Death is Only Skin Deep is a brief showcase of very short Victorian ‘gaslight’ horror stories from new fantasy imprint NobleFusion.
In The Garden and the Mirror by Tim W Burke, faith healer Mr Keresh falls in love with his patient’s wife. Needless to say when his client discovers why his treatment regime is no longer working he takes matters into his own hands, but death isn’t the end for Mr Keresh.
Sherri Dean’s Little Zombie Lulu rises from the cemetery with the uncanny ability to read minds shortly before she feasts on them and you really won’t want to eat the Fresh Sausage and Biscuits in Allison Stein‘s story of an American Civil War rape victim.
While each of these stories are competently written, their brevity means that they miss out on the sense of ‘gaslight’ period and atmosphere. Fresh Sausages and Biscuits scrapes by with a bare mention of the American Civil War and sitting someone on a horse, but both The Garden and the Mirror and Little Zombie Lulu could equally well be set in any time up to the present. In fact given today’s vogue for complementary medicine a tiny bit of tinkering could easily drop The Garden and the Mirror right into present day London or New York. Having said that the stories are perfectly enjoyable, Little Zombie Lulu is particularly shuddersome, I just question the need to label them as ‘gaslight’.
Death is Only Skin Deep is available in a digital format from Amazon.
Review by Simon Ball
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