Gladys and Annie Barnes are impoverished sisters who have seen better times. They live in a modest cottage in the backstreets of Highate with Mr Fisher, a mild but eccentric old man living secretively in the attic above them. Their quiet lives are thrown into confusion when a new landlord takes over, a dreaded and unscrupulous 'rackman'. He installs his wife in part of the cottages in the hope that there she will recover from an unspecified malady. With a mounting sense of fear, Gladys and Annie become convinced she is possessed by an evil spirit...
Stella Gibbons is the Jane Austen of the 20th century
Gibbons was an acute and witty observer, and her dissection of the British class system is spot-on
Stella Gibbons is - as always -gay, satirical and entertaining
It might not be snowing yet, and you may have to work until the 24th, but you can still get into the festive spirit with our selection of favourite Christmas reads.