The Tell-Tale Purr

“The Tell-Tale Purr” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

If you haven’t figured it out this is a play on the famous short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe. It really is ingenious, even borrowing lines from the original story but infusing it with a few other things…namely cats.

Our narrator is someone who likes having money and hates almost everything and everybody. One person he especially dislikes is his grandma who he has to be nice to as she has a ton of money and he stands to inherit, just as long as he stays sucking up to her.

One day at a dinner party he gets a most marvelous idea of how to bump his grandma off without being suspected of murder. She has a weak heart and is absolutely terrified of cats. Scared to death of them, they being the perfect thing to end her. He could use their cries to scare her into a heart attack, but how?

Hmmm…?

The elevator! Grandma just has one installed, and on a stormy night when power cuts out she could be trapped in there, him playing recordings of cats which should induce a heart attack.

So the plan is put into action, mean yowling cats are caught and recorded until he has a horrifying symphony.

Dinner comes when such weather is horrible. He leaves as normal and returns in secret-turning off the power, trapping grandma, and playing his merciless tune to terrify her.

But things do not turn out as expected.

WHAT! I’m HOOKED!!!

Thoughts After Reading:

Oh, such an amazing read. So good and such a great twist of an ending. AMAZING!

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Haven’t We Met Before?

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to The Man Next Door

For more cat-centered mysteries, go to Crazy, VA

For more short stories, go to A Much Expected Murder

Supernatural Horror in Literature

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Supernatural Horror in Literature by H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft discusses the horror aesthetics in literature from The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, Anne Radcliffe, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Charles Brockden Brown, Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Edward George Earle Lytton, Friedrich de la Motte Fouque’s Undine, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Edgar Allen Poe,The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Guy de Maupassant’s Horla, Ambrose Bierce, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, M. P. Shiel, W. H. Hodgson, Arthur Machen, Algernon Henry Blackwood, and Edward Plunkett Baron of Dunsany.

Thoughts After Reading:

It wasn’t bad, it just goes over Supernatural Horror in Literature. It details authors, different stories, not too dry and an easy read.

For more nonfiction, go to Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century

For more Edgar Allan Poe, go to The Tell-Tale Heart

For more Emily Bronte, go to The Madwoman Upstairs

The Tell-Tale Heart

“The Tell-Tale Heart” from Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allen Poe

This is one of those stories, no matter how many times you read it, it will always be as creepy and thrilling as the first time you read it.

One of things that makes it so spine-tingling is that it is told in first person, allowing the reader to become the character, and our hearts to beat in unison.

I can’t review it with proper justice, it is one you have to read.

A man rents out a room from an older man and is intent on stealing from him. Every day the man watches him, and eventually the lodger decides to kill him. When he goes in to kill him, he hears the heart beat get louder and louder, a crescendo.

After he kills him, he cuts the body up and chops it into pieces and buries him under the floorboards.

But is it that easy? The heart, he can hear it-it calls to him.

For more on Edgar Allan Poe, go to The Murders in Rue Morgue

For more on The Tell-Tale Heart, go to Murder He Wrote: Edgar Allan Poe

For more short stories, go to The Veldt