I love these Wordsworth Tales of Mystery And The Supernatural volumes. They’ve compact, attractive, and inexpensive — they look great on the shelf, and they make quick reads. Plus, they’re just so darned collectible.
My latest acquisition is already one of my favorites. We’ve paid a lot of attention to Supernatural Sleuths at Black Gate over the years, from William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki The Ghost Finder to Manly Wade Wellman’s John Thunstone and Silver John stories, and Paula Guran’s terrific recent anthology Weird Detectives — and deservedly so. This has been a year of terrible weather and when it’s cold, dark, and blustery outside, the best antidote is to curl up with a cozy blanket and a warm beverage, and share the adventures of an intrepid occult detective.
Our real expert is Josh Reynolds, who over the last few years has covered many of the most famous literary examples in his series on The Nightmare Men — from Sheridan Le Fanu’s Dr. Martin Hesselius to Aylmer Vance, The Ghost-Seeker; from Manly Wade Wellman’s stalwart Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant to Seabury Quinn’s always resourceful Jules de Grandin.
Looking back over all those articles, you may just find yourself more than a little curious. But where to start? Why not start with Mark Valentine’s generous collection of some of the best short stories featuring some of the greatest supernatural sleuths in all of literature?
The Gateway of the Monster… The Red Hand… The Ghost Hunter
To Sherlock Holmes the supernatural was a closed book: but other great detectives have always been ready to do battle with the dark instead. This volume brings together sixteen chilling cases of these supernatural sleuths, pitting themselves against the peril of ultimate evil.
Here are encounters from the casebooks of the Victorian haunted house investigators John Bell and Flaxman Low, from Carnacki, the Edwardian battler against the abyss, and from horror master Arthur Machen s Mr Dyson, a man-about-town and meddler in strange things. Connoisseurs will find rare cases such as those of Allen Upward s The Ghost Hunter, Robert Barr s Eugene Valmont (who may have inspired Agatha Christie s Hercule Poirot) and Donald Campbell s young explorer Leslie Vane, the James Bond of the jazz age, who battles against occult enemies of the British Empire. And the collection is completed by some of the best tales from the pens of modern psychic sleuth authors.
This volume contains a total of sixteen stories, from authors such as William Hope Hodgson, Arthur Machen, Mary Anne Allen, and many others.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents:
Introduction by Mark Valentine
“The Warder of the Door” by Robert Eustace & L.T.Meade
“The Story of Sevens Hall” by E. & H. Heron
“The Gateway of the Monster” by William Hope Hodgson
‘The Red Hand’ by Arthur Machen
“The Haunted Woman” by Allen Upward
“The Ghost with the Club-foot” by Robert Barr
‘The Curious Activities of Basil Thorpenden’ by Vernon Knowles
“The Necromancer by Donald Campbell
“Waste Manor” by L. Adams Beck
“The House of Fenris” by John Cooling
“The Prince of the Barlocco” by Mark Valentine
“The Legacy of the Viper” by C.P. Langeveld
“The Sheelagh-Na-Gig” by Mary Anne Allen
“The Black Veil” by A.F.Kidd
“Like Clockwork” by R.B. Russell
“Spirit Solutions” by Rosalie Parker
We’ve covered ten volumes in the Wordsworth Tales of Mystery And The Supernatural series so far:
The Crimson Blind and Other Stories by H.D. Everett
Couching at the Door by D.K. Broster
The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson
The Beast with Five Fingers by W.F. Harvey
The Power of Darkness — Tales of Terror, by Edith Nesbit
Alice and Claude Askew’s Aylmer Vance, The Ghost-Seer
The Black Veil & Other Tales of Supernatural Sleuths edited by Mark Valentine
Voodoo Tales: The Ghost Stories of Henry S. Whitehead
Sherlock Holmes: The Game’s Afoot, edited by David Stuart Davies
The Casebook of Sexton Blake, edited by David Stuart Davies
The tales in The Black Veil & Other Tales of Supernatural Sleuths were selected and introduced by Mark Valentine. It was published by Wordsworth on June 12, 2008. It is 256 pages in oversized paperback, priced at $6.99.