loss of her soldier husband. But their idyllic new home is not what she expected: the other flats are all empty, there’s sinister graffiti on the walls, and the villagers are a little strange. When a heavy snowstorm maroons the village, things become even harder.

The cold season has begun…

Background, reviews, resources – go Behind the Book.


SEASONS OF MIST – An omnibus ebook. Includes A Cold Season, Path of Needles and The Unquiet House, along with a sampler of A Cold Silence.


ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! ACAPULCALYPSE NOW

One of the Zombie Apocalypse! series of novels, especially commissioned from Alison Littlewood. The Hotel Baktun is an exclusive hotel complex that is about to open on the coast of Acapulco, Mexico. When a cruise ship turns up on the coast and disgorges its cargo of flesh-eating zombies, the guests and staff soon fragment into various factions as they battle to survive…


COTTINGLEY – A novella, since developed into the novel, The Cottingley Cuckoo. In 1917 the world was rocked by claims that two young girls had photographed fairies in the sleepy village of Cottingley. In 2017, a century later, we finally discover the true nature of these fey creatures. Correspondence has come to light that contains a harrowing account, written by a village resident, laying bare the fairies’ sinister malevolence and spiteful intent.


QUIETER PATHS – A limited edition collection of short stories, now sold out. Take the paths less travelled, to the flooded caves of Mexico, the remote forests of Croatia and the vibrant cities of Morocco. Discover the secrets whispered by a Neolithic stone circle and the ancient tales of Ilkley Moor. Alison Littlewood’s own brand of quiet dark fiction leads you through lands rooted in myth, legend and mystery.


FIVE FEATHERED TALES – A limited edition hardback, now sold out. Imagine five feathers, their colours ranging from deepest black to purest white, with flashes of bright gold . . . and each has a story to tell. A young boy seeks true magic in the circus ring; a city dweller finds himself living among rooftop outcasts; a girl born of the desert sees the desires of those around her in the palm of her hand; a mother and daughter seek transformations in the black and white feathers of their own twisted fairy tales. A partnership with award-winning illustrator, Daniele Serra.