Julia Trafton discovers that her late husband, the wealthy but cruel Lucien Kane, has been unexpectedly generous in his will: he has bequeathed Julia’s family home (which she gave over to Lucien when they married) to her. There’s a condition, however, Julia must remain in the house for one night, without moving any of fifty-two marked objects. This may seem straightforward enough, but the objects turn out to be the fruits of Lucien’s interest in taxidermy – including his own stuffed corpse, proudly on display in the bedroom.

The idea behind ‘Lucien’s Menagerie’ is creepy enough, but what makes Fitzpatrick’s story work even better is a wonderful ambiguity over the exact nature of the events taking place. Nicely done.

Rating: ***½

David M. Fitzpatrick’s website