Verified
Valancourt Books

Valancourt Books

Valancourt Books is an independent small press specializing in the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction. 

 

A Book of the Dead (1984) by John Blackburn

New Release

 

Why is someone willing to kill in order to get their hands on every copy of Men of Courage, a rare but worthless book? That's the mystery at the heart of John Blackburn's rarest thriller, A BOOK OF THE DEAD (1984), long unavailable and republished now for the first time.

 

 

Book Description

When a veteran book dealer pays an exorbitant sum at auction for a copy of Men of Courage, a worthless book about famous heroic deeds, his colleagues believe he has lost his mind. But when he is found dead and the book goes missing, it appears something more sinister may be going on. In fact, someone has been buying, stealing, or destroying every known copy of the book. Bookseller Tom Mayne, with the help of the lovely heiress Janet Vale and the egotistical adventurer J. Moldon-Mott, is determined to find out why – and to stop a madman before he kills again!

John Blackburn (1923-1993) was regarded as one of the great British mystery and thriller writers of his time. This first-ever reprint of A Book of the Dead (1984), his penultimate and rarest novel, includes a new introduction by Greg Gbur. Fifteen other thrillers, mysteries, and horror novels by Blackburn are also available from Valancourt.

Reviews

‘He can be depended upon to sustain swift, sure, exciting, and absorbing stories ... undoubtedly one of England’s best practicing novelists in the tradition of the thriller novel.’ - St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers

‘He is certainly the best British novelist in his field and deserves the widest recognition.’ - Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural

Now available worldwide:

Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Happy birthday Henry Chapman Mercer!

 

Henry Chapman Mercer
(June 24, 1856 - March 9, 1930)

Henry Chapman Mercer was born in 1856 to a well-to-do family in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. As a young man he travelled in Europe and attended Harvard University from 1875 to 1879. Afterwards, he studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced, returning to Europe to travel extensively across the continent.

Towards the end of his life, Mercer published November Night Tales (1928), a collection of stories reflecting his lifelong interest in history and archaeology, his appreciation for castles and gothic fiction, and his Romantic imagination.

November Night Tales sale! Now through the end of the month:

November Night Tales by Henry Chapman Mercer
Paperback $10 + shipping, regularly $16.99
eBook $1.99, regularly $6.99
Purchase on our website using Paypal
 
Audiobook out now: Gilded Needles (1980) by Michael McDowell

New audiobook! R.C. Bray, whose performance of Michael McDowell's The Elementals earned an Audie Award nomination, is back with a brilliant rendition of McDowell's harrowing story of revenge, GILDED NEEDLES! Now available worldwide on Amazon and Audible.

We have a limited number of promotional codes to give away, so if anyone is interested in reviewing the audiobook, please send us a private message on our Facebook page. More on the book here: Gilded Needles

 

LGBT eBook Sale for Pride Month!

June is LGBT Pride Month, and to celebrate, we're offering a 2-for-1 deal all month long on all ebooks in our LGBT literature catalog! It's easy: purchase any LGBT ebook using our Paypal button, then send us an email or message to let us know which other ebook (of equal or lesser price) you'd like for free! Applies only to ebooks purchased from the Valancourt website (not Amazon). Complete list of titles over on our Rediscovered LGBT Literature page.

 

Review Copies Available!

We have a bunch of Audible download codes to give away for one of our newest releases - just send us a message on our Facebook page with your email address, and whether you're in the US or UK. Once you've listened, we'd be grateful if you post a review to let us know what you think!

 

 

“A whirlwind of horror!” – Library Journal

“An unsettling piece of work.” – New York Times

 

Book Description

“If you were to go into your bedroom tonight – perhaps by candlelight – and sit quietly before the large mirror, you might see what I have seen. Sit patiently, looking neither at yourself nor at the glass. You might notice that the image is not yours, but that of an exceptional person who lived at some other time . . .”

The image in the mirror of fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Cuttner is that of the fey and long-dead Frances, who introduces Elizabeth to her chilling world of the supernatural. Through Frances, Elizabeth learns what it is to wield power – power of a kind that is malevolent and seemingly invincible. Power that begins with the killing of her parents . . .

 

 

 

Audiobook out now: Elizabeth (1976) by Ken Greenhall

New release!

 

One of our best recent titles, Ken Greenhall's Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural , is now available worldwide as an audiobook! Greenhall's tale about an evil young woman who may be a witch makes for terrific listening and is brilliantly narrated by Becca Grabowski.

“A whirlwind of horror!” – Library Journal

“An unsettling piece of work.” – New York Times

 

 

Book Description

“If you were to go into your bedroom tonight – perhaps by candlelight – and sit quietly before the large mirror, you might see what I have seen. Sit patiently, looking neither at yourself nor at the glass. You might notice that the image is not yours, but that of an exceptional person who lived at some other time . . .”

The image in the mirror of fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Cuttner is that of the fey and long-dead Frances, who introduces Elizabeth to her chilling world of the supernatural. Through Frances, Elizabeth learns what it is to wield power – power of a kind that is malevolent and seemingly invincible. Power that begins with the killing of her parents . . .

Now available:

Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Audiobook
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible
New Audiobook Releases!

Check out our newest audiobook releases! You can view our complete audiobook catalogue over on our website.

 

 

Offbeat: Uncollected Stories by Richard Matheson
Narrated by Peter Berkrot, R.C. Bray, Scott Brick, William Dufris, Matt Godfrey, Jeffrey Kafer, Mike Ortego, Anna Parker-Naples, Elizabeth Wiley, Eric Martin, Sean Runnette, Caitlin Davies

“Perhaps no author living is as responsible for chilling a generation with tantalizing nightmare visions.” - The New York Times

“The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson.” - Stephen King

In the aptly titled Offbeat, Richard Matheson, a modern master of strange fiction, offers thirteen excursions into the unsettling and bizarre. In these stories you will encounter a major league pitcher with a horrific secret for his astonishing success; an ordinary man who wakes to find himself in a silent, empty world; a death row prisoner with an extraordinary explanation for his innocence; and a novelist whose fictional creations transcend the printed page.

 

 

The Late Breakfasters (1964) by Robert Aickman, narrated by Matt Godfrey

“Reading Robert Aickman is like watching a magician work.” – Neil Gaiman

“Robert Aickman at his best was this century's most profound writer of what we call horror stories.” – Peter Straub

In The Late Breakfasters, young Griselda de Reptonville is invited by Mrs. Hatch to a house party at her country estate, Beams (which, incidentally, is haunted). There, amidst an array of eccentric characters and bizarre happenings, she will meet the love of her life, Louise. But when their short-lived relationship is cruelly cut short, Griselda must embark on a quest to recapture the happiness she has lost.

 

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961) by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey

“Might have been written by O. Henry in a black mood; alternately comic, horrifying [and] clever.” – Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review

“A distinctive and unique voice...one of the genre's most incisive satirists and outstanding innovators.” – Library Journal

“One of the best pulp writers.” – Booklist

One of the great pulp writers, Fredric Brown (1906-1972) combined a flair for the horrific, a quirky sense of humor, and a wild imagination, and published many classic novels in the mystery and science fiction genres. But he was also a master of the "short-short story", tales only a page or two in length, but hard-hitting and with a wicked twist at the end. Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961) collects 47 short gems by Brown, ranging from science fiction to noir crime to horror, including the chilling and unforgettable "The Geezenstacks". Long unobtainable, Brown's classic collection is available for the first time in almost 40 years and is sure to please both longtime fans and those who are discovering this brilliant writer for the first time.

Hell Hound (1977) by Ken Greenhall

New release! Don't be fooled by the schlocky title: Ken Greenhall's Hell Hound (1977) is a lost classic of literary horror whose titular canine, according to Too Much Horror Fiction, "makes Cujo seem like a clumsy amateur". Narrated from the point of view of a sociopathic bull terrier on a homicidal search for the perfect master, Greenhall's novel was adapted for the French black comedy film Baxter (1989). Features a new intro by Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör and My Best Friend's Exorcism.

 

 

Book Description

‘What are the possibilities of my strength? That is a thought I have never had before. What if some morning as the old woman stood at the head of the staircase she were suddenly to feel a weight thrusting against the back of her legs? What if she were to lunge forward, grasping at the air, striking her thin skull against the edge of a stair? What would become of me if she were found unmoving at the bottom of the stairway?’

Such are the thoughts of Baxter, a sociopathic bull terrier on the hunt for the perfect master, as he contemplates the demise of his first victim. The basis for the acclaimed 1989 film Baxter, Ken Greenhall’s utterly chilling and long-unobtainable Hell Hound (1977) has earned a reputation as a lost classic of horror fiction. This first-ever reissue includes a new introduction by Grady Hendrix.

Available worldwide:

Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Offbeat: Uncollected Stories by Richard Matheson

Our much-anticipated collection of rare Richard Matheson short stories, OFFBEAT, newly introduced by David J. Schow, is now up for preorder worldwide for paperback and Kindle! The release date is Feb. 28. Visit our website for pre-order links.

 

Eltonsbrody (1960) by Edgar Mittelholzer

New Release

 

One of the most prolific and important of 20th-century Caribbean writers, Edgar Mittelholzer (1909-1965) was at his best in Gothic novels like My Bones and My Flute (1955) and Eltonsbrody (1960). This first-ever reissue of Mittelholzer’s weird and chilling tale reproduces the original dust jacket art and includes a new introduction by John Thieme.

 

 

Book Description

When Woodsley, a young English painter, arrives in Barbados and finds no lodging available, he thinks himself fortunate to be invited to stay at Eltonsbrody, a mansion belonging to the eccentric widow Mrs Scaife. But behind the locked doors of the house’s disused rooms lurk terrible secrets, and soon strange and blood-curdling events begin to unfold. The tension builds towards a shocking and unforgettable conclusion, when the full horror of Eltonsbrody will be revealed.

Available worldwide

Hardcover
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Audiobooks

The audiobooks in our horror line have really been taking off and we're excited to announce we will have several more coming out soon, including two Michael McDowell titles! Scroll down for descriptions of our current releases and visit our website for more information.

 

 

Blood Secrets (1978) by Craig Jones
Performed by Caitlin Davies

 

“Chill-hungry readers can enjoy the nicely knotted domestic tension and aroma of undefined evil that first-novelist Jones fabricates so well.” - Kirkus Reviews

 

Craig Jones’s critically acclaimed first novel, the Edgar Award-nominated Blood Secrets (1978), was a bestseller when originally published and has since been acknowledged by many critics as a masterpiece of modern Gothic fiction.

 

All Souls’ Night (1933) by Hugh Walpole
Narrated by Matt Godfrey

 

“All these [tales] are excellent and ‘The Silver Mask’ an absolute masterpiece, so eerily inexorable in its development that it should be as famous as Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ or Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘​The Yellow Wallpaper.’ ” - Michael Dirda, Washington Post

 

Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) was one of the most popular and prolific English authors of his time, best known for his historical fiction and novels for boys. But it was in the field of the macabre and supernatural that Walpole was at his best, and this collection of sixteen tales contains many of his finest, including the classic werewolf story ‘Tarnhelm’; the oft-anthologized ‘The Little Ghost’; ‘The Snow’, a chilling story of vengeance from beyond the grave; and perhaps the highlight of the collection, ‘The Silver Mask’, which one critic has called ‘a masterpiece, a classic example of how a tale can be truly terrible and ghostly with no ghost and only the wispiest hint of the supernatural.’

 

Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) by Bernard Taylor
Narrated by Matt Godfrey

 

“My favorite ghost story ... at once manages to be both moving and extremely unsettling ... there isn't anything that beats it.” - Charles L. Grant 

 

A chilling story that builds slowly and inexorably towards its shocking climax, Bernard Taylor's Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) has been recognized as one of the finest horror novels ever written.

 

Antique Dust (1989) by Robert Westall
Performed by two-time Audie Award winning narrator R.C. Br​ay

 

‘Marvelous M. R. Jamesian-style ghost stories’ - Michael Dirda, Washington Post

 

‘Dealers are undertakers of a sort. When a man dies, the undertaker comes for the body, and the dealer comes for the rest. I deal in dead men’s clocks, pipes and swords. Passing through my hands, they give off joy, loneliness, fear . . . I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England.’

 

Burnt Offerings (1973) by Robert Marasco


Performed by two-time Audie Award winning narrator R.C. Br​ay

 

​“Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House . . . is the best, without question, but . . . my nominee for runner-up in the category—and a damned close runner-up at that—is Burnt Offerings . . . near brilliance . . . [a] disturbing tale, and one which comes highly recommended not just to fans of the genre but to the general reader.” — Stephen King

 

The basis for a classic 1976 film adaptation and an acknowledged influence on Stephen King’s The Shining, Burnt Offerings is one of the most original and scariest haunted house novels ever written.

 

The Elementals (1981) by Michael McDowell
Performed by two-time Audie Award winning narrator R.C. Bray

 

“The finest writer of paperback originals in America.” - Stephen King

 

“Surely one of the most terrifying novels ever written.” - Poppy Z. Brite

 

​A haunted house story unlike any other, Michael McDowell’s The Elementals (1981) was one of the finest novels to come out of the horror publishing explosion of the 1970s and ’80s. Though best known for his screenplays for Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, McDowell is now being rediscovered as one of the best modern horror writers and a master of Southern Gothic literature.

Count Roderic's Castle (1794) by Anonymous

New release

 

Winter, with its early sunsets and long, chilly nights, is the best season for reading an old-fashioned Gothic novel, so we're pleased to have a new one available: COUNT RODERIC'S CASTLE (1794), one of the most popular of the early Gothics published by the Minerva Press. This first new edition in over 150 years is available in hardcover, paperback & ebook worldwide and features a new introduction by Hannah Doherty Hudson.

 

 

Book Description

'A deadly paleness overspread the countenance--the eyes were hollow, and sunk--the hair was clotted with blood--with which his garments were also stained, and the light which Anselmo had descried, proceeded from a taper which he held in his hand.'

Set in medieval Lombardy, this is the story of the trials and tribulations of the virtuous Rhinaldo and his beloved Isabel. The barbarous usurper Astolpho has seized the throne, murdering Rhinaldo's father, Count Roderic, and imprisoning Isabel under the guard of the abominable Rhodolpho. Can Rhinaldo win back his birthright and save his true love?

With a fast-paced plot that features many of the elements for which the Gothic novel is known--brave heroes and detestable villains, ancient castles, dark dungeons, and a vengeful spectre--Count Roderic's Castle (1794) was one of the most popular of the early Gothic novels issued by the famous Minerva Press. This edition, the first in over 150 years, includes a new introduction by Hannah Doherty Hudson.

Available worldwide:

Hardcover
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback
Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
 
Audiobook out now: All Souls' Night by Hugh Walpole

New Release

 

Here's another new release in our Vintage Thrills and Chills catalogue.

 

 

Book Description

Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) was one of the most popular and prolific English authors of his time, best known for his historical fiction and novels for boys. But it was in the field of the macabre and supernatural that Walpole was at his best, and this collection of sixteen tales contains many of his finest, including the classic werewolf story ‘Tarnhelm’; the oft-anthologized ‘The Little Ghost’; ‘The Snow’, a chilling story of vengeance from beyond the grave; and perhaps the highlight of the collection, ‘The Silver Mask’, which one critic has called ‘a masterpiece, a classic example of how a tale can be truly terrible and ghostly with no ghost and only the wispiest hint of the supernatural.’

Reviews

‘Excellently written and displaying a wide range of interests . . . Mr. Walpole knows well how to make the flesh creep.’ - Sydney Morning Herald

‘There are sixteen stories in Walpole’s collection, and they all reach a high degree of merit; all are marked by the distinguished literary quality one is sure to find in his work.’ - New York Times

‘A macabre master whose understanding of the night side of human experience makes him indispensable fire-side reading.’ - Flesh and Blood Magazine

Available worldwide in paperback, ebook and audiobook:

Paperback
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Website
eBook
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Website
Audiobook
Audible | Amazon US | Amazon UK

In the Eyes of Mr Fury (1989) by Philip Ridley

New release! IN THE EYES OF MR FURY by Philip Ridley, acclaimed playwright and the visionary director of The Reflecting Skin, is the world's first LGBT magical realist epic. A rewritten and expanded new edition of the original 1989 cult classic, it has been hailed by critics as 'a dark tale of death, sex, devils and fantasy', 'hauntingly original', and 'brave and ingenious'. Trust us, you don't want to miss this one! Available in paperback, ebook, or an exclusive hardcover edition accompanied by an original signed art card.

 

 

Book Description

On the day Concord Webster turned eighteen, the Devil died. The Devil’s real name was Judge Martin, but Concord’s mother called him the Devil. She said he boiled babies for dinner and made lampshades out of human skin. So why did she, who hated him so venomously, have a key to his house? 

The key will unlock more than just Judge’s front door. It will also unlock a multitude of stories - where magic children talk to crows, men disappear in piles of leaves, and James Dean lookalikes kiss in dark alleys - and reveal a secret history that will change Concord’s life forever.

Philip Ridley’s second novel (following the sexually charged tour de force Crocodilia) was an instant cult classic when originally published in 1989. Now, for this new edition, Ridley has reimagined the story, expanding the original short novel into the world’s first LGBT magical realist epic. A vast, labyrinthine, hall-of-mirrors saga, its breathtaking imagery and stunning plot twists – covering over a hundred years – reveal Ridley to be one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary fiction.

Reviews

‘Philip Ridley’s stories compel attention.’ - The Times (London)

'The small-town drama is shot through with a tangible sense of the supernatural, conveyed in a prose style that takes enormous risks.' - Time Out

‘Ridley is the master of modern myth.’ - The Guardian

'Hauntingly original.' - Mail on Sunday

‘Ridley is a visionary.’ - Rolling Stone

'Brave and ingenious' - Sunday Telegraph

'A dark tale of death, sex, devils and fantasy.' - Evening Standard

'What really sets this book apart are the fantastical and dream-like aspects of the story, qualities that may owe more to Latin American and Continental influences than any native tradition ... And the story itself is baroque and highly coloured. It's a bold and interesting departure ... well paced and told in an elegantly spare style.' - Adam Lively, Punch

Available worldwide:

Exclusive Hardcover Edition with signed card
Website

Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

New Release

 

The first-ever collection of Victorian Christmas ghost stories, culled from rare 19th-century periodicals

 

 

Book Description

 

During the Victorian era, it became traditional for publishers of newspapers and magazines to print ghost stories during the Christmas season for chilling winter reading by the fireside or candlelight. Now for the first time thirteen of these tales are collected here, including a wide range of stories from a diverse group of authors, some well-known, others anonymous or forgotten. Readers whose only previous experience with Victorian Christmas ghost stories has been Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” will be surprised and delighted at the astonishing variety of ghostly tales in this volume. 

“In the sickly light I saw it lying on the bed, with its grim head on the pillow. A man? Or a corpse arisen from its unhallowed grave, and awaiting the demon that animated it?” - John Berwick Harwood, “Horror: A True Tale”

“Suddenly I aroused with a start and as ghostly a thrill of horror as ever I remember to have felt in my life. Something—what, I knew not—seemed near, something nameless, but unutterably awful.” - Ada Buisson, “The Ghost’s Summons”

“There was no longer any question what she was, or any thought of her being a living being. Upon a face which wore the fixed features of a corpse were imprinted the traces of the vilest and most hideous passions which had animated her while she lived.” - Walter Scott, “The Tapestried Chamber”

 

Available worldwide:

 

Hardback
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback
Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
 

 

 

The Affirmation by Christopher Priest

Though he's won numerous awards and has a large following internationally, Christopher Priest is best known in the U.S. as the author of THE PRESTIGE (1995), which was adapted by Christopher Nolan for a hit Hollywood film. But all his books are worth reading, especially THE AFFIRMATION (1981), a genre-defying literary mindgame that we both loved.

 

 

Book Description

 

Peter Sinclair, a 29-year-old Londoner, is reeling after losing his father, his girlfriend, his job and his flat. Taking refuge in a friend’s rural cottage, he tries to make sense of things and figure out where his life began to go wrong by writing an autobiography. But it is possible that none of this is true . . . 

Peter Sinclair is a 31-year-old native of the city of Jethra in Faiandland who has just won the grand prize in a lottery: a trip to the Dream Archipelago, a neverending series of idyllic islands, where he will undergo a medical procedure that gives him immortality. Because the process also results in total amnesia, Peter must first set down all the details of his life in a manuscript in order to recover the memories afterwards. But it is also possible that none of this is true . . .

As the two narratives intersect and intertwine, the reader must decide what is real and what is not in this brilliant literary mindgame from Christopher Priest, the award-winning author of The Prestige and The Separation.

 

Reviews

 

“Priest writes extraordinarily well . . . his best novel to date . . . an atmosphere of increasingly oppressive menace.” – Francis King, The Spectator

“There is a compulsive, dreamlike quality about The Affirmation that defies definition.” – Daily Telegraph

“An original and haunting novel.” – London Times

“A brilliant and sustained novel of imaginative power.” – Vector