Today Weird Tales is chiefly remembered as the magazine that launched the careers of the great pulp fantasy writers of the 20th Century. But as most fans of the Grand old Lady of the pulps know, the most popular Weird Tales author wasn’t Robert E. Howard, or H.P. Lovecraft, but Seabury Quinn, someone whom is almost completely forgotten today. Quinn’s supernatural detective Jules De Grandin — a top-seller in the 20s and 30s, appearing in over ninety stories and a single novel between 1925 and 1951 — has been out of print for decades. Night Shade rectifies that injustice with the first volume of The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin, arriving in hardcover next week.
Today the names of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and Clark Ashton Smith, all regular contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the first half of the twentieth century, are recognizable even to casual readers of the bizarre and fantastic. And yet despite being more popular than them all during the golden era of genre pulp fiction, there is another author whose name and work have fallen into obscurity: Seabury Quinn.
Quinn’s short stories were featured in well more than half of Weird Tales’s original publication run. His most famous character, the supernatural French detective Dr. Jules de Grandin, investigated cases involving monsters, devil worshippers, serial killers, and spirits from beyond the grave, often set in the small town of Harrisonville, New Jersey. In de Grandin there are familiar shades of both Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and alongside his assistant, Dr. Samuel Trowbridge, de Grandin’s knack for solving mysteries — and his outbursts of peculiar French-isms (grand Dieu!) — captivated readers for nearly three decades.
Collected for the first time in trade editions, The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, edited by George Vanderburgh, presents all ninety-three published works featuring the supernatural detective. Presented in chronological order over five volumes, this is the definitive collection of an iconic pulp hero.
The first volume, The Horror on the Links, includes all of the Jules de Grandin stories from “The Horror on the Links” (1925) to “The Chapel of Mystic Horror” (1928), as well as an introduction by Robert Weinberg.
The Horror on the Links: The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin, Volume One will be published by Night Shade Books on April 4, 2017. It is 512 pages, priced at $34.99 in hardcover and $9.99 for the digital edition. Not sure who did the cover, but I’m working on it.