Does this count as a Once Upon a Time read? There are hints of other-worldiness, with ‘evidence’ of fairies when policeman Walsmear brings photographer Charles Castle photographs of fairies. Castle becomes completely convinced that those smears around the photographs are indeed fairies and heads to the garden to photograph the fairies for himself. Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance.
And based on that alone, it sounds like a fantastic read, doesn’t it? I was all ooh, Doyle and fairies!
But bah. It wasn’t. It started out fine enough but once Castle heads to the little village of Burkinwell to find the fairies, things just get too bizarre. Not in the otherworld-ly sense, which would have made for at least an interesting sort of bizarre. But in the human sense, where Castle meets the vicar’s wife and falls in with some gypsies and just drinks far too much. I’m kind of surprised I stuck with it, but I guess since the book opens with Castle telling his tale from prison, I wanted to find out what he was incarcerated for. So Steve Szilagui got me there. And I wasn’t the only one, as Photographing Fairies was shortlisted for the 1993 World Fantasy Awards and was even turned into a film starring Ben Kingsley.