Category Archives: The Dazzling Darkness

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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Greylock, Finalist at Chanticleer Book Awards, 2015

I am happy to announce that Greylock is named a Finalist at Chanticleer Book Awards for 2015 in Paranormal Awards for Supernatural Fiction.
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“A smart, entertaining supernatural thriller. Think Stephen King meets Raymond Chandler with a score by Tchaikovsky. Briskly paced, this novel was a genuine pleasure to read.” —David Corbett, award-winning and best-selling author of The Mercy of the Night.

 “If you’re looking for an imaginative, sophisticated read, you’ve found it. Five stars.” —Michael Schmicker, best-selling author of The Witch of Napoli.

“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.

“Rarely have I come across such an original and well-written story. A unique, expertly written mix of genres that makes for a haunting book.” —Nicholas Rossis, award-winning author of Pearseus.

“This is a tale that goes beyond entertainment. It lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished it, a story not to be forgotten. It will haunt your psyche. A marvel.”  Horror Novel Reviews, Wesley Thomas, best-selling horror author, The Darkness Waits; Terror Train.

  

Paula Cappa is the recipient of an Eric Hoffer Book Award,

Readers’ Favorite International Bronze Medal for supernatural suspense,

 and a Gothic Readers Book Club Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction.

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Amazon Reviewer Gives 5 Stars to Greylock

John J. Staughton, leading Amazon Reviewer, gives 5 stars to GREYLOCK.

“This is a rare and beautiful piece of writing by an author with an unpredictable and exceptional command of language and mood. To create a dark masterpiece such as this one, not only must you look into the darkness, but also fish out the corners of your own soul, delving into dangerous narrative waters to create such a powerful tone. The combination of musical knowledge, history, dramatic storytelling, and a world-spanning tale made this impossible to put down, and the Faustian brilliance of the plot was a true pleasure to read. I can’t tell you the last time I so enjoyed a story about musicians – perhaps because this one was about so much more – but I look forward to reading more by Cappa. This was a symphony in itself, a powerful statement to follow up the Dazzling Darkness. I couldn’t be more impressed or pleased, and look forward to the rest.”
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November 5, 2015.
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John J. Staughton has over 400 reviews on Amazon.com and is ranked among the top Amazon reviewers. Visit his Amazon Book Review Page.  Visit his post on Guardians of Time, Mysterious Sculptures.
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Many thanks to John for his thoughtful and insightful review.

 

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GREYLOCK On Sale Today

October 15, 2015    The leaves are falling …

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blackimagesLatest Reviews …

 

“Echoing notes of Phantom of the Opera, mixed with Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, and Peter Straub’s Ghost StoryGreylock 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.

“Tchaikovsky meets The Shining in Gothic Readers Award winner Paula Cappa’s newest supernatural thriller – an intricate symphony of music, madness and murder. If you’re looking for an imaginative, sophisticated read, you’ve found it. Five stars.” —Michael Schmicker, best-selling author of The Witch of Napoli.

Greylock exposes the deep currents of the human compulsion for success. Bold characters with the loftiest of dreams, placed in bleak surroundings at the fringe of nature, lead the reader to jagged truths. Using classic Goth style with modern twists, Paula Cappa merges old tales with nature’s wonders and music.” —Elisabeth Zguta, author of Breaking Cursed Bonds.

“Paula Cappa’s prose is highly engaging, and her words are elegant, rich and purposeful. Her work always feels perfectly balanced and constructed. She is simply one of the best in the horror fiction business.” —Terry M. West, author of The Night Is Long and Cold and Deep.

“Rarely have I come across such an original and well-written story. A unique, expertly written mix of genres that makes for a haunting book.” —Nicholas Rossis, award-winning author of Pearseus.

“This is a tale that goes beyond entertainment. It lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished it, a story not to be forgotten. It will haunt your psyche. A marvel.”  Horror Novel Reviews, Wesley Thomas, best-selling horror author, The Darkness Waits; Terror Train. 

Synopsis

Four murders in Boston, an intoxicating romance, beautiful betrayals and lies, and the flickering phantasmagoria. Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Just ask violinists Paganini or Tartini about their deals with the devil for their virtuosity.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost. This faceless menacing presence follows Alexei from Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia, where Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales. There, a Siberian shaman “sees” the trilling black entity clinging to Alexei’s soul. Hunted and desperate, Alexei goes to live on the summit of Mount Greylock, fleeing the suspicion of the Boston murders. But he cannot flee the unstoppable sonata he has delivered into this world. Alexei must find a way to halt the dark force within the music or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

Seductive, haunting, devilish, Greylock is by the author of the award-winning The Dazzling Darkness, an Amazon Kindle best-selling ghost story.

Bio: Paula Cappa is the recipient of an Eric Hoffer Book Award,  Readers’ Favorite International Bronze Medal for supernatural suspense, and a Gothic Readers Book Club Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction for her novels. Her short stories have appeared in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Whistling Shade Literary Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, Sirens Call Ezine, Every Day Fiction, Fiction365, Twilight Times Ezine, and in several anthologies.

Buy at Amazon.com

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Buy at Smashwords.com

Buy at iBooks/iTunes.com

Buy at Kobo.com

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And for your listening enjoyment, from Chapter 26 of GREYLOCK,

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Music for the entrance of a phantom.

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https://www.youtube.com/embed/IVJD3dL4diY“>

 

 

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Here’s What’s Newsy in Paula Cappa’s Fiction

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I’ve got a bit of buzz going on with my  supernatural mystery writing these days, so here’s a quick update.

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After Winning an Eric Hoffer Book Award, Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural just got a review from U.S. Review of Books.

“Stunning and absorbing plot on par with—if not better than—a Dan Brown novel. Truly an outstanding read, Night Sea Journey is one book that is hard to put down!” You can read more at U.S. Review of Books here.

 

 

 

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 The Dazzling Darkness is holding its Amazon Kindle Best Seller status, in  ghost  genre, for 14 weeks now. This story has really connected to a healthy number  of ghost  story  lovers.

Midwest Book Review ★★★★★ “Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical  mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very  highly recommended.”

 

 

 

I have three short stories available on Amazon Kindle (99 cents), Hildie at the Ghost Shore; The Haunting of Jezebeth; Between the Darkness and the Dawn.  See links and book covers to the right.

What’s coming up?

The Magic of the Loons, a short story of magical realism, a little bit sexy and a little bit fantasy. Will release on Amazon in September for 99 cents. This story was previously published at Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine.

And my third novel, Greylock, is in it final stages of editorial revisions (5 years’ work). Music, the supernatural, and the power of desire.  Murder, lies, betrayal, romance—and the phantasm.

Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts

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Photo by Elisabeth Zguta

 

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin,

another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

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The Dazzling Darkness Hits Best Seller List on Kindle Amazon

Update as of April 27, 2015 … The Dazzling Darkness is still holding on the best seller list for over 6 weeks now.  #32 in ghost stories.

 

March 17, 2015 … Quick note to my followers and readers, The Dazzling Darkness has hit the Amazon Kindle Best Seller List in Horror genre for Ghost category and Occult category. It grabbed No. 1 for four days, #2 for two days, and is now at #5 and holding. Amazon has discounted it to $2.51 currently.

Thank you to my loyal readership!

Paula

THE DAZZLING DARKNESS  (Crispin Books)

Midwest Book Reviews ★★★★★ “Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very highly recommended.”

US Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/Z5LPXB     

 UK: http://amzn.to/1adh8nB

BRONZE MEDAL WINNER, Readers’ Favorite Book Award for Supernatural Fiction, 2014 ★★★★★ “Beautiful and high standard writing style from start to finish… a superb and classy supernatural novel.”

Barnes&Noble: http://bit.ly/1cgMkqp

GOTHIC READERS BOOK CLUB CHOICE AWARD WINNER

Outstanding Fiction ★★★★★  “Dazzling sums up Paula Cappa’s paranormal/supernatural novel … an elegance and grace that seduces you.”

 

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Mason’s Road Literary Journal: Interview with Paula Cappa

I’m happy to announce that Mason’s Road Literary Journal at Fairfield University, Connecticut (Issue 10) is featuring my latest interview about my creative writing, especially The Dazzling Darkness, my supernatural mystery or “quiet horror.” I encourage you to read through this extraordinary journal for insights on craft, drama, poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. And just in time for Women in Horror Month beginning February 1st.

 

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http://www.masonsroad.com/issue-10/fiction-issue-10/q-a-with-paula-cappa/

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