All Things Dark and Dastardly By Ramona DeFelice Long

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A compilation of horror, mystery, and urban fantasy short stories by Austin authors with a distinctly dark side...Featuring stories by Kaye George, Mary Anne Loesche and Steven Metze.This title is published by Dragonfire Press and distributed worldwide by Untreed Reads Publishing. All Things Dark and Dastardly

The Dragon's Teeth by Mary Ann Loesch is a short and fun start to a world of dark but somehow light-hearted stories.

Aliens v. Fat Bastard was quite entertaining.

Feed Your Soul and The Little Monkey That Shushed both talk of dark consequences who face dark retribution for their deeds

Bayou Scars fits the theme of infidelity that courses through the book, A very enjoyable story to boot.

West Texas Waitin'Dark in a more realistic and therefore darker way. But also, not the most entertaining story from the bunch.

Swamp Baby is a fitting end to the book. Well written and an emotionally moving character, even if the plot develops in a slightly predictable sort of way.

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I'm disclosing that I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Ramona DeFelice Long Read the full review at Working for the Mandroid

I find short story collections difficult to review, especially when it’s a collection of many different authors’ works. All Things Dark & Dastardly is an anthology of horror, mystery and urban fantasy tales by three local Austin authors, including Mary Ann Loesch, whose Nephilim I reviewed in October. The collection lives up to its subtitle, though it could have also included that these are just generally stories of weird.

These are definitely short stories. Despite including 13 stories, it’s a mere 155 pages long. All the stories, even the ones that didn’t appeal to me, flew by. It was a very quick read and, for the most part, enjoyable. If you like weird little horror and mystery stories, All Things Dark & Dastardly is an interesting collection that spans many different subjects and shows off the distinct voices of the three authors.

Stories by Mary Ann Loesch

I don’t know if it’s because I was already familiar with her writing style, but I found that I enjoyed Loesch’s stories the most. Two of them, “Feed Your Soul” and “The Little Monkey That Shushed”, are set in the same world as Nephilim, telling the tales of two of Nathan Ink’s tattoo customers. The idea of tattoos that personify your greatest sins in an attempt to get you to stop really interests me. And it’s always nice to read of bad people getting their comeuppance.

Her other stories in the collection, “The Dragon’s Teeth”, “Finger in My Soup” and “Bayou Scars”, are all stand alones. “The Dragon’s Teeth” takes place both in the past and the current with the current timeline told from the point of view of an autistic boy wishing revenge on his bully. “Finger in My Soup” is only three pages long and one of the tales that fits primarily in the “weird” category. As the title suggests, it involves body parts in food, which always gives me the heebie jeebies.

“Bayou Scars” feels very much like the start of another novel series. In it, a police officer, a descendent of the infamous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, uses her special gifts to fight a possessed woman holding children hostage and the spirit that could possibly come to kill them all. It has a very atmospheric vibe to it, feeling securely placed in the Louisiana bayou. Ramona DeFelice Long A fabulous book full of horror, mystery, and urban fantasy short stories that are perfect for this time of year! Ramona DeFelice Long