In this collection of four short stories, Louisa May Alcott reveals herself as a racy, infinately readable author. Each story features strong women, with sharp tongues and sharper wits. Every plot has an unexpected twist, and a decidedly dark touch of irony. If you couldn't read Little Women because of its flowery prose, here is a second chance to aquaint yourself with an incredible American author. Every story is a page turner to the very end, and each short enough to be read in an evening. Whether her Gothic tales should be considered as potboilers or pulp fiction is really in the hands of the reader. Jane Eyre was considered "coarse" by Victorian audiences, and Wuthering Heights flummoxed people so much they didn't know what to call it. Alcott writes too well, in my opinion, for her tales to be considered as vulgar potboilers and it is her sheer writing skill that gets her off that hook. But be prepared for somewhat of a shock if you taste the waters of this amazing fountain. Four stories are included in this edition, although Alcott wrote several more Gothic tales. Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice's little brushes who couldn't stop sweeping, Alcott couldn't stop writing. As Stern says in her introduction, Louisa wrote her thrillers "when her hair was down and her dander up."