Tag Archive for Joan Aiken

A Foot in the Grave

A Foot in the Grave by Joan Aiken (Jonathan Cape, 1989); audiobook read by Melissa Exelberth (Bolinda, 2015) These supernatural stories breeze along, effortlessly conjuring character and mood; yet their conclusions invariably fail to shock, spook or satisfy. The let-downs are palpable! Aiken is like a pole-vaulter who runs in beautifully, soars to great heights but always clips the bar.…

The People in the Castle

The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories by Joan Aiken (Small Beer Press, 2016) This posthumous collection spans thirty-five years of Joan Aiken’s prolific career. The stories, though frequently lacking in closure, are beautifully written, with rich, dark ideas and a wondrous touch of fairy tale logic. Aiken’s characterisation of people (and notably, animals) is exquisite.