Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Death Sentences: stories of Deathly Books, Murderous Booksellers & Lethal Literature, edited by Otto Penzler with an introduction by Ian Rankin

Death Sentences is, I discover, a continuing project. The collection that I am reviewing contains 15 short stories and was published in 2014; but the idea has taken hold, and … Continue reading

October 23, 2015 · 3 Comments

Something Childish by Katherine Mansfield

This post is part of the 1924 Club, which I’m co-organising over at my blog Stuck in a Book – along with Karen, I’m asking people to read books published … Continue reading

October 22, 2015 · 6 Comments

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is pretty much my favourite author. She has been since I was recommended The Handmaid’s Tale by my English teacher when I was 16. Since then I’ve read … Continue reading

October 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

Musings upon the Short Stories of Saki

Having always enjoyed the short stories of Saki, I was hard pressed to select just one to review. As most people know, Saki is the pen name of Hector Hugh … Continue reading

October 20, 2015 · 3 Comments

The love of weird in Karen Russell’s short stories

Karen Russell is a North American novelist and short storyist whose two published collections – St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (2006), and Vampires in the Lemon Grove … Continue reading

October 19, 2015 · 6 Comments

Coming Up-Short Story Week #2

Former Book Fox Rosy was always saying how short stories are an under appreciated literary form, so with that thought, we decided to spotlight them in what I hope will … Continue reading

October 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

It’s Not Behind You: Poor Souls’ Light

Last year, the Curious Tales publishing collective launched their first limited-run, illustrated collection of ghost stories (no reprints, no POD, no Kindle): The Longest Night, five tales in the spirit … Continue reading

December 5, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Royal Confessor by Kirsty Jane McCluskey

(Disclaimer: Kirsty is both a friend and a fellow Book Fox …) At the heart of The Royal Confessor are an elderly, ailing monarch, his dutiful but frustrated Jesuit confessor … Continue reading

June 10, 2014 · 3 Comments

Beautiful Words by Nik Perring

Anyone who follows this site avidly (so avidly they have read every post for the past four years) will know I was a real fan of Nik Perring’s last collection … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 3 Comments

Irish short stories

Disclaimer: I know nothing about Irish fiction as a taught subject. This is the first time I’ve read any, apart from a bit of James Joyce and Molly Keane.  So I’m … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · 1 Comment

Moss Witch and Other Stories

This is a collection of short stories that draw on science to create their plots. Or, this is a collection of interesting scientific possibilities illustrated by fiction. Whichever way you … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · 1 Comment

Dispatches from the Little World: an interview with Alberto and Carlotta Guareschi

Giovanni Guareschi (1908-1968) is perhaps best known in the English-speaking world for his stories about the village priest Don Camillo and his rival, the Communist mayor Peppone.  His prolific output … Continue reading

June 3, 2011 · 6 Comments

Vivaldi and the Number 3 by Ron Butlin: from delight to disillusionment in 200 pages

In these playful vignettes, Ron Butlin looks at the lives of the great composers and philosophers from unusual but always entertaining angles. Vivaldi’s creative block is freed with God’s gift … Continue reading

March 2, 2011 · 6 Comments

The Book of Happy Endings by Elise Valmorbida: the problem of truth

This is a collection of life-affirming stories about couples who met and fell in love. So you know the endings already. Or do you? There is nothing predictable here. The … Continue reading

October 26, 2010 · 9 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)