Supernatural Sherlocks: Stories from the Golden Age of the Occult Detective

Edited by Nick Rennison. Oldcastle (IPG, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-84344-975-1
Mystery readers are most likely to associate the golden age with classic tales of rational thinking, but that era of a century or more ago also produced memorable investigations into the supernatural, as shown by this well-conceived anthology from Rennison (The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes). Two of the best of the 15 entries feature series leads whose names echo Holmes’s own: Kate and Hesketh Pritchard’s Flaxman Low, and Alice and Claude Askew’s Aylmer Vance, who each use their deductive skills to find the truth behind bizarre phenomena. In “The Story of Yand Manor House,” Low tackles an entity that makes remaining in a dining room life-threatening. In “The Boy of Blackstock,” Vance and his Watsonian sidekick confront the spirit of a murdered man that reawakens after the reopening of a sealed room. Rennison includes the best-known occult sleuth of the period—William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki, represented by “The Gateway of the Monster”—as well as contributions from such famous authors as Rudyard Kipling and Conan Doyle. Fans of The X-Files and Stranger Things will relish these literary precursors. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
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