• Nellie Williams

Blackheath Seance Parlour - A review


A friend, let’s call her Amanda Jennings, suggested I read Blackheath Seance Parlour by Alan Williams (no relation) because it’s a brilliant book and she said I’d enjoy it. I therefore mentally added it to my growing To Be Read pile.

In July I was at Shelan Rodger’s book launch where Amanda introduced me to Alan. We did some book chat and I mentioned I’d been to Hay Festival with my youngest which prompted a conversation about Wales. I said that my inlaws lived near The Brecon Mountain Railway to which Alan said he grew up near there. It transpires he grew up two roads away from Big Welsh and we knew lots of the same people and places. He later tweeted about being at a launch for a book set in Argentina yet we were discussing Merthyr Tydfil. Small world! I duly promised to read Blackheath Seance Parlour.

Which I did. On holiday in Spain which was as far removed from Blackheath as Argentina is from Merthyr. The only thing that stopped me reading it all in one go was the family that needed feeding!

What a book! What a plot. Well actually what plots as Alan has weaved in two plots which makes the book an exceedingly bonkers read, but a bloody good read. You really need to read it yourself to get what I mean!!

Two drunk sisters have decided that their chocolate business is failing and needs saving so they turn it into The Blackheath Seance Parlour incurring the wrath of many and gaining notoriety like nothing seen in Blackheath. Meanwhile the Count and Countess cause quite a stir but their hidden life couldn’t be more bizarre and bonkers. At times it was a gruesome read but oh so readable.


I read it at times thinking more than once “oh crikey” often with my mouth wide open and trying hard not to memorise the scenes.

I really enjoyed the book and like many titles from Cutting Edge Press it stayed with me long after I’d finished reading it. So much so that I now look up above if I’m going to sit under a tree. When you’ve read it you’ll understand!


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