Smaller companies have been a lucrative, albeit higher-risk, area to invest over the long term. The Numis Smaller Companies Index has, since 1955, achieved an annual return of 15.8 per cent compared with 12 per cent for the broader UK stock market.

The Gate of Air, By James Buchan

This may be billed as a contemporary ghost story, but there are times when Buchan's narrative suggests the stylistic flourishes of an earlier era. Having been ousted from his job, software engineer Jim Smith decamps to a remote stately pile in the West Country.

Forgotten Authors No. 38: Bram Stoker

Of course he wrote that book, but Abraham Stoker (1847-1912) wrote 15 others besides. Nearly all of his output appears to have vanished, eclipsed by the novel with which he will forever be associated. Admittedly, no one now will want to thumb through his 1879 non-fiction book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, but there are other works that share common themes with Dracula. Given the immense success of the novel that influences a vast body of vampire fiction, from the drippy Twilight to the brilliant Let the Right One In, you'd think anything that enlightens us further would be readily available.

DVD review: Let the Right One In (15), Tomas Alfredson, 110 mins

Vampires are back in vogue thanks to Twilight and True Blood, but the undead have never been more chilling and plausible than in this Swedish sleeper hit, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Tourist attraction hunts for scariest zombie

An unusual job is returning from the dead amid the doom and gloom of recession - but it involves playing a zombie.

On my mind: Rhiannon Harries sinks her teeth into the disturbing sexuality of the modern vampire

Trust vampires to whip up a bit of mass hysteria. They were at it in the 1700s, sending Europe into a frenzy of alleged sightings and grizzly exhumations. This time around, the sightings – on TV, in films, on the cover of a 3-for-2 paperback – are real enough, but we know vampires are not. Yet somehow the craze has taken on global proportions and been heralded with glee by the media.

Credo: Guillermo del Toro

Film-maker/writer, 45

Album: Gwyneth Herbert, All the Ghosts, (Naim Edge)

Another step away from the showbiz ledge, towards which an early signing to a jazz major once edged her.

Bell's try sinks brave Crusaders

Celtic Crusaders 18 Catalans Dragons 30

Games Review: Burn Zombie Burn!

PSN, Doublesix, £6.29

Lesbian Vampire Killers (15)

Oh dear. Loath as I am to kick a comedy duo when they're down, there's no plausible defence for this slapdash feature film by Mathew Horne and James Corden, any more than there is for their much-panned TV sketch show.

The Independent Film Forum: Week 7 - Lesbian Vampire Killers

Their sketch show has been roundly trashed but will James Corden and Mathew Horne score a hit with their big screen efforts? The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is Lesbian Vampire Killers. A cult classic in the mould of Shaun of the Dead or a lifeless misogynistic vehicle for the two stars? Add your comments below and we'll print the best in the newspaper next week

Games Review: Left 4 Dead

PC, Xbox 360, £34.99 - £49.99

V is for Vampire

The latest incarnation of the monster is a teen heart-throb. Cole Moreton reports

Huddersfield 20 Catalans 22: Marauding Mogg gatecrashes Giants party

The Catalans Dragons made sure of a home draw in this first round of the Super League play-offs, showing all the resilience that has characterised their away form this season. The French side spent most of the evening hanging on to the Giants' coat tails, but once they finally took the lead in the 70th minute through Thomas Bosc's third goal, they knew how to hold on to it.

Story Of The Song: Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon (1978)

Warren Zevon was the renegade West Coaster. While his mid-Seventies Los Angeles peers were taking it easy and running on empty, Zevon's albums swilled with troubling tales of mercenaries, psychopaths and bent lawyers.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

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Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
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Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
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The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
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Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
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The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
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Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

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Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada