Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations
Edited by Paula Guran
Cover Artist: Ana Fagarazzi, Elizabeth Stock X, Sherin Nicole
Review by Mario Guslandi
Prime Books Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781607013846
Date: 19 March 2013 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Detectives have often to deal with bizarre cases and weird criminals, but when crimes have a paranormal nature and involve disreputable and inhuman characters such as vampires, werewolves, and other types of monsters, the investigations require particular abilities and have to be carried out by either people specialized in that area or by sleuths endowed with paranormal qualities themselves.
Editor Paula Guran has thoroughly researched the twenty-first century fiction devoted to this peculiar issue and has assembled twenty-three stories by dark fantasy writers who have successfully addressed the issue. Thus, fans of dark fiction and aficionados of mysteries will both find interesting, enjoyable material apt to satisfy their taste.
Among the many tales included in this hefty volume of 480 pages, I will point out those which, to me, stand out as more accomplished.
"The Nightside, Needless to Say" by Simon R Green is an entertaining, well told story where detective Larry Oblivion finds himself in a very peculiar situation and seeks help from his partner and ex-lover Maggie.
In the dark "Love Hurts" by Jim Butcher, Harry Dresden teams up with his long-time friend Murphy to defeat an alien creature who's behind an odd chain of murders.
Lillian Stewart Carl provides "The Necromancer's Apprentice" an engrossing tale disclosing the paranormal cause of death of the wife of Lord Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I 's favourite. Joe R Lansdale contributes the captivating report of psychic detective Dana Robertsí very first case.
P.N. Elrod's "Hecate's Golden Eye" is an adventurous piece revolving around a precious gem and featuring an odd pair of investigators (one of them a vampire).
In the excellent "Defining Shadows" by Carrie Vaughn, the mystery of a half -body found rotting in a shed is brilliantly solved by a cop specialized in paranormal cases, while in the extremely well crafted "Deal Breaker" by Justin Gustainis, an occult investigator finds a solution for an unfortunate pact with the Devil.
"The Best of Glamis" by William Meikle is yet another of the author's nice sequels to the adventures of W.H. Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Finder, here committed to solve a supernatural case with an important historical background. On the other hand Simon Clark pens "Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell" a posthumous, nice Sherlock Holmes story, where the detective and Watson discover the truth behind odd secrets lying at the bottom of the sea.
People willing to buy the book may not find therein literary masterpieces, but certainly will be rewarded by many hours of very pleasant reading.