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A Cabinet of Curiosities, Whispers in the Mist, and Men in Black Shirts
This week's fun in thriller and horror books, shows, and podcasts.
If you read today's title and wondered what the heck is going on, the answer is “awesomeness”. That's right, folks. Let's discuss an awesome television show, book, and podcast.
Cabinet of Curiosities
Television horror shows normally disappoint (I promise that I'm not a horror snob). One reason for my regular disappointment is the proliferation of predictable and underwhelming slasher movies. They aren't deep enough (with the exception of gore factor. That’s plenty deep). Bring me the psychological, the Gothic, the hauntings. Bring on a great story!
In this light (darkness?), I express my happiness with Guillermo Del Toro's recent Netflix series, Cabinet of Curiosities. (No spoilers ahead)
The production team clearly had a healthy budget but didn't go overboard. They focused on quality across artistic elements of the project. The stories were solid, the showcased directors were fantastic, and the change of style from episode to episode was appreciated. I wish they produced a new episode every month forever. Please and thank you.
My favorite two episodes were The Autopsy and The Murmuring. Check it out for yourself at https://www.netflix.com/us/title/80209229s=a&trkid=13747225&t=cp&vlang=en&clip=81614806
Whispers in the Mist
A few months ago, I was looking for a horror book for my daughter when I crossed paths with a shelf loaded with Darcy Coates books. The cover of The Carrow Haunt caught our attention. All arrows pointed toward a good haunting story and a casual bystander encouraged us to pick it up as Darcy Coates was her favorite author.
True to habit, my daughter never really read the book, she just liked having it around. She left it on the table downstairs, teasing me with a new author that I was forbidden to explore. Yet.
I didn't want to interrupt her shallow attempt at the read so I did the sensible thing when one of Darcy's books was advertised in my daily BookBub email. I bought the ebook and scratched my itch.
Unknowingly, I purchased the first of four books in the Black Winter series, Voices in the Snow. This was not my typical story type as it involves post-apocalyptic elements but I really enjoyed it! It was an easy read, character-focused, and a bit of a palette cleanser. I wasn’t raving about the book when I finished, but I genuinely enjoyed it and wanted to continue the story of Claire. It was a good book.
I recently finished book three in the series, Whispers in the Mist, and it the story is going strong. In fact, this series may actually get better as it progresses.
The books flow without terribly complex schemes or characters. You are on an adventure. Enjoy the ride.
I'll wrap this by saying that Darcy Coates can be read by young adults and adults alike. There are no sex scenes, swearing, or (fill in your parental concern here). If you have a young horror reader in your life, you'll both enjoy her books.
Bring on the hunt, the horrors, and the hollows.
Men in Black Shirts
This podcast is co-hosted by my friend, book coach, and editor Zach Bohannon and his buddies, J. Thorn and T.W. Piperbrook. You may recognize them!
This podcast is my sanity saver this year. I've never heard this mix of topics in a podcast before. Here's your eclectic sampler:
Metal music, books, nicknames, medical conditions, odd character encounters, remote work spaces, hand towels (not what you think), lizards (also not what you think), grunge/metal/electronica music, writing habits, the emotions of closing a book series, badass coalminers, the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s, post-apocalyptic stories, hardcore bands, pizza prices, poop buckets, bathroom etiquette, drums, gout, jingles, more jingles, and, of course, black shirts.
But wait, there's more! Just kidding, I've said enough. Listen to a few episodes. You'll get my point.
These guys are my kind of people. If you like genuine friendship, creatives, writing fiction, and music you'll love this show.
Caution: definitely start with episode 1, don't go backward from the most recent episode. You need context, trust me. Their show builds chronologically. Also, give it time to gel, this is mostly entertainment and experience, not a show that strives for a serious tone. The magic is in the loose format, the flow of conversation, and the personalities. I’ve learned quite a bit while also laughing my ass off.
Check out the show’s website and subscribe to their show on your favorite podcast platform: https://www.meninblackshirts.com/
Subscribe to get more of this fantastic content without fail. This stuff is free. The paid stuff hides behind a low fee walls of 1s and 0s.