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Little Dead Red

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  48 reviews
LITTLE DEAD RED is a realistic fairy tale that creeps in the dark with modern day wolves and those who hunt them.
Published January 11th 2015 by Crystal Lake Publishing
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  115 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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4 1/2 Stars

This is a not happy tale. Terrible things happen to innocent people.

Little Red Dead is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood which was never a sweet tale anyway, but author Mercedes Yardley takes the bones of that fable and gives it a very gritty, very modern treatment and turns it into a horrifying read.

Some women have all the luck. Marie is not one of them. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story and am honestly unsure how to even tackle this review. I’ll just say that Marie s
For a novella, this little book packs a punch.

Happy Marie becomes Grim Marie when her daughter Aleta is forced to face things a child should never have to face. Then Grim Marie becomes something far worse than Grim. I don't blame her one bit. You won't either.

Twists and turns lead you down and you won't be turning back. Neither could Marie.

Highly Recommended for fans of dark fiction and revenge tales! (Though this story is WAY more than your average everyday revenge tale.) Bravo!
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LITTLE DEAD RED, by Mercedes Yardley was one of those "gems" of a find, for myself. I was expecting a fairy-book style story, twisted--of course--and found so much MORE, that I haven't been able to get this story out of my mind.

In the beginning, we have the mom, "Happy Marie", and her beautiful young daughter, Aleta. Often, she was even "Smiling Marie". Then came the day that she realized Aleta was being subjected to an abuse NO child should ever have to know--particularly one so young. From tha
LITTLE DEAD RED, by Mercedes Yardley was one of those "gems" of a find, for myself. I was expecting a fairy-book style story, twisted--of course--and found so much MORE, that I haven't been able to get this story out of my mind.

In the beginning, we have the mom, "Happy Marie", and her beautiful young daughter, Aleta. Often, she was even "Smiling Marie". Then came the day that she realized Aleta was being subjected to an abuse NO child should ever have to know--particularly one so young. From tha
I purposefully avoided this one because I assumed it would too be YA-ey for me. What a dumbass I am. This was a perfectly paced and fast moving novella and I dug everything about it, including the narration on the audio version. It was not YA-ey at all. It was, in fact, quite excellent.

5 Stars and the Highest Recommendation.

This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review and this was it.
The Grim Reader
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a father of two, this was a very difficult novella to read. Mercedes tale of Aleta, a young girl whom is abducted and brutally murdered is an emotionally draining read. It's a grown up version of Little Red Riding Hood that is brilliant in its originality and emotional punch. Mercedes has a wonderful way with words, her writing style seems effortless and has a great flow to it. This novella is the perfect way to introduce yourself to this writer. It ticks all the boxes for what makes a great ...more
Shane Keene
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the benefits of this year's Women In Horror Month has been that I've gone outside of my comfort zone, reading-wise, and made some great discoveries. That's not to say that I don't read women's work during the other months of the year, because I do. But this year I've made it a point to read work by authors I haven't read before. One of those authors is Mercedes M. Yardley and the first thing I've read by her is LITTLE DEAD RED.

"Grim Marie’s mother was dying. She had been dying for several
Lee Anderson drunkonbookz
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I have wanted to read this book for so long but have been unable to get my reading hands on it as I live in Australia.
I will say it was definitely worth the wait.

What started out as what I thought to be a new age spin on Little Red Riding Hood went so much deeper and darker.
Yes grandma was sick and her granddaughter headed out in her red jacket to take her some goodies but that's where the story takes a turn.

This family also has a back story, and as a mother it made my heart break. The lengths t
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-to-review
5 star novella, 5 star narration on the audio book version.
Steve Caldwell
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually into horror stories, but the combo of Mercedes Yardley and Joe Hempel was an irresistible draw. Glad I requested this, because it was so well written, so fantastically worded, plotted and paced that I could not stop listening. When a mother loses her child to a butchering murder, she hatches a plan to catch him. She finds who she believes is the murderer, and does the unthinkable to get evidence. Is this man the killer? Well, the evidence will tell. With a rather wild twist endin ...more
Timothy Ward
Mercedes has such a unique voice. Every one of her stories explores metaphor and poetic language with uncommon grace and creativity. Her stories also aren't afraid to go deep into tragedy and uncover emotions that will surprise, create strong empathy, and some times make it uncomfortable, but in a way that you still have to keep reading, because these are more than just names on a page who're suffering, they're people you need to know more about. This was extremely difficult subject matter to en ...more
Autumn Is Azathoth
Review: LITTLE DEAD RED by Mercedes M. Yardley

Oh my. SO not for the faint of heart. For the rest of us, first of all, this novella's prose reads like poetry. I would have finished so much faster if I hadn't so frequently stopped to savor images and metaphors. Second, this story is going to rip your heart out--again and again and again--and then, just when you think you can handle it: the eviscerating denouement. I never saw it coming. Couldn't possibly have expected it. Wish it hadn't been as it
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My original Little Dead Red audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

What a hard hitter for an hour and a half audiobook!

I read somewhere that the big bad wolf was a metaphor for a sexual predator, a cautionary tale to teach little girls to stay away from strangers.
Mercedes M Yardley has clearly heard that too, her story is full of wolves that circle innocent little girls.

In this story, a little girl catches a bus to take some soup and goodies to her ailing grandmother
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received Little Dead Red in a package deal with her book Nameless. Ms. Yardley always goes right for the heart! I love it.
With Ms. Yardley, you never know if you will get Whimsical or what level of darkness you will receive, but you always know you are alive after reading one of her books. She takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride no matter what the book is about.
Little Dead Red is a modern take on Little Red Riding hood. Instead of a red cape 12 yr old Aleta has a fave hoodie that is
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Even when she writes about the grotesqueries of life, Mercedes Yardley puts the words on paper as if they were a poem. Little Dead Red is a story that will wring you dry of emotion, break your heart and leave you in tears; it will also make you feel like you have never read anything so beautiful. This is a tale about the love that mothers have for their children and the lengths they will go to avenge them. It is a story about transformation and trust and the lies that masquerade as truth. Merced ...more
Andi Rawson
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Little Dead Red wasn't always dead and her mother, Grim Marie, wasn't always grim. But life can be cruel at the best of times. Little Aleta is murdered bringing soup to her sick grandmother, and Marie is left with nothing but a small red piece of fabric and a large and endless hole in her heart. And a need for revenge. A modern twist on a timeless tale, Yardley weaves beauty and horror together into a story that will somehow break your heart and mend it at the same time.

Little Dead Red was the
Yolanda Sfetsos
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of haunting, beautiful stories.
This isn't my first Mercedes M. Yardley story, so I knew I was in for a treat before I even started. She's got a way with words. An amazing knack for telling real-world cautionary tales with a slant towards fantastical horror.

And this novella was no different.

Marie loves her daughter more than anything in this world. But even with all her love and attention to detail, she managed to miss the signs of a dangerous predator under their roof. Marie took care of him, but Aleta was never the same. Act
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella
Little Dead Red retells a well-known fairy-tale. But where Little Red Riding Hood ends with an upbeat note, Little Dead Red makes you crave for Prozac. Yardley has no mercy for her readers and characters, and she drags them through emotional hell.  

A modern Wolf has torn Marie’s daughter into pieces. Only hate, despair and hunger for revenge keep her amongst the living. Yardley portraits Marie’s despair and emotional states through stylized, often poetical prose some readers may find melodramati
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning writing. Visceral and laced with violent emotion, this riff on Little Red Riding hood is both a horror and a crime story. Vivid with concrete details and beautifully crafted sentences. Ultimately an all too real and heartbreaking story. One of the best novellas I've read this year.
Lee Howard
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, crime
This is my first Yardley book, and it certainly won't be my last. Her writing is excellent, and the character of Marie is deep and well-drawn. This was an interesting twist on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. But it was realistic and believable, and the crime was atrocious. Recommended for lovers of crime.
Zakk Madness
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Damn... damn. "Little Dead Red" is a test, a soul check. If something doesn't stir deep down inside of you, if you don't experience at least a slight sting in the eyes, if you don't receive a solid squeeze to the feels whilst reading this novella then you are a lost cause, damaged beyond repair. And I'm sorry.

This piece, another in a long line of immensely satisfying reads from Mercedes M. Yardley, is the darkest thing I read in 2015. Prose like a river sweeping you along, sweeping you under if
Adrean Messmer
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Adrean by: Joe Mynhardt
I absolutely love fairy tales and anything inspired by them. This story takes the story of Little Red Riding Hood and makes it infinitely scarier. Heartbreakingly scarier. It's been thirteen days since I read it the words still haunt me.

It's a super short read, and maybe a little predictable. But predictable in that "Oh, oh no. Please, no, don't... don't let this be the thing is happening."

If you like Paul Tremblay's Head Full of Ghosts, I think you'll dig this one too. They both have the same f
Jan Strydom
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very dark and realistic take on the little red riding hood tale. Mercedes M. Yardley has put together a novella that will draw you into a mother's worst nightmare of losing a child. And the her desire to seek revenge.

Little Dead Red is a must read but take note. This one will stay with you for a while.
Ian Welke
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A twisted modern telling of the fairytale, Little Dead Red is sharply written. Yardley utilizes unreliable point of view, in this case from a point of view character suffering from an acute sense of grief, along with knockout level prose to devastating effect.
BJ Haun
Picked up this short story because this writer was recommended by another author that I follow. I can't fault the writing at all, but the story itself was too dark for me personally to enjoy.
Remember, if you enter the realm of fairy tale retellings you will always and forever be measured against the efforts of the one and only Angela Carter - especially if you are a woman. Carter's retellings are masterpeices of subtle prose, with strong feminist view points (we are talking the real deal here, not the hysterical third wave identity politics joke that feminism has become nowadays) woven into these classic stories and delivering a treasure trove of ideas that is unparalleled until thi ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've spent a while trying to work out how to write a decent review for this book without it just being a string of superlatives. I'm a big fan of Mercedes Yardley's books and this is probably my favourite so far.

Little Dead Red takes a difficult topic, wraps it in the trappings of a classic fairy tale and sprinkles it with a generous dose of Yardley's trademark wordsmithery. The end result is a dark, haunting story that should really win a Bram Stoker Award. (Wolf whispers in ear). The end resul
Kenesha Williams
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, female-protag
I found Mercedes through the This is Horror podcast and am now working my way down her catalog. I really loved Little Dead Read, it's a completely different tone than the first work I read from her, Pretty Little Dead Girls, but still has the same beautiful use of language that Mercedes is known for. I like that in both books the Heroine's may be victims of circumstance, but they're not resigned to their fates, they are active participants and fight hard as hell to either mete out justice or lit ...more
Tere Fredericks
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Was Crying For Red and Her Mother

at 28% of the book. I could definitely relate with Red's mother, Marie. I felt Marie's distress and determination. Red's life was short and not happy. But her mother loved her. No mother should lose their child, and not as Marie did. This is amazing. This book, sort as it is, takes your emotions through all that humans can feel. And finally, hatred such as you've never known. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Harmony T.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow. This is the best short story I’ve read in a long while! It is dark and upsetting, certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s a horrific modern take on a beloved fairy tale that is well written and extremely captivating. This was my introduction to Mercedes Yardley and I will certainly read more of her work in the future.
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Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears stilettos and poisonous flowers in her hair. Her short story collection, Beautiful Sorrows, came out in the fall of 2012, and her novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love came out in September of 2013. Her debut novel, Nameless: The Darkness Comes, released in January 2014. It is the first book in The Bone Angel Trilogy. ...more