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Wednesday, 2 June 2021

‘Strange Tricks’ by Syd Moore

Published by Point Blank,
10 June 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-78607-548-2 (PBO)

Rosie Strange runs the Essex Witch Museum along with curator Sam Stone. They are often called upon by an X file contact of theirs, Monty, to investigate paranormal happenings. The latest task he has for them is to visit a Pearl White who has “Near Death” Syndrome. A person suffering from it feels as though they leave their body for a while and then return.


When Sam and Rosie arrive, Sam is amazed to see his father has come over from America to be there. He had contacted Monty and requested that Sam goes to investigate the fact that Pearl has seen a number of boys at the gates to heaven. During one of her periods of “out of body” experiences she heard mentioned the name Jazz – Sam's brother who when only 10 years old had mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again.


One of the boys – Tuey keeps on talking about the Washing Up Man” and how awful he smells. Then the body of a young boy is found buried in woods nearby – he is identified as a Stuart known as Stuey, could this be Pearl's contact?

Deciding they can learn no more about Jazz, they return to the Museum, Michael goes with them. They meet up with Monty who tells them of a place up north, Waketon, where there has been a higher number than usual of the disappearance of young boys. The three of them drive up. Enquiries lead them to investigate an Annie McAllister.


Rosie goes on her own to visit her deep in the woods. Little did she know what an horrific experience she was about to have and the unimaginable terrifying discovery she was about to make. Nothing could have prepared her for the horrors that unfold.


I love Syd Moore's books about the Essex Witch Museum. She always manages to inject a good amount of humour into often macabre ghoulish happenings.

I thoroughly recommend this latest creepy tale, it sent shivers down my spine. Delicious!

Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

Syd Moore is an author inspired by the history and legacy of the 19th Century Essex witch trials. She is also co-creator of Super Strumps, the game that reclaims female stereotypes through the medium of Top Trumps, and was founding editor of Level 4, an arts and culture magazine based in South Essex. She has worked extensively in publishing and the book trade and presented Channel 4's late night book programme, Pulp.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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