Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

‘The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,’ Vol. 1

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, July 31, 2017 in Occult Detective, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,’ Vol. 1

'The Horror on the Links: The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,' Vol. 1I had previously posted on Dr. Jules de Grandin, one of my favorite occult detectives, though he’s probably overlooked today. Created by Seabury Quinn (1889-1969), de Grandin ran for over 90 stories in Weird Tales, from 1925 to 1951.

I was fortunate to obtain the six books of de Grandin stories edited by Robert Weinberg in the 1970s, and always wanted to read more of the originals. Weinberg had selected what he felt was the best of the stories in those six books, and had apparently put together a list of what would appear in the next six. I always would have liked to know what he had planned.

The only complete reprint of all the de Grandin stories has been a set of three large and very pricey volumes from the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. I had always hoped for a more reasonably priced set.

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More Gees, from ‘Mumps to Murder’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, November 14, 2016 in English Pulp, Occult Detective, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

More Gees, from ‘Mumps to Murder’

'Mumps to Murder'I recently posted on a new (to me) occult detective I discovered: Gees, real name Gregory George Gordon Green. Created by British author and editor Charles Henry Cannell (1882-1947), better known by one of his pseudonyms E. Charles Vivian, but these appeared under his Jack Mann pseudonym.

There are eight novels in the series, and I read the first and third. Recently I got the second, fourth, and fifth: Grey Shapes, The Kleinart Case, and Maker of Shadows. All originally appeared, so I am told, in 1938. All eight are available from Ramble House in both paperback and hardcover.

We are introduced to Gees in Gees’ First Case. We learn his background: a former policeman who has quite to form his own detective agency, to the disapproval of his father, a general. His agency is just him and a secretary, Eve Madeleine Brandon. But there is no hanky panky there. Gees investigates anything from “mumps to murder,” as his card says, and thanks to the funds he took from communist conspirators in the first story, he is free to take the cases that interest him.

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Semi Dual, occult detector, vol. 2

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 31, 2016 in Altus Press, Munsey, Occult Detective, Reprints
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Semi Dual, occult detector, vol. 2

Semi Dual, the Occult Detector, Volume 2As a fan of occult detectives, I was thrilled to learn of an early one I had never heard of when Altus Press reprinted a collection of the first stories of occult detective Semi Dual, with plans to reprint the whole series.

Semi Dual is really Prince Abdul Omar of Persia (father, a Persian nobleman; mother, a Russian princess), an astrologer, mystic, telepath, and psychologist. He appeared from 1912 to 1934 in several early pulp magazines, and has never been reprinted.

His name, we learn, of “Semi Dual,” is due to his methods of investigations: “by dual solutions: one material, for material minds; the other occult, for those who cared to sense a deeper something back of the philosophic lessons interwoven in the narrative.”

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Occult detective ‘Gees’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 29, 2016 in English Pulp, Occult Detective, Review
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Occult detective ‘Gees’

I am always on the lookout for new occult detectives, and I recently discovered one who is actually an old one, written in the 1930s and ’40s.

'Gees' First Case'Detective Gregory George Gordon Green, or “Gees” as he prefers, was created by British author and editor Charles Henry Cannell (1882-1947), better known by one of his pseudonyms E. Charles Vivian. However, these were written under his Jack Mann pseudonym.

The series consists of:

  • Gees’ First Case (1936)
  • Grey Shapes (1938)
  • Nightmare Farm (1938)
  • The Kleinart Case (1938)
  • Maker of Shadows (1938)
  • The Ninth Life (1939)
  • The Glass Too Many (1940)
  • Her Ways Are Death (1940)

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The Argosy Library, Series II

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, April 25, 2016 in Adventure Pulps, Altus Press, Detective Pulps, Occult Detective, Pulps, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Argosy Library, Series II

"Champion of Lost Causes"About a year ago, Altus Press started a new line called the “Argosy Library,” which is composed of several series of 10 books each highlighting some of the great fiction that appeared in the early pulps.

All are taken from the pulps started by Frank A. Munsey, who started to convert his fiction magazines to pulp paper and reduced their price, making them more profitable. He published the well-known Argosy magazine, which got its start in the late 1800s, and several other popular magazines such as The All-Story and Flynn’s Detective Fiction Weekly. Series I came out last year, and now we get Series II.

Series II consists of:

  • Champion of Lost Causes, by Max Brand
  • The Scarlet Blade: The Rakehelly Adventures of Cleve and D’Entreville, Vol. 1 by Murray R. Montgomery
  • Doan and Carstairs: Their Complete Cases, by Norbert Davis
  • The King Who Came Back, by Fred MacIsaac
  • Blood Ritual: The Adventures of Scarlet and Bradshaw, Vol. 1 by Theodore Roscoe
  • The City of Stolen Lives: The Adventures of Peter the Brazen, Vol. 1 by Loring Brent
  • The Radio Gun-Runners, by Ralph Milne Farley
  • Sabotage, by Cleve F. Adams
  • The Complete Cabalistic Cases of Semi Dual, The Occult Detector, Vol. 2: 1912–13 by J.U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith
  • South of Fifty-Three, by Jack Bechdolt

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‘Sar Dubnotal 2: The Astral Trail’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016 in French pulp, New Pulp, Occult Detective, Review, Sar Dubnotal
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Sar Dubnotal 2: The Astral Trail’

Sar Dubnotal 2: The Astral TrailSâr Dubnotal is an early “occult detective,” who appeared in 20 anonymously written novellas published in France starting in 1909. I previously reviewed him as Black Coat Press has run new stories of him in their Tales of the Shadowmen series and put out a collection of original Sâr stories with him going up against Jack the Ripper.

Now Black Coat Press has put out a collection of new and old stories, Sâr Dubnotal 2: The Astral Trail.

The first collection had reprinted the first original Sâr story, then reprinted the storyline with him going up against Jack the Ripper that ran in novellas #7-11. But they didn’t have the eightth story, so they had to skip it. It has now been found and is included here.

The rest of the volume is made up of 11 new stories, most of which have run in volumes of Tales of the Shadowmen:

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