Having enjoyed the novels Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel by internationally Best Selling Author Kate Mosse, I would like to read The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales, which has recently been published in paperback. The book has been described as A wonderfully atmospheric collection of short stories from a captivating writer, inspired by ghost stories, traditional folk tales and country legends from England and France. The tales are richly populated by spirits and ghosts seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny – all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc. The collection includes The Mistletoe Bride, La Fille de Melisande, Red Letter Day, The Lending Library and The House on the Hill.
“The Mistletoe Bride” chronicles the wedding day of a young woman five hundred or so years ago who has married Lord Lovell at Bramshill House in the middle of the winter. However the Bride is slightly nervous of her first night, So suggests “a game of hide-and-seek, in order to delay the daunting prospect of the wedding bed, an inevitability which leaves her feeling conflicted. “I can see Lovell’s eyes on me and know he means to be the one who discovers my hiding place. There is part of me that shrinks at the thought of it, but he is a gentle man.” when the game begins, the mistletoe bride decides on one hell of a hiding place: in a “wooden coffer which is bound fast by four wide metal bands.” She settles into it as if it were a bed, and as she is waiting to be discovered she gradually becomes more tired and goes to sleep… with haunting consequences:
“The Yellow Scarf, takes place in an ancient Oxfordshire estate in the mid-1970s, where Sophia is accompanying her aunt on a coach tour of minor stately homes on A week’s holiday from work, all expenses paid, and although Sophia is enjoying herself she finds constant company a little tiring so she seizes the opportunity to explore on her own. Intrigued by the selfsame folklore Mosse explores in the starter story “of a young bride said to have disappeared here on her wedding night”—Sophia ventures into a small family chapel wherein she spots “a piece of historic graffiti” relating to the long-dead newlywed and finds herself transported back in time where she meets a young woman and unwittingly finds herself embroiled in the tragic events of Minster Lovell Hall discovering that there is much more to the old story than she realised.
Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, will be published in autumn 2014. Kate is also the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and was also awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature.