Category Archives: murder mystery

Philomel Cottage, an Agatha Christie Obscure Murder Mystery

Philomel Cottage  by Agatha Christie (1934 Published in Listerdale Mystery)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   June 20, 2017

 

This short story by Agatha Christie, the murder mystery master, is one that hasn’t seen much popular light. Raymond Chandler was said to criticize Christie’s literary skills but that didn’t tarnish her fame or book sales.  She remains the queen of crime.  Philomel Cottage is probably one you’ve not read.

The name of this cottage carries a very specific subtext. The title Philomel—also known as Philomela—refers to a Greek goddess who was turned into a bird. In Christie’s story, Philomel represents the nightingale, symbolic of the feminine rejecting the dark silence and her finding voice in that darkness to sing.

This is a romantic twisty tale, set in a cheerful English village of gardens and gossip. The drama is about a newly married couple, Alix and her demanding husband Gerald—how lovely their new home is and how happy the setting. Well, maybe not for long. Murder and the dark psychological powers of dreaming prevail.

The ending is unpredictable and not at all in the neatly tied-up style we are used to in Christie crime mysteries. It’s unusual for Christie to flavor her stories with anything supernatural, but one might interpret this story to be haunting in a Hitchcockian way.  Christie’s compelling narrative suspense, as always, does not disappoint.

Read the short story  here at Celine.Klinghammer.free.fr.

 

This story was adapted for film in 1937 with Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone Love With A Stranger. If you are an old film buff like me, this one is thoroughly enjoyable. Vintage black and white and so fashionable. Women wearing curvy slinky dresses, budding rounded busts with sexy shoulders and pearls. Men with mustaches and tailored in tweed suits with wide lapels and cuffed wide trousers. Absolutely nostalgic!

Watch it here on YouTube.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Audio: Old Time Radio Suspense of  Philomel Cottage with Orson Wells. This is a real treat!

 

If you are an Agatha Christie fan, you’ll love the Agatha Christie Blog.  

Click here for “How to Make A Miss Marple’s Afternoon Tea.”

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Christie’s first novel , The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was written in 1916, published in 1920. Murder on the Orient Express (1934); Death on the Nile (1937) and Appointment with Death (1938).   And many more: 78 mystery novels, 19 plays, and over 100 short stories. Her final novel, Sleeping Murder: Miss Marples Last Case, was published posthumously in October 1976. She is considered the best-selling novelist of all time  (2 billion copies sold and by some estimates nearly 4 billion, her works ranking 3rd behind Shakespeare and the Bible). What a gal!

 

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Check out The Guardian‘s “No One Should Condescend to Agatha Christie—She’s a Genius.” 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 2 00 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, and horror. Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month.

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under Book Reviews, crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, ghost story blogs, Greylock, horror blogs, murder mystery, Night Sea Journey, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness

Chanticleer Books Reviews Greylock – 5 STARS

 

 

5 STAR review at Chanticleer Book Reviews

Greylock by Paula Cappa – Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal

Rating:
Title: Greylock
Author(s): Paula Cappa
Genre(s): Fiction, Ghosts, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Mystery, Occult, Paranormal Romanticism, Supernatural, Thriller/Suspense, Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Crispin Books (2016)
Please help promote the author by liking the review at:

What’s in the music we create? When we say it lives – when we say it breathes – when, for one fleeting moment it seems to bridge the gap between one soul and another – what kind of existence does it assume? What does it feel? What does it think? What does it want? Such questions may reside in theory for most, but not for piano virtuoso Alexei Georg in Paula Cappa’s Greylock.

Hot off the release of what will surely be his magnum opus, October, Alexei has achieved the level of success found only in his wildest dreams. Hailing from a Russian family steeped in musical artistry, he has transcended all those before him and become something they never could: a legend. And that’s all thanks to October.

There’s only one problem: he didn’t compose it.

And that would have been fine for him, taking credit for pages found in an antique chest belonging to one of his ancestors, if it weren’t for the demons it conjured every time he plays those chords. If it weren’t for the shadowy figure haunting him, punishing him, coming for him. October may have surfaced through the Georg bloodline, but there is something far more sinister and mysterious hidden in each note that is threatening to break free from Alexei’s control.

Alexei wants nothing more than to move on, but the past will not let him. Add to his troubles the threat of fraud exposure from those he’s closest to and a string of grisly murders within the Boston music community that brings the police knocking on his door, he can only come to realize just how much October is at the center of it all. He’ll have to confront three generations worth of Georg family demons to overcome this evil before it claims everything he has and hopes to achieve.

Using music as a central motif and life force to drive the narrative, Paula Cappa defies the limitations of the written word and adds a new dimension in storytelling through the personification of music. The descriptions being so richly layered and animated, one might just imagine these nightmares dwelling in the punctuation, awaiting their chance to come alive themselves.

With just enough integral characters in place to create conflict, Cappa creates a compelling mystery that allows the reader to virtually hear the machinations of the plot grind away before they inevitably crank up to a satisfying crescendo.

By Tim MacAusland
March 2017

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, crime stories, fiction, ghost story blogs, horror blogs, literary horror, murder mystery, mysteries, paranormal, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers

Greylock, Review at Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

‘Greylock’: Thriller With Local Ties

For my Massachusetts fans, in case you missed this in the Berkshire Eagle. I just discovered this review this week. I’m planning a trip to Pittsfield, MA for a book reading and signing in June 2017.  This review by Colin Harrington, The Bookstore in Lenox, Mass.

 

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‘Greylock’: Thriller with local ties perfect for Halloween reading

By Colin Harrington, Special to The Eagle, October 2016.

Suspense, romance, classical music, and the supernatural all converge at the summit of Mount Greylock in Paula Cappa’s thrilling new novel of murder and the occult, “Greylock.”

In 2007, Alexei Georg as sonar technician aboard the USS Los Angeles submarine, pinged beluga whales in the White Sea off Russia and was transported in time and space through their whale song from half a world away. Returning to Boston and his life as a concert pianist, he receives a mysterious newspaper clipping about the same whales gathering and singing seven years earlier on the same date, Sept. 9.

It becomes the perfect, even destined theme for writing a symphony, a whale symphony. His career had already risen to notice when he performed his October sonata, a piece he claimed to have written, when in fact he had discovered it, albeit unsigned, in the sea chest of his Russian father, Aleksandr Georg.

The story had always been hazy but the music of the October sonata was sensational and he was frequently asked to perform it at major venues. Encouraged by his mentor, Dr. Leed Mensah of Wheatley College, Alexei becomes a candidate for a prestigious and lucrative Essex Institute Endowment award to write his whale symphony at the Greylock Music Hall at the top of Mount Greylock. Alexei manages to get back to the White Sea by Sept. 9, 2014, to commune again with his whales from aboard the Belyy Ved’ma with the shadowy but intuitive captain Gleb and the powerful shaman/translator Shemiossa. Alexei has his most intense telepathic encounter with the Beluga whales this time and is more determined than ever to write his symphony on Greylock. Trouble brews however, when his wife, Carole Ann, whom he has just left because she does not support his composing dreams, is murdered, and he becomes the prime suspect for her murder and three other related “slasher” murders. He soon realizes too that the October sonata is cursed and he finds that he cannot rid himself of the Russian river demon, Varlok, who demands a terrible payment for ownership of the music.

Pursued relentlessly by Boston Homicide’s Detective Violet Rufft, Alexei is by turns supported and betrayed by his friends and his cousin, Josef, with whom he grew up in Plymouth, and with whom he has a bitter rivalry in the concert hall.

Strengthened by his love for TV meteorologist Lia Marrs, and wizened to the soul-shattering seductions of great music, Alexei confronts Varlok in mortal combat on Mount Greylock after a visitation from Shemiossa on the trails that lead him to musical triumph. When he believes he is freed of evil, Alexei composes the greatest music of his life, by his own talent.

This novel is terrific and a perfect book to curl up with on Halloween.

Colin Harrington is the Events Manager at The Bookstore* and Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox, Mass. 

 

Read the review at the Berkshire Eagle News, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

 

Greylock_thumbnail3PaulaCappa

 

Chanticleer Book Award Winner, 2015

 
 “I’ve not seen anything like it since Hitchcock and duMaurier

gave us The Birds. Greylock is a stunning masterpiece.”

Five Stars from Veteran Book Reviewer Don Sloan.

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Print editions available at the following:

Bascom Lodge, Summit of Mt. Greylock, Lanesboro, MA

The Bookstore,* Lenox, MA

Red Lion Inn Gift Shop, Stockbridge, MA

The BookLoft, Great Barrington, MA

Ebook and trade paperback:  Amazon.com    Barnes&Noble.com  itunes.apple.com

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Filed under Book Reviews, crime thrillers, fiction, ghost story blogs, horror blogs, Mt. Greylock, murder mystery, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers

Greylock is Featured November Read at Goodreads

Greylock is the featured November read at Goodreads, Writers and Readers Group. Join in!

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/37092-writers-and-readers

Greylock is a Chanticleer Book Award Winner, 2015.

U.S. Review of Books: “Cappa’s latest is nothing less than a mind-boggling mystery … always keeping an elusive edge to her characters’ personas—a plot replete with all the wonderful trappings of a romance-laced mystery with unexpected twists and turns.”

Murder, lies, romance, betrayal. When pianist Alexei Georg plays an old Russian sonata, a dark musical power invades his life, haunting him from Boston’s music society to Russia to the summit of Mt. Greylock, where he must find a way to halt the dark force within his music or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power. From Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia to Mt. Greylock. Murder. Music. Mystery.

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On Amazon: US http://amzn.to/1OxPF9B UK: http://amzn.to/1Wp3Flr

Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards

 “A dark masterpiece. Rare and beautiful piece of writing by an author with an unpredictable and exceptional command of language and mood.” John J. Staughton, Amazon TOP Reviewer, FIVE stars.

“Echoing notes of Phantom of the Opera, mixed with Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, Greylock is a thrilling musical tragedy steeped in lore, mythology, and the madness of composition, leading to a crescendo of epic proportions. Paula Cappa is a gifted author, and this book will have you swooning in the aisles.” —Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration.

 

Have you met Alexei and Lia?

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, crime thrillers, fiction, horror blogs, Mt. Greylock, murder mystery, short story blogs, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers

The Magic of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventure of The Copper Beeches  by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 20, 2016

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There is a magic in Sherlock Holmes stories, the atmospheric London fog, hansom cabs clacking over cobbled streets, the famous parlor at 221-B Baker Street with Holmes and Watson sitting before a cozy fire and a steaming teapot—or refreshing themselves with glasses of claret as in the The Adventure of the Dying Detective.

Today’s short story is The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. Violet Hunter is our heroine, curious and independent, but in need of Mr. Holmes’ advice when she takes a governess position at the country estate called Copper Beeches, near Winchester. Mr. Rucastle is an odd sort with a wife who carries a secret sorrow, and their savage boy who adores capturing little birds and bugs.

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“Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

The story unfolds like the tick-tock of a clock, so I won’t say another word. Although Holmes doesn’t exactly solve the crime, the adventure is suspenseful, with a touch of romance. Enjoy this 20-minute read.

Read the short story at EastoftheWeb.com 

Listen to the audio, read by Mark Smith on YouTube.com 

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The Science of Deduction by Sherlock Holmes: Forum, Hidden Messages, Case Files:

 http://www.thescienceofdeduction.co.uk/

The Sherlock Holmes Official Website.

The Blog of Dr. John Watson Official Website.

Need a cup of tea with this story? Settle back and enjoy this story along with a pot of “Sherlock Holmes” blend of tea (lapsang souchong, assam melody, oriental spice), which is ‘exotic and mysterious and perhaps a little bit insane, with a lingering hint of smoke’ at Adagio Tea Company. See Comment #1 below for link.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week! Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

EZindiepublishing

 

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Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror blogs, literature, murder mystery, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, suspense, tales of terror

Greylock’s Sexy Chicken Tabaca Scene

Hello Greylock Readers and Fans,

I’ve been receiving lovely emails from readers of Greylock who have been asking about the “Chicken Tabaca” sexy scene and if I have a recipe. I do and I cook this dish a lot. Here’s a peek of that scene and the recipe.

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Here’s the scene set up: Alexei Georg and Lia Marrs are spending the weekend together on the summit of Mt. Greylock in the residence section of the Greylock Music Hall. They are totally alone on the mountain. After a few rocky weeks in their relationship, Alexei wants to reestablish himself with Lia, but she is not so sure she can trust him. It’s autumn, at sunset, and they are both absorbing the views from the mountaintop, anticipating their evening ahead. They are discussing time-travel. Alexei has his reservations about such an adventure … but little does he know that time travel will be his only answer to save his destiny.

 

Space warp travel trough universe

In the residence, Lia snuggled up on the cozy sofa. The rich greens and tans of the furnishings embraced her and she relaxed next to the wide glass doors overlooking banks of massy woods. Brown and red leaves blew over crags and ridges. Alexei was right about the sunset—the entire sky pooled with rose and purples, slim cloud-flakes, fragments of grey misted at the glass. “Love the view here. Halls of mists, Earl of wind, Master of light. You feel like God on top of this mountain or what?” Lia called out to Alexei in the kitchen as his Chicken Tabaca sizzled in a black frying pan. She opened Priestley’s Man & Time and flipped the pages.

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Alexei came over with two tumblers of whiskey and water. “I am the mighty mountain,” he sang deeply and handed her a glass. “Actually this mountain makes me feel quite small if you want to know the truth.”

“Hmmm. Look at this.” She pointed to a photo of Einstein. “Do you understand his theory of time-dilation?”

He sat next to her, picked up her hand and kissed it. “I like your hands. They remind me of wings. Time-dilation?”

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“I do think time-travel might be possible in our lifetime. The laws of physics favor it. The past are particles and the present are waves. Who said that? Where did I read that? I can’t recall now.” She said.

“Physics. What a blur that stuff is. I’ll never get it.” Alexei said.

drinkunnamedLia poked her index finger into her drink and swirled it around. “Watch. Pretend this liquid is empty space. My finger is a circulating laser light beam. Einstein said space and time are connected. Three dimensions for space, one for time equals a fourth dimension. If we can twist space, we can twist time, open it, and access it. I’ve simplified it shamefully. Boston Globe did a story on it last year: loops in time, ring lasers. I just love that stuff.” She sipped her drink. “Mmmmm, very smooth.”

 “Old Forester. If you could time-travel, Lia, where would you go back to?”

 “That’s easy. I’d go back to 1898 and meet Madame Curie. She had an astonishing intuition. You know if you could time-travel, you can’t act. You can’t change what time has already set in motion. It’s strictly for observation only. How about you?”

“Less lofty ambitions. Don’t laugh, but I’d go back to 1982 and observe my mother. I’d really like to see her in the house on Orange Street, hear her voice, see her on the front porch swing.” He cocked his head to listen. “Oh! The Chicken Tabaca,” he said, dashing to the smoking stove.

Had he not rushed off, she would have stolen a kiss. Was she falling in love with this man? No, no. Don’t do that.

 

Sunset faded into the night. A dome of stars slashed bits of light through the bedroom windows. Lia climbed on Alexei’s lap and read him passages from Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus, reinventing the text with her own desires and words. “…riding naked on my horse, the heat of the stallion’s hide burning my thighs and palpitating my ….”

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The rest of this scene I really cannot post on a public blog. But here’s the Chicken Tabaca!

 

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Alexei Georg’s Chicken Tabaca on Mt. Greylock

Ingredients:
Two breasts of chicken (with skin and bones)
¼ cup of olive oil
Sprinkles of garlic salt, smoky paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper

Let the breast of chicken come up to room temperature (20 minutes). On the underside, break the breast bone in three places with a meat hammer so the breasts lie open and flat (you can slice out the center and bone if you prefer). Pound slightly to flatten out so the breasts are spread even. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, garlic salt, smoky paprika, and very lightly with chili powder.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil into skillet. Place chicken skin side down in hot oil . Weight chicken down with either another cast iron skillet or a brick covered with tin foil. Brown thoroughly until a deep golden color. Turn over and cook on underside. Cook 10 minutes or so. Turn again if needed, until chicken is crispy and cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes total. (meat will register 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).

Serve immediately with a beet salad, a really smooth Pinot Noir, and a side of much kissing. Enjoy!

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Greylock_thumbnail3PaulaCappa

 

“Cappa’s latest is nothing less than a mind-boggling mystery … always keeping an elusive edge to her characters’ personas—a plot replete with all the wonderful trappings of a romance-laced mystery with unexpected twists and turns.”  U.S. Review of Books

 “A dark masterpiece. Rare and beautiful piece of writing by an author with an unpredictable and exceptional command of language and mood.” John J. Staughton, Amazon TOP Reviewer, FIVE stars.

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Filed under fiction, horror blogs, Mt. Greylock, murder mystery, mysteries, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers, suspense

Locked-Room Mysteries, Good and Grisly

The Murders of Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe (1841)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 6, 2016

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Who isn’t a fan of locked door mysteries? The clues or lack of clues in these stories make us think deeply and feel entertained at the same time in a mind-bending sort of way. I’ve been reading locked door mysteries this month and having a great time. Gaston Leroux’s Mystery of the Yellow Room, John Dickson Carr’s The Three Coffins, and The Adventure Of The Sealed Room by Adrian Conan Doyle & John Dickson Carr to name a few. The Golden Age of crime fiction gave us a long list of these murder mysteries with authors who know how to baffle was well as trick your perceptions.

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The #1 in our literary history is Poe’s The Murders of the Rue Morgue. A young woman’s corpse jammed up a chimney. An elderly woman brutally murdered by decapitation. Locked doors. Nailed down windows. Not a single footprint. And the famous C. Auguste Dupin to bring you along on this adventure. If you’ve never read this one during the ol’ school days, read it now. The audio is quite entertaining and a great escape for an hour. Don’t let the dry opening deter you (checkers vs. chess) that focuses on the process of exact thinking (analysis vs. intelligence vs. intuition). Poe is clearly leading our mental prowess to follow his path: truth is what remains, once we determine what is impossible. Are you up for a bit of creative insight?

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I listened to the audio of this story while following the text in an old Poe edition. Sitting by an open window on a gray sunless day, I could see the wind shaking the green leaves of trees. A glass of brandy, feet up, snuggled in … perfect.

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Read the short story The Murders of the Rue Morgue at Ebooks.Adelaide.edu

Listen to Librivox Murders of Rue Morgue on YouTube.com

For more about locked door mysteries stop by Mysteryfile.com 

Also, try Otto Penzler’s famous anthology of the best locked-room mysteries available on Amazon.

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Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week! Comments are welcome.

  

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

EZindiepublishing

2 Comments

Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror blogs, Locked Room Mysteries, murder mystery, mysteries, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

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