Greetings from The Raven!

Oct. 13, 2018

Book of the Just

Dana Chamblee Carpenter

I assume that most people reading this are already acquainted with Mouse and her lineage. Introduced in The Bohemian Gospel, Mouse has powers inherited from her demonic father. Still, all she really wants is to live a peaceful, normal life.

This book picks up from the end of the second novel, The Devil’s Bible. In that book, Mouse battles with her father, who is not someone to cross lightly. Left for dead, Mouse has a long, slow recovery. Her father now intends to raise another to do his bidding—her brother, Luc…

Now, Mouse and her paramour Angelo D’Amato follow a series of clues that point the way to a powerful artifact. The Book of the Just could be the very thing they need to defeat her father. They are hampered and chased by the Novus Rishi, lead by a man known as The Reverend. Jack Gray, introduced in the previous volume, works on behalf of this religious cult…

It’s strange sometimes how things work out. I loved the first volume of this series and disliked the second. Now moving on to volume three, I was amazed at the drawing power of the prose.

From the beginning to the monumental climax this book entices the reader into continuing reading. Warning, you may find yourself fighting sleep in order to finish. I give the book four stars.

Quoth the Raven...

This book is not quite out as of yet

Oct. 13, 2018

Bloodmoon: A Sister Fidelma Mystery


Peter Tremayne, author

I assume that those reading this review know the history of Fidelma of Cashel, once Sister Fidelma of Kildare. The mystery solving dàlaigh of the Irish court system is aided by Brother Eadulf of Seaxmund’s Ham, her husband.


The wife of the High King of Ireland is on a secret journey to an obscure abbey. Fidelma and Eadulf are themselves on a journey that will end at the same place.


Along the way, they are menaced and attacked by raiders using crossbows. A mysterious religious seems to always be in the background. He is at the first abbey they visit, he is on a warship when Fidelma is kidnapped and haunts the pair all through the adventure.


Murders and attacks fill the story until the final reveal.


I liked this story, but I don’t think it was Tremayne at his best. The story lacks a bit in continuity, and it drags at times. I give it three stars…


Quoth the Raven…


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Oct. 13, 2018
  • A Rival from the Grave: The Complete Adventures 0f Jules de Grandin Volume Four

    Seabury Quinn, author.

    The conceited blonde French occultist rides again!

    Jules de Grandin was an occult detective in the same vein as Carnacki the Ghost-Finder and John Silence. The stories were published in Weird Tales, a 1930’s and 1940’s pulp magazine that also featured the stories of HP Lovecraft (Cthulhu Mythos) and Robert E Howard (Conan.)

    De Grandin is a Frenchman, small and blond haired with tiny feet. He is irascible and totally convinced of his own importance. He appears to be an expert in any type of monster hunting, from vampires to ghosts. He knows strange lore from many lands, having actually lived for a time in such far-flung locations as Laos and Tibet.

    As a detective, he is a former member of the French Sûreté. The stories in this book happen to feature a colleague of de Grandin, the diminutive Inspector Renouard.

    According to an official list of Jules de Grandin stories, there is perhaps enough left for one more volume. I’m looking forward to it. I want to touch briefly on each tale. I try to give no spoilers, but a warning here soothes the folks who fear them!

    • “The Chosen of Vishnu” deals with a Western woman who was raised in a temple in India. Upon escaping to the USA, she is tracked by devotees… Kudus for the marigolds!
    • “The Malay Horror” concerns a lady haunted by a most unusual ghost…
    • “The Mansion of Unholy Magic” is a story of the Putnam Mansion. The estate is haunted by crowds of bloodthirsty cadavers…
    • “Red Gauntlets” is a case of possession by an evil spirit…
    • “The Red Knife of Hassan” presents the case of a woman’s body dredged from the bay. It sets in motion a battle with an ancient cult of assassins.
    • “The Jest of Warburg Tantuval” concerns a man who plans devilry for his son and wife. It will be from beyond the Grave! Best in Book!
    • “The Hands of the Dead” is about a young woman maimed by a horrible accident. After surgery, she finds she has skills she did not have before…
    • “The Black Orchid deals with a man and his niece. For some reason, they are suffering from blood loss, as if a vampire was loose in the house…
    • “The Dead Alive Mummy” is a dark tale of an unearthed mummy. The tablet in its sarcophagus promises that the mummy will live again…
    • “A Rival from the Grave” involves a man named Frasier Taviton. When his wife passes away, he remarries. The event sets off a horrific haunting. Kudos for the use of x-rays! Who you gonna call?
    • “The Witch House” tells the story of a young woman accused of witchcraft and drowned as punishment. After 200 years, another young woman finds herself in danger. What a strange little white kitten!
    • “Children of the Bat” is a story of a deadly lady. A woman is found crucified to the wall of a nightclub, the victim of a Mexican Secret Society. A message is found inscribed on a bat’s wing left at the scene…
    • “The Devil’s Palmist” is a tale of a religious icon concealing a secret evil…
    • “Pledged to the Dead” is about the graveyards of haunted New Orleans and a pale young lady apparently living there. Kudos for the snake!
    • “The Living Buddhess” features a young woman possessed by an Oriental spirit…
    • “Flames of Vengeance” deals with a family under a curse that was first placed on an ancestor while he was in India…
    • “Frozen Beauty” presents the tale of a young woman whose body has been frozen in dry ice…
    • “Incense of Abomination” concerns devil worship and young men driven to suicide…

    This book is great! The volumes are nice and look good on the shelf. I give it five stars and look forward to volume five!

    Quoth the  Raven...

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Oct. 13, 2018

Sherlock Holmes and The Green Lama: The Heir Apparent

Adam Lance Garcia, author

The story begins with a story of the new Green Lama, Jean Ferrell. Jean begins to read a story of her illustrious predecessor, Jethro Dumont.

Jethro is in London and is sought out by Sherlock Holmes. A cult of green-robed assassins is menacing the city. They are lead by a man called The Heir. The Heir is seeking to destroy Dumont, whom he refers to as “the imposter.” The Heir believes the mantle of the Green Lama is his birthright!

Adam, you let me down a bit with this one. It doesn’t have the usual pop of your Green Lama tales. I’m not sure exactly what the trouble is, but I probably like this one the least. It just doesn’t feel right. I’m sorry, my friend.

I give this one three stars…

Quoth the Raven…

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Oct. 13, 2018

Sherlock Holmes in the World of HG Wells Volume Two

Edited by Derrick Belanger and C Edward Davis

Another blend of Holmes and science fiction worlds!

My thanks go out to Derrick Belanger for my copy of this book. I appreciate his continued faith in my reviews.

Taken as a whole, this volume is fabulous! Each author has blended Well’s worlds into the world of Holmes like an expert bartender. They are excellent Holmes stories while remaining also fitting for the Time Traveler, Dr. Moreau, the Invisible Man, etc.

Now, let’s move on to the stories:

“The Adventure of the Red Planet” by Steve Poling is perhaps more in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s vision of mars, but the story is very good…

“The Clash of the Miracle Men” by Rohit Sawant is based on the Wells story “The Man Who Could Work Miracles.” There is a neat twist in this story.

“The First Selenites on the Earth” Derek Nason reverses the plot of Wells’ “First Men in the Moon.” In this story, Professor Cavor brings Moon Men to the Earth.

“The Martian Spy Glass” by Jaap Boekestein deals with a crystal from a meteorite. A man uses it to view events on Mars. This is based on the story “The Crystal Egg.”

“The Adventures of the Bestial Excisions” by Benjamin Langley concerns Holmes and Watson landing on the island of a certain vivisectionist...

“The Adventure of the Disintegrated Man” by Michael T Wells has Holmes investigating ashes and an arm, which is all that is left of a man… I am not sure which story inspired this tale.

“Sherlock Holmes and the New Accelerator” by Mark Levy concerns an impossible theft happens under Holmes’ nose. This is based on Wells’ “The New Accelerator” from the pages of the Strand Magazine.

“A Trap to Catch the Sun” by Andrew Lane is a tale of grave robbery and unusual jewelry. Again, I am not certain of the source of inspiration.

“The Misplaced Mystery Writer” by Richard Paolinelli is based on “The Time Machine.” Wells has built the machine himself and already tested it. He has taken Edgar Allan Poe with him and lost him in time. Kudos for the explanation of Poe’s death and the long-lost identity of Jack the Ripper! Best in Book!

“The Beast Within” by Katie Magnusson concerns Silver, a wolf-like woman in a freak show. She is from the island of a certain vivisectionist…

“Dr. Watson and the Martians” by C. Edward Davis has Dr. Watson wandering a London decimated by the War of the Worlds…

“Dr. Watson’s Fragments: The Shape of Deductions to Come” has no given author. A certain blue box lands inside 221B. I got the mental picture of Tom Baker as the Doctor while reading this!

Derrick, you have a wonderful series going here. I would love to see more volumes! This book I give five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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