Book Review for “Little Dead Red” by Mercedes M. Yardley

If you read my September Wrap Up, you might remember that today’s book review was supposed to be for Pin by Andrew Neiderman. After finishing the book, I made the decision to not review it because I just didn’t enjoy it. I want all of my reviews in October to be for spooky books that I loved, or at least had fun reading. That brings me to what I did decide to review today…

This cover is for a collection of Yardley’s short stories but I preferred it over the original Little Dead Red cover.

Little Dead Red is a novella by Mercedes M. Yardley. After changing my mind about Pin, I needed to find something on the shorter side to read and luckily I stumbled across this gem on Goodreads. It’s definitely on the shorter side, it took me about two hours to read, but wow, it packs a punch. This little novella is now sitting alongside Pet Sematary and IT in my list of top favorite horror stories of all time. I’ll quit gushing about it for a moment and give you the synopsis, then I’ll finish with my thoughts. This review will have slight spoilers.


The Wolf is roaming the city in this Bram Stoker Award-winning Psychological Horror novella, and he must be stopped.

Grim Marie knows far too much about the wolves of the world, a world where little girls go missing. After all, she had married one before she/he showed his claws, and what that wolf did to her little girl was unforgivable. Grim Marie isn’t certain if she can ever forgive herself for putting her Little Aleta in harm’s way.

When Grandmother becomes ill, Aleta offers to take the bus through the concrete forest to Grandmother’s house to bring her some goodies. She knows the way. What could possibly go wrong?

In this modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf takes to the city streets to capture his prey, but the hunter is close behind him. With Grim Marie on the prowl, the hunter becomes the hunted.

Wolves pad through the darkest kind of fairytale: one that can come true.

My Thoughts

What if Little Red Riding Hood didn’t make it to Grandmother’s house because the wolf found her first? What if Little Red Riding Hood’s mother would do anything to avenge her daughter? What if the wolf tricked them all by wearing sheep’s clothing?

If you glance around my blog, it’s pretty apparent that I love fairy tales, especially the more grown up versions of the childhood classics. I decided to buy Little Dead Red just based off the title and synopsis. I assumed it was an urban retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with some horror thrown in. That is the basic premise of the story but this is no fairy tale.

This novella is very hard to review because it’s so short and I don’t want to spoil any part of it. While it does take elements from the classic Little Red Riding Hood story, this is a gritty and horrific reimagining. It’s not horrific in the sense that it’s filled with supernatural or even gory scares; what makes it so terrifying is that every horrible thing in it COULD happen to anybody. It expounds on our worst nightmares and the unfairness of life. Little Dead Red does require some trigger warnings for child abuse, suicide and murder. There is nothing truly graphic but these topics are plainly written about.

Speaking of the writing, it was absolutely superb. It was eloquent and blunt at the same time. What made this novella a true favorite for me, however, was the ending. It was a sucker punch to the gut that left me with my mouth hanging open in shock.

Final Thoughts

If you have a Kindle and $3.00 to spare, buy Little Dead Red. Mercedes M. Yardley is a fantastic writer and I will be reading more from her in the future. Does this sound like a story you’d be interested in? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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