Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dennis Wheatley - Gunmen, Gallants & Ghosts

This is one of my favourite Dennis Wheatley reads. First published in 1943, It's  a compendium of stories and articles he'd written up to that point, with the later Arrow edition (the one I have)  containing  several extra essays on the occult and black magic. I can see why it's out of print at the minute, as some of the language is, how shall I say, not very PC.
The first four stories are about a 'psychic' detective called Neils Orson.  Each story is prefaced with a short but informative author's note, and we learn that the psychic sleuth was modelled on Wheatleys 'psychic' friend Henry Dewhurst. The outcome of these stories inevitably have a 'rational' twist, but barrel along at a fairly enjoyable pace. The main characters for these tales seems owe more than a nod to psychic detective 'Flaxman Low' by E & H Heron  and W H Hodgeson' 'Carnacki'  supernatural investigator.
You can read a few Flaxmen tales online Here.
   Perhaps my favourite tale is a chapter taken from the Wheatley book 'Old Rowley, A Very Private Life of Charles II' which fairly gallops along at a pace that would make it a very favourable film adaption.
Here's a few pics of the edition I have with the contents page. The book is easily picked up on eBay or Amazon for cheaps, and I'd highly recommend it

Cover of Arrow Edition July 1971

Contents Page

Rear Cover

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