cover image The Grayson Sherbrooke Otherworldly Adventures, Books 1-5

The Grayson Sherbrooke Otherworldly Adventures, Books 1-5

Catherine Coulter. Blackstone, $31.99 (400p) ISBN 979-8-2007-4927-0

In this disappointing collection of five novellas from bestseller Coulter (the FBI Thriller series), the execution doesn’t do justice to the concept: an author of supernatural gothic novels who investigates odd phenomena in 1841 England. Grayson Sherbrooke is the creator of Thomas Straithmore, a demon-killer who invariably “vanquished unspeakable evil.” In the opening novella, “The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall,” P.C., the pseudonym of a young girl who lives near Sherbrooke in Yorkshire, believes Sherbrooke to be Straithmore, because a book of his shows a drawing of Sherbrooke above his character’s name. P.C. wants help after she and her mother survived a harrowing experience with a black hole in their home. The solution to the phenomenon is a yawn, and the other entries, which include the manifestation of a legendary witch and disturbing dreams of ancient Egypt, are also lacking in genuine thrills. Thick dialect (“But yer right ’ere, so I don’t gots to do no lookin’ around for ye”) and passages more suited to a bodice ripper romance don’t help. This is no X-Files. Agent: Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)