‘What Moves the Dead’

A re-telling of an Edgar Allan Poe classic take

By Stefanie Davis

“The dead don’t walk. Except, sometimes when they do (Kingfisher, 2022, p. 123).” T. Kingfisher’s book. “What Moves the Dead” is a re-telling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Retired soldier Alex Easton hurries via horseback to the Usher manor after receiving word that their friend Madeline is near death. Easton comes upon some dreadful flesh-colored mushrooms and decides to take a closer look until mycologist Eugenia Potter warns them of the foul smell the mushrooms produce. Upon arriving, Easton is greeted by Roderick, a friend from their youth who also served in the war under their command. Easton knew from the letter that their friend Maddy was very ill but was shocked to also find Roderick bone pale with sunken eyes in blue-tinged eye sockets and spider-like hair. Roderick introduces Easton to his friend Denton, a doctor there to help care for the ill Madeline. Easton’s friend Angus arrives and is also surprised at the state of decline the Usher estate is in. Easton then becomes suspicious that there may be something more sinister happening than what is immediately visible. The wildlife is behaving strangely, Roderick is a bundle of nervous energy, and the lake seems to have a strange glow. Can they figure out what is happening before it’s too late? If you like re-tellings, science, mushrooms, and a fast-paced, character-driven, dark quick read, you will enjoy this story. A fantastic read for fans of “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, “The Pallbearers Club” by Paul Tremblay and “The Death of Jane Lawrence” by Caitlin Starling.



“Daisy Darker” by Alice Feeney

“Just Like Home” by Sarah Gailey

“The Daughter of Doctor Moreau” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“The Hacienda” by Isabel Cañas


Young Adult:

“The Weight of Blood” by Tiffany D. Jackson

“These Fleeting Shadows” by Kate Alice Marshall

“Wake the Bones” by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

“Mirror Girls” by Kelly McWilliams



“Stitch-or-Treat! (Disney Stitch)” by Eric Geron

“If Animals Trick-or-Treated” by Ann Whitford Paul

“One Good night ‘til Halloween” by Frank Berrios

“Disney Frozen Polar Nights: Cast into Darkness” by Jen Calonita