I first discovered Leonaur Books when I went looking for in-print editions of Stanley G. Weinbaum, the pulp author who died in 1935. Leonaur has virtually his entire science fiction output in print in four handsome and affordable paperbacks. How cool is that? Shortly thereafter, I found Leonaur has a back catalog with enormous appeal to pulp fans, including the complete Arcot, Morey & Wade space opera stories of John W. Campbell, Jr, Guy Boothby’s Dr. Nikola tales, and collections by Homer Eon Flint, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert E. Howard, Arthur Sellings, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, and many others.
These guys are clearly serious about vintage fantasy and SF. But they don’t just do single-author collections. Over the past few years they’ve also assembled some top-notch original anthologies as part of their extensive Supernatural Fiction Series, like the two volume Leonaur Book of Supernatural Detectives, edited by Morgan Tyler, which contains “The Door Into Infinity” by Edmond Hamilton, a Carnacki tale by William Hope Hodgson, and stories by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Richard Marsh, Gordon McCreagh, Enoch F. Gerrish, and two dozen more.
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I haven’t had much luck finding the table of contents for either volume. But I did manage to find the descriptions, which at least hint at the contents. Here’s the blurb for Volume One:
Every genre of fiction has its aficionados and this has guaranteed that the enthusiasm for detective stories and tales of the ghostly and horrific has endured for decades. In the interests of appealing to as wide a readership as possible it was inevitable that many writers would produce hybrid tales which combine the essential elements of the ‘whodunnit?’ and the ‘what is it?’. So the ‘supernatural detective’ came into being. While literary hybrids are not always successful, this particular combination works, and tales of ghost sleuths have proliferated and have gathered their own devoted readers. Leonaur is compiling many of the best of these stories into a multi-volume anthology series featuring tales of memorable investigators who seek to discover exactly what did go bump in the night. This first volume contains sixteen short stories, by some of the best loved authors from the ‘golden age’ of supernatural fiction, to delight those who enjoy their mystery tinged with the uncanny. Here are yarns to intrigue the mind and chill the blood by Mark Lemon, Gordon McCreagh, Enoch F. Gerrish, Richard Marsh, Mrs. Riddell, Thomas Nelson Page and many others.
And for Volume Two.
This second helping of tales from the casebooks of fictional sleuths of the supernatural continues in the same chilling and engrossing style as the First Leonaur Book of Supernatural Detectives with a generous collection of stories penned by masters—and mistresses—of the craft of writing spooky detective stories. This volume contains fourteen investigations in which dauntless detectives of the bizarre face all kinds of hazards in order to unravel the causes of strange and unearthly occurrences. Included here are ‘The Door Into Infinity’ by Edmond Hamilton, ‘The Spectre House’ by Gelett Burgess, ‘The Telepather’ by Henry A. Hering, ‘The Haunted Homestead’ by Henry Herbert and other enjoyable yarns to thrill and terrify readers! An essential anthology series for all aficionados of the genre.
The books are subtitled Investigations of Ghosts and Strange Occurrences. Here’s the publishing details:
The First Leonaur Book of Supernatural Detectives (280 pages, August 26, 2015)
The Second Leonaur Book of Supernatural Detectives (308 pages, November 5, 2015)
Both books are £18.68 in hardcover and £10.98 in trade paperback, or $4.52 for the digital editions.
The Supernatural Detectives volumes are hardly the first time Leonaur has dabbled in dark fantasy anthologies. In 2012, Eunice Hetherington produced two volumes of The Leonaur Book of Great Ghost and Horror Stories for them.
Both are generous volumes, roughly 450 pages each, with 27 and 29 tales, respectively.
Here’s the details.
The First Leonaur Book of Great Ghost and Horror Stories: Twenty-Seven Spine Chilling and Strange Tales (452 pages, December 10, 2012)
The Second Leonaur Book of Great Ghost and Horror Stories: Twenty-Nine Spine Chilling and Strange Tales (440 pages, December 10, 2012)
Both books are £24.18 in hardcover and £15.38 in trade paperback, or $4.52 for the digital editions.
Finally, Leonaur’s Supernatural Fiction Series has its share of surprises, including Mr Mukerji’s Ghosts, a collection of supernatural tales from the British Raj period by “India’s Ghost story collector,” S. Mukerji. While I have plenty of the stories collected in the four volumes above, this one is brand new to me, and all the more appealing for it.
See all of our recent pulp coverage here.