31 Shots of Shock: #21 – ‘The Cafe of Terror’ by E. Phillips Oppenheim

31 Shots of Shock *Title: The Cafe of Terror by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Date Read: 21 October 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Tired by the unacquainted effort of hiking up hills, tour guide Billingham suggests to the Marquis that they should rest at a dilapidated and remote cafe set on the edge of the woods. The group enter the cafe to find it abandoned but are resolved to rest for a short period of time. However, their rest period is brought to an abrupt end when the Marquis’ niece, Madelon spots a face gazing down from an upper window.
Afterthoughts: I’m sorry to say that I was largely disappointed with this story. What began as a promising tale of genuine creepiness, ended up as a dull story set in a courtroom. A real shame because the story did hold a lot of promise during its first half
Notable Quote: A few minutes’ further climb brought them to the café. It was small, dilapidated and uninviting. Nevertheless it proclaimed itself in rudely painted black letters to be a restaurant where “Vins et Consommations” were to be obtained. There were three iron tables outside with a couple of chairs at each, but no sign of life. The door stood open and his two companions followed Mr. Billingham inside. There was no one behind the little counter, no one in the rude little compartment with its sanded floor and benches in place of chairs. There were bottles upon the shelves, however, and a tumbler half full of brandy upon the counter. Mr. Billingham raised his voice and the glasses around shook.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).