If I thought I enjoyed A.F. Stewart’s book, Once Upon a Dark and Eerie, let me say I adored Killers & Demons. Comprised of five separate tales, Killers & Demons is a deliciously dark read that will have you glancing at the shadows between tales.
Where Dark and Eerie consisted of shorter vignettes that left me craving more, Killers was a more satisfying meal with plenty of old world flavor. Stewart’s writing is descriptive and reminds me of a Poe crossed Dickens.
My very favorite of the five tales was easily Victorian Shadows. The heroine, Sally, is an escape artist with a demonic hunter hot on her trail. I admired her clever, resilient nature and hope that her tale can travel on to more stories. Her hunter was impressively ominous down to the details; an alluring nightmare. Here’s a brief taste from Victorian Shadows:
“Sulphurous wind gusted in his wake; The dust of the street swirled and the folds of his black coat flapped against his thin body. He sauntered into the world with purpose, angry and proud.”
I read through Killers & Demons rather quickly, and that might be my only real critique of Stewart’s work, both Dark & Eerie and Killers. She plays with words elegantly, weaving them together into brilliant tapestry, but I want to know more. Does Sally try her old tricks again, giving Balthazar a new trail to follow? Why did the polite host from You’ve Got to Have Heart have such a grisly holiday tradition? Does Mr. Peter’s have a new hobby and career to add to his story?
Ms. Stewart has a beautiful sense of wordplay that I enjoy, and I find myself wanting more. I’ll be looking through her website looking for more of her works and hoping to find continuations of some of the tantalizing stories she has lit up in my mind.