What Moves the Dead
T. Kingfisher
Tor Nightfire (July 12, 2022)
Reviewed by Carson Buckingham

T. Kingfisher, author of the splendid book The Twisted Ones, has once again hit it out of the park with her novella, What Moves the Dead.

Having read Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” though hugely creepy, one could come away feeling that there might have been more detail included regarding Madeline’s illness and the general physical decrepitude of the house, grounds, and the glowing tarn.

This is where What Moves the Dead comes in.

With her masterfully reimagining of Poe’s classic tale, T. Kingfisher supplies us with explanations, horrific as they are, as to what was actually going on in and around the Usher estate in Ruritania. As a matter of fact, she spends quite a bit of the book exploring the goings-on in and around the grounds. It is here that we meet Miss Potter, a mycologist/artist, who provides visiting friend and soldier, Alex Easton, with key help in solving the mystery surrounding the house, along with a somewhat befuddled American doctor. Between proliferating nightmare mushrooms never before seen, and wildlife that appears to be possessed, Kingfisher keeps us turning pages with an economic writing style that does not over-describe, but moves the story along at an enjoyable pace. Highly recommended.

About Carson Buckingham

Professionally, Carson Buckingham has made her way in life doing all manner of things, most of which involve arson. She is currently employed as a freelance writer on a work release program. In her spare time, she studies forensics, in hopes of applying her new knowledge to eluding the authorities more effectively the next time. She is originally from Connecticut, but now resides in Kentucky—and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her.