Oct. 13, 2018

The conceited blonde French occultist rides again!

  • 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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