Flowers of the Sea
Tartarus Press, 2014
145 x 225 mm, Softcover
Rare. No 12 of 250. Numbered and Signed by the author.
Synopsis: 'This sixth collection of ‘strange stories’ by Reggie Oliver follows the award winning Mrs Midnight (2011). Oliver’s variety of subject matter, wit, characterisation and stylistic elegance are on display, as is his gift for telling a good story. The rivalry between two former MI5 members in a seaside town escalates into something deeply sinister and mysterious. . . . The one-time assistant to a musical genius is dying in early nineteenth-century Vienna and cannot escape his obsession with their last collaboration. . . . In Weimar Germany a mass murderer is awaiting his execution with perplexing eagerness. . . . There are two novellas in this collection. ‘Lord of the Fleas’ is a study of a sinister eighteenth-century architect, told through various documents, including an unpublished fragment of Boswell’s Life of Dr Johnson, and a series of increasingly desperate letters from a young woman to her cousin in the style of the epistolary novels of Fanny Burney. The other novella, ‘A Child’s Problem’, inspired by a painting in the Tate Gallery by Richard Dadd, was nominated for ‘best novella’ in the Shirley Jackson Awards of 2012.