In the House of Gingerbread


  • First publication
    • The Architecture of Fear, ed. Kathryn Cramer and Peter D. Pautz, 1987
  • Wolfe collection(s)


In a modern version of Hansel and Gretel, a detective investigates a woman who has had many suspicious deaths in her house. Stepchildren living in her house are dangerous to her, and vice-versa.


  • Heim is German for home, showing the connection between the witch and her house. Grimm's Fairy Tales were originally written in German.
  • Gail's reading is a modified synopsis of Gabriele d Annunzio's tragic play La Gioconda.
    The following synopsis is from a review in the New York Times:
Lucio Settala, a sculptor, falls in love with La Gioconda, a model, and despite his efforts to escape and those of his wife to dissuade both him and her from continuing the attachment, brutally abandons his wife. In the first act. Lucio, in his determination to break away, attempts suicide, and is prevented by Silvia, his wife. Later in the play the wife and the model meet In the studio and the latter viciously tries to wreck a statue, Lucio's masterpiece. Silvia frustrates the attempt, but is so injured in doing so that the amputation of both her hands is necessary, and the last act is devoted to a meeting between her and her daughter whom she cannot take to her arms because she has no arms.
  • Gail's changes cast herself as La Gioconda and Tina as the victim, Sylvia.

Unresolved Questions

  • Was it A or was it B, or was it X or Z?
  • Was it he or was it she, or was it you or me?
  • Who dunnit?
  • Did the Star Child really start WWIII at the end of 2001?

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