Twists in the Tale

Twists in the Tale

A Collection of psychological suspense, ghost stories and a romance

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Author: Raymond Nickford
Length: 240 page(s)
Language: English
Written: Jan 2014
Verkaufsrang: - XinXii Verkaufsrang
Views: 580

Category: Fiction & Literature » Drama  |  Work: Roman
Keywords: Suspense, ghostly 'presence', atmospheric, romance, psychological suspense, poignant, tender, moving, literary fiction

Troubled lives held in eerie suspense, poignant, yet with tenderness and hope.

In Vienna, schizophrenic, Sam Baldock, is haunted by Beethoven in A Musical Calling. Nurse Amanda is drawn into the wiles of a Harley Street hypnotist. The roots of a yew tree deliver more than sap in Family Tree. Emily is determined to 'reach out' to her dead husband.

Stories blending eeriness, suspense, tenderness and the poignancy of lives which could be yours when driven to extremity.


A Musical Calling - Schizophrenic Sam Baldock is given a day out - his last - at the Beethoven Museum in Vienna where he believes he is called by the spirit of Beethoven. What will his little daughter witness at the top of those winding steps to the Pasqualati House on the Molkerbastie, which once led to the rooms of the composer in 1810?

Father’s Helping Hand - Octogenarians Hubbald & Bros, piano tuners at their Old Chapel workshops, seem almost too kind when they choose to make a gift of a Steinway to their ‘favourite’ customer.

Nanny’s Friends - ‘She calls them her little friends,’ Suzy slurred. ‘Miss Harlow says that when it’s time for a doll to “stay” with her, she “prepares” eyes, really beauuuutiful eyes for it.’

The Rum Barber’s Baby - Harry the barber was vast; a Sumo wrestler without the wrestle but it was only after two vandals had sprayed his shop window in boot-high capitals with I’M TOO FAT TO - - - - that he’d finally come to hate himself.


A Face in a Corridor - Can a paranoid stop himself from destroying she alone who might have shown him what love could be?
At night-time her teacher enters the closed and dimly lit college buildings and, in the empty classrooms and the silent corridors, he tries to come to terms with what seem the appearances of the students and their culture.
They have so reduced him and, in turn, made him suspicious of the girl he wants to trust as his passport to their acceptance.


' Atmospheric, vibrant, spooky page-turner. '

Reay Tannahill - historian, novelist and author of The Seventh Son.

' The sense of atmosphere and place developed is exquisitely detailed. '

Jack Hughes – author of Dawn of Shadows

“ Some of the stories have a cosy fireside start to them but this is probably what makes the sinister the more effective when the narrative drifts into some of its macabre twists.
What the two outwardly endearing old boys do in the supposedly disused crematorium at the back of the converted chapel where they store and repair pianos is often as fiendishly contrived as a Hitchcock film except in miniature. In "The Parchment Recipes", the covers of the book have a 'creeping' similarity to the feel of dried skin but in following the sixteenth century recipes once written in freehand, Emily is able to 'reach out' to her lost husband's spirit, almost as if she is actually touching him. Generally, unsettling yet moving. ”

- Susanna Deakin

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About the Author

Raymond Nickford | Author on

Member since: Nov 2017
Publications on XinXii:  6
My social profiles on...
Raymond Nickford has a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University College of North Wales and has been a college lecturer in English Literature. Troubled souls; the outsider, the lonely, his inspiration.

Meet-the-Author interview:

Raymond's work has been influenced in part by film producer Alfred Hitchcock, as well as authors Ian McEwan and - especially - Daphne du Maurier, whose mastery of mystery and suspense first sparked his interest in fiction with her "Rebecca".

Raymond believes his teaching of English in colleges and as a private tutor has informed his new suspense A Child from the Wishing Well:

This features an eerie music tutor, her young pupil Rosie and Rosie's paranoid and inept father, Gerard, who yearns to fight his mental illness to reach out to his lonely daughter.

The book was shortlisted for the Harper Collins Gold Star Award, May 2010.


"Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, the first scary movie I remember seeing was the 1965 Bette Davis movie, The Nanny. To this day, that movie has always stuck with me as one of the great psychological thrillers of all time. For me, A Child from the Wishing Well, is reminiscent of that movie" -
Candace Bowen Early - author of A Knight of Silence

"The story is both enjoyable and oddly chilling, all the more so for its apparent warmth. The pleasantness of Ruth and her liveliness should seem gentle, grandmotherly and appealing, a sweet old lady one could adore, what seems kindly suddenly turns sinister, her upbeat excitability oddly macabre, her voice... a bird screeching... fingers down a blackboard" -
Raven Clarke - author of The Shadowsword Saga

"The author gives great voice to his characters, describing well their idiosyncrasies. A good story must either go deep or wide, and with Nickford's background in psychology he goes deep within the human condition. For some adults, the ability to relate to a child does not come naturally, and requires enormous if not awkward effort. This is an often overlooked subject worth exploring" -
Stephen Valentine - author of Nobody Rides for Free

"A beautifully constructed scenario emerged. The attic scene vividly describes the significance of the doll in the depth of the well. All the mystery and menace of the story coalesces here. I was taken back years to the 1960s when I read a story by Saki entitled The Lumber Room. Mystery and menace are purely distilled in a distinctive writing style" -
Tony Brady - author of Scenes from an Examined Life

"Full of dark shadings and menace. I like the tenderness of the father's feelings" -
A. R. Taylor - author of Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion

Aristo's Family : Set on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, an eerie and poignant story about a boy's need to belong while his archaeologist father is too preoccupied with his obsession to search for a family who, Aristo was told, had all been burnt beyond recognition in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Father and son... or strangers forever ?

Twists in the Tale : Eerie stories of the troubled, the lonely, but places where clouds can, ultimately, have a silver lining.

For other titles of family life in literary and psychological suspense please see Raymond Nickford's books on Amazon and other retailers.

Raymond says he is moved by the music and life of the composer Edward Elgar, his interest leading him each year to a cottage in the Malvern Hills and to the Three Choirs Festival.



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