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Something horrible is coming from Poisoned Pen Press–and I can’t wait!

I feel like if you’ve read just about any of my posts, you’ll know I’m a big fan of classic horror. I’m a sucker for old-school novels that leave me peeking under the bed at night and jumping at every creak in the floorboards. I’ve always been a fan of the classics (not just horror), because I can’t help but feel that if a book is still being read today, then there must be something rather special about it.

So, when I was told that Poisoned Pen Press was putting out a line of classic horror novels, I was beyond excited! For those of you not in the know, Poisoned Pen Press mostly publishes mysteries, and has an excellent selection of new and classic titles to check out, such as the highly popular British Library Crime Classics series.

Poisoned Pen Press is starting off with a bang, with one of my all-time favorites: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s amazing musical will be surprised by this one. While the basic premise remains the same (a masked man teaches a young actress to sing, but wants to claim her as his bride forever), the original tale is much darker, and reads more as a mystery. Chock-full of interesting characters that never made the cut onto the big stage (the rat-catcher, anyone?), this twisting, terrifying, and wholly engrossing novel is a great way to kick off what’s sure to be an amazing series!

The second installment has me just as excited. In fact, The Beetle by Richard Marsh, has been on my to-read list for years. Paul Lessingham is a politician at the top of his game. Passionate, eloquent, and completely unflappable, Paul has it all: career, a beautiful wife who adores, him…and a dark secret. After all, why else would he be reduced to a sniveling mess at the utterance of just two words: “The Beetle”? This tale of revenge and the supernatural was published the same year as Dracula, and was far more popular at the time. Come find out the secret to it’s success–if you dare!

And did I mention that each book comes with an introduction by a horror writer or scholar, notes to help you with difficult vocabulary or references, and even suggested further reading?

Looking for more? The series continues with Vathek (William Beckford), The House on the Borderland (William Hope Hodgson), The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror (Arthur Conan Doyle), The King in Yellow (Robert W. Chambers), Of One Blood (Pauline Hopkins), and much, much more!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.