My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s surprising that I have never read one single book by Megan Abbott when her books have always been in my radar, popping up on recommendation lists all the time. Hopefully will be rectifying this mistake soon and without fail if the Little Men, a short story as part of the Bibliomysteries, is anything to go by. It was clearly an appetizer that had me craving for more of her writing.
Little Men has a failed actress turned make-up artist Penny moving to a charming bungalow called Canyon Arms. It is the 1950’s in Hollywood and women has it tough. Let go as the candy floss by Mr. D, she’s however trying her best to move on but still fight for what she believe she deserves.
The beginning of the story makes you believe in horror coz it was one hell of a writing that chilled me to the bone. As Penny uncovers the dark and turbulent past of the house from her neighbors and doubts the landlady’s activities, one can’t help but be caught in the vortex of Penny’s terror.
Extremely well-written for such a short tale, the ending leaves the reader guessing about Penny’s state of mind.
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In 1953, Penny is just another washed-up, wannabe Hollywood actress who is past her prime. She has settled in to a quiet lifestyle, and when she finds a low-rent bungalow in Canyon Arms, it’s a dream come true; Penny takes to the place instantly. But the dream cottage with its French doors and tiled courtyard may not be as perfect as it seems. Penny’s new neighbors start filling her head with stories about past tenants, whispering voices, and a suicide that may not have been a suicide at all. Soon enough, Penny starts hearing strange noises and she can’t help but wonder about the true fate of the bookseller who died in her home a dozen years earlier. Her suspicions are only fueled by the ominous inscription that she discovers in a book that’s closely guarded by her landlord. . . .
The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.