LAST CASE AT A BAGGAGE AUCTION is a killer novella of quiet horror and it’s a blast!
Set in Detroit in the sixties, Charlie and his buddy Ray make a living scrounging about, making bets, and by buying baggage at auctions. Apparently this was a thing back then. Similar to the storage lockers of today, they bid on each bag-but they aren’t allowed to look inside them. After getting home with their booty, they have fun discovering what’s inside. Ray goes last and opens his big case, and discovers a gramophone with some old records. Charlie and Ray listen, struggling to understand what is being said. They became uneasy with it and so did I! What were the people on the wax disc saying? Why does it make both men uncomfortable? You’ll have to read this to find out!
I’m not going to get too far into the plot, but I thought these characters were deftly drawn and I could easily relate to all of them, most especially Charlie. He’s not a bad guy and is struggling a little bit to find his place in life. A better friend would be hard to find.
As the tale progresses, things change drastically and in the second half we learn more about the gramophone and its owner. Towards the end, I felt a distinct cosmic horror vibe, even though this really wasn’t a novella of cosmic horror. That might’ve just been me, but I’d be happy to discuss with you after you’re done reading!
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*