The Smell of Evil - Charles Birkin

An enjoyable book of short horror stories by Charles Birkin with one story of sheer brilliance. Hilde Berger is flattered and enjoys the attentions of Herr Major Karl Schultz but her real love is the garden as it flourishes and blooms and each year she wins many accolades and awards at the local flower show..."The garden, too, which was spacious, covering as it did more than an acre, was a credit to her industry. The closely weeded gravel walks enclosed oblong or triangular beds of roses,  while during the summer months a hedge of sweet peas at the end of the main path of shaven grass shut off the vegetable section from view. On this July day both roses and sweet peas were at their peak." The good Major always arrives with his lorry and trusty "kapo" the latter ensuring that the garden always looks well and that the displays are immaculate. There is however a price to be paid and the realization when presented is both a joy and a horror to an unsuspecting reader.