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4.0 

Last Case at a Baggage Auction

By Steve Lines & Eric J. Guignard
Last Case at a Baggage Auction by Steve Lines & Eric J. Guignard digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

1963 Detroit is a hotbed of gambling, and the weekly baggage auctions keep a busy trade. Charlie Stewart and Joey Third are skilled in the art of successful bidding, but when Joey lands a mysterious suitcase, the thrill of winning turns to terror once they realize they've opened something sinister.

Inside the suitcase is an antique gramophone, and the music it plays is unlike anything they've heard before. A chanting voice speaks to them in strange words, evoking visions of a dark, frozen land. It's a voice that makes them sick with addiction, and it continues chanting in their heads even when the record stops playing.

Charlie sets out to solve the mystery of the unholy music and how to turn it off forever. But the urge to listen grows stronger, and the more it plays, the more the aural virus spreads, until people begin to vanish . . . feeding an apparition that seeks immortality.

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4 Reviews

4.0
“It's strange, Charlie. Even when I'm not listening to a record, the music keeps playing in my head. It's like it won't turn off. But I don't want it to turn off either. It makes me feel good like it's supposed to be playing, like it's sharing a great secret." -- One of my favorite horror tropes is cursed objects or found footage. I love it when characters stumble upon an old book or some strange artifact and then weird stuff starts happening. It's so entertaining! In LAST CASE AT A BAGGAGE AUCTION, Joey Third wins a mysterious suitcase at an auction, inside is a gramophone and some records. Hearing the music is a different experience for both men, not entirely unpleasant, but not normal either. This was a very appealing concept for me because I have a real fascination with bargain shopping and "junking". I love to explore antique stores, oddity shops, thrift stores, and estate sales. My family also watches those Storage Wars shows sometimes and I'm always waiting for the winners to find something cursed! The "music" the records play was creepy and believable. I enjoyed how the sinister experience for both men was different and they handled it in their own way. I appreciated the way the author developed a new bond between Charlie and Joey--an evolution in their friendship-- as they wrestled with their growing problems spiraling out of control. The illustrations by Steve Lines are a special, added bonus and I wish more horror stories utilized artwork to help tell the story. My favorites were the stack of suitcases and the man at the bookstore. Guignard's narrative is perfectly paced and his characters felt like they were from the 1960s-I could almost hear their accents when they were talking to each other. I could see this as an Alfred Hitchcock movie, actually. It has that vibe. Especially with the scenes involving Gail. Not a full five stars because even though this book is like 100 pages, give or take, I felt like the chapters should have been consistently the same size. The longer ones needed to be broken up with some kind of hook at the end, I found myself flipping through a few times to see how much I had left in a chapter--just to get a change-up in the narrative. A small complaint. I think this novella will appeal to readers who enjoy character-driven, "quiet horror", cosmic horror and cursed objects.”
“Occasionally I stumble upon a novella which is so beautifully formed, I instinctively imagine how it would transfer to the screen; not necessarily cinematic, but an episode of The Twilight Zone or similar show. From its enigmatic title to its authentically chatty 1960s pulp style, Last Case at a Baggage Auction immediately sucked me in, and I was as keen to discover the contents of Charlie and Joey’s lost-luggage purchases as the two gamblers were! This story is framed around this outstanding and very original hook which I am convinced would look truly great as an episode on Shudder’s new version of Creepshow, seen as The Twilight Zone is no longer with us. You can read Tony's full review at Horror DNA by https://www.horrordna.com/books/last-case-at-a-baggage-auction-eric-j-guignard-book-review .”
“It is 1963 in Detroit and the fun thing for Charlie Stewart and Joey Third to do is go to baggage auctions. What are these you ask? Exactly what they sound like. You go to them and bid on baggage. Various types of baggage. Picture Storage Wars 50+ years ago. Joey buys a case with a gramophone and records inside. But these are not your usual run of the mill records, no these are the satanic chanting/mumbling of Rasputin himself. Yes, that Rasputin. The one that brought down the entire Romanov dynasty. These records are dangerous and addicting and Joey is not lost in the word of Rasputin. Charlie is trying to save him but he too listened to some of the records and saving Joey may not be possible. This was a book I selected on a whim and am glad I did so. I had no idea I would be reading about Rasputin who while I have not read about, I do own a few books on and I have also read about the Romanov and their downfall. This was a short easy read with I did enjoy. I would give it a 3.5, but since we can only give even stars, I am willing to round to 4. Thank you to NG, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.”

About Steve Lines

ERIC J. GUIGNARD is a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where he also runs the small press, Dark Moon Books. He's twice won the Bram Stoker Award, won the Shirley Jackson Award, and been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and International Thriller Writers Award. He has over one hundred stories and non-fiction author credits appearing in publications around the world. As editor, Eric's published multiple fiction anthologies, including his most recent, PROFESSOR CHARLATAN BARDOT'S TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY TO THE MOST (FICTIONAL) HAUNTED BUILDINGS IN THE WEIRD, WILD WORLD and A WORLD OF HORROR, each a showcase of international horror short fiction. His latest books are LAST CASE AT A BAGGAGE AUCTION and the short story collection THAT WHICH GROWS WILD: 16 TALES OF DARK FICTION (Cemetery Dance). Outside the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric's a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, dogs, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

Eric J. Guignard

ERIC J. GUIGNARD is a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where he also runs the small press, Dark Moon Books. He's twice won the Bram Stoker Award, won the Shirley Jackson Award, and been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and International Thriller Writers Award. He has over one hundred stories and non-fiction author credits appearing in publications around the world. As editor, Eric's published multiple fiction anthologies, including his most recent, PROFESSOR CHARLATAN BARDOT'S TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY TO THE MOST (FICTIONAL) HAUNTED BUILDINGS IN THE WEIRD, WILD WORLD and A WORLD OF HORROR, each a showcase of international horror short fiction. His latest books are LAST CASE AT A BAGGAGE AUCTION and the short story collection THAT WHICH GROWS WILD: 16 TALES OF DARK FICTION (Cemetery Dance). Outside the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric's a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, dogs, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.

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