Ernest Bramah (1868-1942) was an English author who wrote twenty-one books and numerous short stories. His humorous works were ranked with Jerome K. Jerome and W.W. Jacobs, his detective stories with Conan Doyle, his politico-science fiction with H.G. Wells and his supernatural stories with Algernon Blackwood.
"A Very Black Business' is a strange supernatural story about a musician who is driven to the point of suicide by the failure of various coal merchants to deliver a supply of fuel for his stove. But just as he is on the point of taking his own life, there is a knock at the door, and a most amiable and strangely talented coalman is standing on the mat. From this moment the tale takes on a strange twist.