"Naboth's Vineyard" exemplifies E. F. Benson's fine literary style and his ability to create the most frightening of supernatural and macabre tales.
This story takes it title from a story in the Old Testament Book of Kings starring Ahab and his infamous wife Jezebel. Ahab wants Naboth’s vineyard and Naboth refuses to sell. The update is not about a vineyard, but a home. The Ahab here is a wily lawyer named Ralph and a client whom he failed to protect from charges of embezzlement. Ralph desperately wants the house and uses his knowledge of the other man to press the matter; a circumstance which almost immediately results in the other man’s death by heart attack. The second half of the story is the delivery of a little Old Testament-style ironic retributive justice from the afterlife proving that revenge really is a dish best served when your corpse is cold.
Among the most significant works Edward Frederic Benson: And the dead Spoke..., The Outcast, Machon, Negotium Perambulans..., At the Farmhouse, Inscrutable Decrees, The Gardener, Mr Tilly's Seance, Mrs Amworth, In the Tube, Roderick's Story, The Horror Horn, The Mapp and Lucia, The Inheritor, Secret Lives, Naboth's Vineyard, At the Farmhouse, The Wishing-Well, The Terror by Night, The Thing in the Hall, The Cat, The Sanctuary.