Queer Ghosts

Master of Seacliff, The

book      fiction

  • Master of Seacliff, The
  • Author: Max Pierce
  • Publisher: Harrington Park Press
  • Year: 2007
  • Country: US
  • 201 pages
Warnings
  5 point scale
Nudity:1
Sex:3
Violence:3
book cover

Description:
The year is 1899, and Andrew Wyndham is twenty years old--no longer a boy, but not yet the man he longs to become. Brought up by a harsh and stingy aunt and uncle in New York City after the death of his parents, young Andrew dreams of life as an artist in Paris. He has talent enough but lacks the resources to bring his dream to fruition. When a friend arranges for him to work as tutor to the son of a wealthy patron of the arts, Andrew sees a chance to make his dream come true and boards a train heading up the Atlantic coast. His destination is the estate called Seacliff, where he'll tutor his new charge and save his pay to make the life he dreams of possible. But danger lurks everywhere and nothing is quite as easy as it seems.

I pulled some paper out of my makeshift sketchbook and started a study of the mighty train that brought me here. Lost in thought, I had completed one drawing when a slurred voice came from my left.

'Want some advice? Get back on that train. There's nothin' but death and despair at Seacliff.'

A grizzled man stood at the west edge of the platform. He was short, tanned like oilpaper and wearing dried out, wrinkled clothing. Staring ahead as he limped towards me, the lenses of his glasses made his eyes look larger than normal. Without waiting for me to respond or acknowledge him, he continued, rasping.

'Take it from one who's seen the devil's wrath. They'll all join Satan in hell. You too, unless you leave. Run.'

'Seacliff is my home,' I answered with false confidence. But as I turned, the stranger had evaporated.

Qvamp says:

Even taking into account 'every exception counts,' this is barely included in the queer ghost category. Mystery, sure -- thriller, maybe. Ghost story -- barely!

The ghost content is not certain, and only included in the last couple of pages. That said, this is a surprisingly good story using all of the quintessential Gothic trappings.

Virtually every adult male character in the story is gay. The relationships are well written and sexual tension, if not actual sex, abounds.

For those that enjoy queer Gothic tales, this is recommended. It is not the best mystery around, but still a fun light-hearted read.

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