"Judika Illes has compiled an amazing collection of occult detective stories, mining some of the best paranormal mysteries the early twentieth century had to offer, written by such legendary authors as Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Sax Rohmer, Dion Fortune, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
As one devoted to the genre, both as a fan and an author, I understand the awesome task Illes has undertaken. To pore over the sheer volume of early occult detective tales and select the very best and defining tales for a collection such as this would be a maddening endeavor for any scholar, but Judika Illes has done an admirable job of putting together a brilliant and impressive table of contents here. As well read in the genre as I am, Judika Illes has managed to unearth no less than four spectacular tales that had escaped my attention: "The Dead Hand" by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, "The Vampire" by Alice and Claude Askew, "The Witness in the Woods" by Rose Champion de Crespigny, and "The Eyes of Doom" by Ella M. Scrymsour.
Whether you are new to the genre or a lifelong fan, The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing is a collection you absolutely cannot do without." --Bob Freeman, The Occult Detective, author of Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead, and The Liber Monstrorum series--Reviews
"With an excellent introduction by Judika Illes, The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives combines well-recognized supernatural sleuths with their colleagues who ought to be well-recognized. For decades, scholars treated the occult detective cross-genre as developing after Sherlock Holmes appeared in 1887, only one or two prototypes glimmering before then. This book continues the new push to show that these characters rose much earlier and, in fact, can be traced to the very start of modern detective fiction. Carefully and creatively chosen works of occult detective fiction follow a smart introduction by Illes." --Tim Prasil, author of Help for the Haunted: A Decade of Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries and editor of Those Who Haunt Ghosts: A Century of Ghost Hunter Fiction and Giving Up the Ghosts: Short-Lived Occult Detective Series by Six Renowned Authors--Reviews
"Read The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives when you find yourself slumped over your own desk, your typewriter teeth glaring at you and your lamplight flickering in disgust at your writer's block. Not only will you find inspiration, you will get so lost in the pages that you will forget all about your own dying novel and instead try your hand at solving a mystery by any means possible. Any. Means. Necessary." --Varla Ventura, author of Fairies, Pookas & Changelings--Reviews
"Edgar Allan Poe is credited with writing the first detective stories and the incredible skills of ur-detective C. Auguste Dupin seem at times to be supernatural. The sleuths in The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives embrace the uncanny when approaching a mystery and include experts in the esoteric arts, paranormal investigators, and detectives with psychic powers. Judika Illes' informative introduction and notes on each author explain how the thirteen groundbreaking tales in the collection, which date from 1855 - 1922, helped establish conventions of this fascinating sub-genre and laid the groundwork for today's popular occult detective novels, comics, television series, films and video games. An entertaining, engaging book providing mystery and otherworldly chills that will have the reader searching out further works by the authors included." --Karen Lee Street, author of Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster and Writing and Selling Crime Film Screenplays--Reviews
The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing is a compilation of vintage occult detective stories, written by masters of the genre including Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, Dion Fortune, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and Helena Blavatsky. Occult detectives explore paranormal mysteries or use their own supernatural gifts to solve crimes. The book features the original authors and stories that inspired what is now a bestsellilng genre in movies, TV, books, and video games.
The stories in The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives star both female and male sleuths. The mysteries they tackle include murder, missing funds, demons, ghosts, vampires, and more. Among the ranks of occult detectives featured in this book are beloved favorites such as Dr. Hesselius, Dr. Taverner, Thomas Carnacki, and John Silence but also the unjustly forgotten and obscure sleuths Shiela Crerar and Diana Marburg. Techniques utilized by the various detectives include palmistry, clairvoyance, psychometry, mesmerism, dreams, and good old deductive reasoning. The book is edited and introduced by leading occult author and scholar Judika Illes.