Editorial/reader reviews


‘A lyrical, daring thriller that hurls you into the dark world of art theft with unexpected insights.’ Stephanie Carty, author of Shattered

‘Malby’s novel proves once and for all that thrillers can be both hugely compelling and beautifully written. This is virtuosic storytelling, as vibrant as a Klimt painting, as lyrical as a Viennese waltz, as atmospheric as a Carol Reed film.’ I loved it. Jonathan P Taylor, author and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of Leicester

‘An exquisitely written, poetic journey through the underbelly of Vienna’s artworld, Dead Drop is littered with secrets and laced with tension. F C Malby is a writer to watch!’ Jane Isaac, best-selling author of crime thrillers

‘I cannot recall ever reading a book with such a sensual, sense-ful, scent-ful opening…Liesl finds herself in a terrifying world of murder and deception in this well-researched, beautifully written thriller.’ Jon Wilkins, Everybody’s Reviewing


‘The stories will resonate with you long after finishing’ Avril Joy, Costa Short Story Award winner

‘F.C. Malby is one of those writers who makes you sit up and pay attention. She’s a natural storyteller, a gifted wordsmith, and fearless in taking her imagination to the dark side when the story requires it.’ Dan Coxon, fiction editor, Litro Magazine

‘Malby’s writing is restrained, understated and elegant. Her shorter fiction pieces are stunning, creating a sense of beauty and poignancy in just a few hundred words.’ Maureen Scott, CEO, Ether Books

‘Deeply moving and attuned to the subtleties of human relationships, F.C. Malby’s stories make us realise we’re only one step away from a completely different world.’ Ashley Stokes, editorial director and short fiction editor, Unthank Books

‘F.C. Malby’s short story collection is a sensual experience. She has the ability to create scenarios, using sights, smells and sounds which transport the reader straight into the depths of her worlds…Malby has a knack for capturing salient moments and bringing them to sumptuous life.’ Shirley Golden, editor, Flash Flood Journal


‘Malby navigates these difficult waters with ease and you are transported into not only an emotional quagmire, but a moral one as people make life decisions that have far reaching effects on the lives of others. Brilliantly done.’

‘Such a wonderfully addictive book with beautiful characterisation and imagery. You really feel like you are watching history unfold – so well written. I cannot wait to read F.C. Malby’s next book – certainly an author on my ‘must read list!’

‘Lovely portrayal of people dealing with massive national and personal change in Eastern Europe. Well researched and clear, but most of all her characters are extremely real and believable. Difficult to put down at times and I keep thinking about the characters, even now! Great insight into the human condition and subtlety shown in her writing. Get it and read it!!’

‘This book is “un-put-down-ably good” which from me is the highest accolade I can offer! Only a few amazing stories like “Eyes of the Dragon,” by Stephen King, and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” have had me similarly engrossed enough for a single-day read through. Take Me to the Castle has a wonderful pace to it. Malby masterfully draws you in deeper to their world and their lives; like slowly peeling layers off to reveal a masterpiece. You find yourself building connection and empathy with every page turn.’

‘Totally captivates you from start to finish. Wonderfully descriptive narrative that enables the reader to feel there themselves. F.C. Malby has clearly put a lot of research into this novel and as a result of that I have learnt about a time in history that I knew little about. I now eagerly await F.C. Malby’s next novel.’

‘Amazing book and incredibly well written. Really drew you in to keep going and hard to put down once started. Highly recommended. Well worth the read.’

‘That time of transition from communism to democracy will only be experienced by one generation. This book gives an insight into the complexities of those few years. The hopes. The fears. The uncertainty. Well worth reading.’

‘This book had my attention from the first page. The time in history covered was not one with which I was very familiar, but I found the way the historical detail was incorporated into the story absolutely fascinating. F.C. Malby has managed to bring history to life through the eyes of her well-crafted characters.’

‘This was a beautifully written novel. I was gripped by the story line and characters from the start. I didn’t want it to end.’

‘I really enjoyed reading this – Didn’t want it to end – and made me want to visit the Czech Republic and its beautiful cities.’

‘Really interesting and captivating story. It reals you in – a very enjoyable read! I couldn’t put it down! Would definitely recommend.’

‘A great insight into what people were thinking during the turmoil of the political changes in Europe in the 70s and 80s.’

‘This is an engaging story with an excellent sense of place, set during an intriguing period of history.’

‘A really good read – intriguing story well written and gripping to the end. Recommended as the novel for the coming year.’

‘Elaborate interweaving of historical events with personal stories of the skilfully created characters.’


‘It’s hard to be anything but thrilled when a new Unthology is released. They show some of the best writing around.’ Jay Slayton-Joslin, author of Sequelland and Kicking Prose.

‘A beacon of hope for the short story.’ Sabotage Reviews

‘Unthology is quietly becoming a reliable guide to the state of the modern short story, a companion to Nicholas Royle’s annual Best of British Short Stories anthology, and this latest instalment should do that reputation no harm.’ The Workshy Fop

‘Unthology says something true about today’s world, says it with interest and skill, and you should read it, soon.’ Litro


‘Some of the most exciting and unique new voices to have appeared in modern fiction over the last few years.’

‘Fast establishing itself in the literary landscape, Litro is a journal with voltage and panache.’ Tom Vowler, author of What Lies Within and That Dark Remembered Day

‘I love Litro; it’s super cool, and the benchmark for excellent short fiction.’ Emma Jane Unsworth, winner of the Betty Trask Award and author of Animals and Hungry, the Stars and Everything


‘It takes a great talent to drag me in so quickly.’


‘This is minimalist writing at its best.’

‘A compelling yet quietly unsettling short story of expectations, loss and memories.’ 

‘Qualitatively speaking, the tone of this story was wonderful. The depiction of the little girl is downright spooky and the visual impression she makes on the reader is indelible.’


‘What an exquistely beautifully told story. It’s a treasure, pure poetry.’

‘I rarely give any writer five stars, but this story deserves them all.’