Black Cat
Black Cat
Black Cat

Muckross Abbey and Other Stories

by Sabina Murray

From the PEN/Faulkner award winning pioneer of “ironic gothic” (Washington Post) comes a wry and spooky set of ghost stories, replete with original illustrations

  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 256
  • Publication Date March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5748-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $18.00
  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Publication Date March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5749-2
  • US List Price $18.00

Sabina Murray has long been celebrated for her mastery of the gothic. Now in Muckross Abbey and Other Stories, she returns to the genre, bringing readers to haunted sites from a West Australian convent school to the moors of England to the shores of Cape Cod in ten strange tales that are layered, meta, and unforgettable.

From a twisted recasting of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, to an actor who dies for his art only to haunt his mother’s house, to the titular “Muckross Abbey,” an Irish chieftain burial site cursed by the specter of a flesh-eating groom—in this collection Murray gives us painters, writers, historians, and nuns all confronting the otherworldly in fantastically creepy ways. With notes of Wharton and James, Stoker and Shelley, now drawn into the present, these macabre stories are sure to captivate and chill.

Praise for Muckross Abbey and Other Stories:

“Moors, mists, and mirrors: all expected in classic ghost stories. Careening cars, TV sets with minds of their own, and cellphones: Welcome to a new iteration of spectral spookiness… each tale presents a uniquely crafted poltergeist. These are not your father’s ghost stories.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Delightfully abundant, with well-wrought spookiness… With frequent nods to both contemporary and classic ghost-story writers (Daphne Du Maurier, Henry James), the success of these stories lies not just in the well-crafted writing but in the conscious mixing of a shape-shifting old world with an unreliably secure modern world. A masterly recharging of a treasured literary tradition that Murray clearly loves and respects.”—Library Journal, starred review

“Each story has plenty of spookiness and intelligence… Murray’s gothic stories pulsate with ornate prose.”—Publishers Weekly

“All of Murray’s stories succeed in capturing the skin-prickling, shiver-inducing atmosphere of the best gothic tales. Never beholden to gore or cheap thrills, each story is a puzzle box of gradual dread, keeping readers paralyzed with evocative, clear-eyed prose… In 10 atmospherically rich and haunting stories, Muckross Abbey offers satisfying chills and unsettling emotional revelations.”—Shelf Awareness

“This is a tongue-in-cheek take on gothic fiction, though the stories don’t veer into humor or parody; rather, Murray tweaks familiar elements…There’s a dark energy that looms over each of the stories, with most of the characters being academics, art historians, or artists. Horror readers who enjoy more prosaic elements will admire Murray’s drawn-out, elaborate pacing. Overall, it’s a well-written, satisfying collection with mystery elements for fans of Sarah Waters and Kate Morton.”—Booklist

“I binge-read this book, savoring the gothic creepiness at the heart of each tale. Packed with compelling, nuanced lives and the deaths that haunt them, each story is a séance—an invitation for unsettled spirits to let their presence be known, ‘desperate for someone to supply the narrative.’ Murray supplies it with great style and an uncanny knowingness, leaving room for our imagination to fill in the suggestive spaces with our own dark dread.”—Mona Awad, author of Bunny

Praise for Sabina Murray: 

“Murray writes stories of fierce intensity, stories that are evocative, distinct, and haunting.”—New York Times Book Review 

“A mesmerizing writer.”—Miami Herald 

“Murray has both a rare willingness to trust our intelligence and an effortless narrative control.”—Elle 

“Murray’s sense of place is vigorously vivid.”—Seattle Times

“Brilliant… masterly explorations of bitter, terrifying truths.”—Boston Globe 

“Every sentence crackles, and the dialogue defines punchy. Murray is a big talent.”—Entertainment Weekly

“[Murray] invents a whole new genre: ironic Gothic.”—Washington Post