Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Set in 1953, The Little Men is less of a mystery and more of a “holy $#” that was good read. The nicely woven tale concerns a young woman who the reader always borders on disliking and who may has her problems. Penny arrived in Hollywood with dreams of making it big, and while she did make something, one wonders if it was big. It sure doesn’t sound that way.
It is to Abbott’s credit that while Penny is not someone we would want to be friends with, there is a level of sympathy for her. This is important for trouble follows Penny or she keeps stumbling on it. Penny finds herself a nice place to live, and then as in every Hollywood Horror movie ever written, the weird things start to happen. The mysteries start to occur. She is helped by her two neighbors.
The conceit behind the Bibliomysteries is to have books as a center or main sub-point in the short stories. While the books here haves less impact than the other Bibliomysteries that I have read, they are still important. This hasn’t the charm that was in Elizabeth George’s installment of the series. Abbott’s story is another kettle of fish all together.
It’s really impossible to discuss more of the plot without giving anything away. The atmosphere and writing are very good, and the story has made me want to read more work by Abbott. If you have ever read one of the Year’s Best Collections, this short story is an equal to any stories that have appeared in such books.
While some might find the price of just under two dollars (1.99) a bit steep for a short story, it is worth it. This isn’t a self published, badly edited book. It is a wonderful and spooky read.