A Long and Fatal Love Chase by A.M. Barnard (published in 1995)
The Mysterious Key by L.M. Alcott (1866)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror June 23, 2015
If you are not familiar with the term “blood and thunder tales,” it famously refers to Louisa May Alcott’s thriller short stories, which she wrote under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard. Most Concord literary fans are acquainted with Alcott’s darker side of fiction, sensational adventures that were published in magazines to support her family’s income. The historical value, of course, is one of the attractions, but these stories are quite entertaining (with vintage melodrama) and crisply written.
It’s well known that Alcott wrote with both left and right hands—perhaps an insight to the two sides of her creativity. Not only was this American literary icon skilled in writing about domestic adventures in Little Women, but she wasn’t shy about psychological suspense and Gothic mystery.
The Mysterious Key is family intrigue. A locked room that is thought to be haunted, a sudden death, romance, a blind girl, and secrets.
Read The Mysterious Key here at Gutenberg.org.
You can read more of Alcott’s blood and thunder tales and other short stories at Gutenberg.org. Pauline’s Passion and Punishment; The Abbot’s Ghost; Behind A Mask or A Woman’s Power.
A Long and Fatal Love Chase begins with this line “I often feel as if I’d gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom.” Murder, a deal with the devil, an obsessive lover, and a Catholic priest. Published in 1996. Available on Amazon.
A Whisper in the Dark. Published in 2015. Available on Amazon.
Here is what Boston publisher James T. Fields said to Louisa May Alcott in 1853. “Stick to your teaching, Miss Alcott. You can’t write.”
In 1855 her first published book was Flower Fables. Little Women was published in 1868 and became an instant best seller followed by Little Men in 1871. She wrote over fifty works of short stories, novels, and plays.
Alcott died at the age of 55, just two days after her father died in 1888.