Archive for Occult Detective Genre

Occult Detectives are alive and well

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2017 by Occult Detective


I keep hammering the point, but its one I never tire of. The occult detective genre encapsulates so many of my obsessions.

As a writer, I get to explore witchcraft, magic, and religion from the inside out, I get to delve into the mysteries of the universe and dissect the workings of mind, body, and spirit.

As a reader, I get to experience those same themes from the other side of the fence, peeking behind the veil through someone else’s eyes and experiences. I get to thrill at the mysteries these authors have dreamed up, and take a ride through their psyches.

Cover 01 First BornHaving a new book out, First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum, has found me reminiscing about some of my favorite literary occult detectives, from John Constantine to John Thunstone, Harry Dresden to Harry D’Amour, Adam Sinclair to Diana Tregarde…

I have sang the praises of a near countless number of authors who have added to the genre and now, I want to shine that spotlight once more on five modern takes on the occult detective by authors who have made contributions to genre that are sure to be remembered.

5. James Brimstone (Jason Ridler)

Brimstone may have only appeared in one novel this far, Hex-Rated, but he sure made a lasting impression, largely due to the Brimstone Files being set in 1970s Hollywood and all that that entails.

4. Charles St. Cyprian (Joshua Reynolds)

St. Cyprian and his assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, shine in Reynolds’ The Royal Occultist tales. Set in the ’20s, they defend “the battered and dwindling British Empire against threats occult, otherworldly, infernal and divine”.

3. Derek Adams (William Meikle)

If you like your private eyes hard-boiled, look no further than Adams, who stalks the shadowy byways of Glasgow with the same cynicism one might find in Sam Spade…if he had to deal with witches and water demons.

2.  “Golden” Dawn Seliger (Nick Mamatas)

If ever a character deserved a follow-up novel, it’s “Golden” Dawn, who leapt off the pages of Mamatas’ brilliant “Love is the Law”. She’s a teenage devotee to Crowley and Trotsky. If that doesn’t sell it, nothing will.

1. Levi Stoltzfus (Brian Keene)

Stoltzfus is an ex-Amish magus who traverses the back roads with his dog Crowley in a magical Amish buggy, drawn by a horse named Dee, and armed with a magical grimoire called The Long Lost Friend.

There’s a whole host of other authors who “get it right” too. Folks like Steven Shrewsberry, Justin Gustainis, Charles Rutledge, Greg Mitchell, Nick Kaufmann, Amanda DeWees, Tim Prasil, Christine Morgan, and on and on. For that matter, pick up a copy of Occult Detective Quarterly and you’ll see the truth for yourself.

The occult detective genre is alive, well, and kicking.

Now, while I have your attention, maybe I can interest you in trying First Born on for size. It’s available in the following online outlets:

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback



Liber Monstrorum Begins Here…

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by Occult Detective


I am proud to announce that First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum is, at long last, available for purchase. First Born is an occult detective collection, bringing together twelve short stories, a novella, and two illustrated tales.

These are the stories I’ve been working toward since I first put pen to paper as a boy growing up in rural Indiana. My obsession with witchcraft, magick, and religion, in both fact and fiction, has all led to this.

Published by Seventh Star Press and edited by Scott Sandridge, First Born is my love letter to the occult detective genre and to those glorious supernatural tales that thrilled me as a child… I hope these stories do the same for you.

Cover 01 First Born

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe, this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.

First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…

First Born can be ordered from the following online outlets:

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback



Below are some examples of the artwork you’ll find inside:



40 Days

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing with tags , , , on June 4, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First Born

First Born has a due date, something akin to 40 days from today. Somewhat fitting, methinks. Shall we count down the days together?

First Born is available July 14th, but why wait? You can place a pre-order for the kindle version now. But if you’re more partial to the trade paperback, well, 40 days and nights aren’t so bad.

The Weiser Book of #OccultDetectives, edited by @JudikaIlles

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives with tags , , on May 2, 2017 by Occult Detective

wbodI proudly parade my near lifelong obsession for the occult detective genre in all its forms and guises on this blog. That obsession led me to not only pursue a writing career entrenched in the conceits of the genre, but to explore the preternatural outside the realm of fiction as a paranormal investigator.

It is also no secret that October is my favorite month, that I have an unnatural attraction to Hallowe’en, Samhain, and all the trappings the Witching Season has to offer.

Well, when the Season of the Witch rolls around this year, readers are in for a real treat as my two favorite preoccupations collide with the October 1st release of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing, edited and introduced by none other than one of the premiere occult authors and scholars of the modern age — Judika Illes.

Judika Illes has compiled an amazing collection of occult detective stories, mining some of the best paranormal mysteries the early twentieth century had to offer, written by such legendary authors as Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Sax Rohmer, Dion Fortune, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

As one devoted to the genre, both as a fan and an author, I understand the awesome task Illes has undertaken. To pore over the sheer volume of early occult detective tales and select the very best and defining tales for a collection such as this would be a maddening endeavor for any scholar, but Judika Illes has done an admirable job of putting together a brilliant and impressive table of contents here.

As well read in the genre as I am, Judika Illes has managed to unearth no less than four spectacular tales that had escaped my attention: The Dead Hand by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, The Vampire by Alice and Claude Askew, The Witness in the Wood by Rose Champion de Crespigny, and The Eyes of Doom by Ella M. Scrymsour.

Whether you are new to the genre or a lifelong fan, The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing is a collection you absolutely cannot do without. Why, I am already pining for the coming of October when I can once more crack the spine of this assemblage of paranormal thrillers and read them when the moon is high and unseen spirits roam unfettered.

The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited and introduced by Judika Illes is available for preorder from


A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests, Vol. One

Posted in Occult Detectives with tags , , , on April 2, 2015 by Occult Detective

eldritchAvailable today on Kindle

A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests: Occult Detective Monster Hunter, Volume 1, edited by Josh Reynolds and Miles Boothe, with an introduction by Bob Freeman

A murder has been committed and another could be at any moment. A fortune has gone missing, a map has mysteriously appeared and something is frightening the children at night. All is in confusion and the only thing for certain is that a detective is needed, but the first detective got a glimpse of what the children are afraid of and left without so much as a word.

There are times when it becomes clear that a different sort of detective is needed; one who understands or at least accepts that threats are not always human or even physical and that solving the case will take more than a sharp eye. This is the domain of the Occult Detective.

Literary history is rich with great Occult Detectives and A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests seeks to honor and add to them as many of today’s most talented Occult Detective authors offer their original tales. Steeped in tradition but with a modern edge, the first of two volumes presents 22 tales of monsters, magic and mystery investigated by those that book their trade by it.

With stories by William Meikle, Justin Gustainis, Tim Prasil, Christine Morgan, and many more…

RIP Hellblazer (1988 – 2013)

Posted in Archive with tags , on February 21, 2013 by Occult Detective


What an incredible week for comics. Sure there were some hiccups, but overall I snagged a dramatic and refreshing collection of titles that, above all else, reaffirmed just what is possible in this medium. All that said, there was one title I was waiting for with both a sense of dread and nervous excitement. More on that after I present this week’s pull list in all its unfettered glory —

From Dark Horse
B.P.R.D. 1948 #5
Conan the Barbarian #13
Dark Horse Presents #21

From DC Comics
Hellblazer #300
Nightwing #17

From Dynamite
Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

From IDW
Locke & Key: Omega #3

From Marvel
Daredevil #23
Savage Wolverine #2
Thor: God of Thunder #5

From Oni Press
The Sixth Gun #29

Big week and a lot of hard earned coin represented. For a change, no real regrets. Sure, Conan is disappointing, but I can’t not look. The brawny barbarian is still my favorite literary character, and though it hurts to see him misrepresented (and it would make more sense to vote with my wallet and spend my money more satisfyingly elsewhere) the completist in me just won’t allow that to happen, damn it. savage Wolverine is another book that’s not quite up to snuff, but it’s so darn pretty…

Everything else was pretty freaking solid. Bunn and Hurtt are still killing it on The Sixth Gun. Hill and Rodriguez are performing miracles on Locke & Key. But this week’s showcase for me should really come as no surprise. This is the Occult Detective, after all, and no character embodies the genre more than John Constantine. And this week, the curtain is closed on Hellblazer. So, what did I think of the con man’s swan song?


I like Peter Milligan. I think that he brought a lot to the table in his 50 issue run on the title and Hellblazer #300 was a fitting end to that run. Loose threads were tidied up, which is a good thing, I suppose, but overall I think the Hellblazer series finale was ultimately disappointing. Chaotic, disjointed, Milligan’s Constantine fell flat in his final hour. Several characters were mismanaged (particularly Chas) and the slow disintegration of Gemma was nearly unbearable. I guess the point is that people connected to John Constantine just don’t get happy endings. Not even his readers.

Constantine goes out, not with a bang, but with a bloody whimper, and that’s just wrong on so many levels.

Hellblazer will be sorely and truly missed. I have serious misgivings about the upcoming Constantine relaunch. Sure, I’ll give it a chance, just as I did with Justice League Dark, but Constantine-Lite holds no appeal for me.

I want the dirt and the grit. I want the blood and black magick of the foulest sort. And I bloody want that alcohol and nicotine-fueled swagger.

Hellblazer was special.

Now, a day later, it’s a thing of the past.

Thankfully, I’ve got over 300 comics to revisit and I’m alright with that, because in my heart of hearts, I know that John Constantine is still out there. He may not be fighting the good fight, but he’s still fighting. Maybe not for the sake of your soul, but assuredly for his own… right to the bitter end, before he’s dragged down into hell, puffing on a fag all the freaking way.

Have you ordered a copy of A Cat of Nine Tales yet?

Posted in Archive with tags , , on September 6, 2012 by Occult Detective

Landon Connors’ Introduction to Rookhaven’s
A Cat of Nine Tales

Nine Occult Detective Stories from
Blackwood, Crowley, Howard, Lovecraft,
Meikle, Mitchell, Morgan, Reynolds, & Shrewsbury
for the lucky sum of only 13 American dollars.

Available Now via Amazon or CreateSpace

Order your copy today.

First Paragraphs — A Cat of Nine Tales

Posted in Archive with tags , , on September 5, 2012 by Occult Detective

William Meikle’s A Slim Chance — I smoked too many cigarettes, sipped too much Highland Park and let Bessie Smith tell me just how bad men were. For once thin afternoon sun shone on Glasgow; the last traces of winter just a distant memory. Old Joe started up “Just One Cornetto” in the shop downstairs. I didn’t have a case, and I didn’t care.

Joshua M. Reynold’s An Ounce of Prevention — It was 1920 and in the light of the flickering torches, strange shadows danced across the stone of the church. Men and women in rough-spun robes intoned hymns in a language not seen since the last King of the Picts had fallen to Roman swords and Roman treachery. An uprooted, flat grave-marker lay flat across a tomb and a woman, head lolling thanks to the drugged powder mixed with her cider, lay across it.

Algernon Blackwood’s Ancient SorceriesThere are, it would appear, certain wholly unremarkable persons, with none of the characteristics that invite adventure, who yet once or twice in the course of their smooth lives undergo an experience so strange that the world catches its breath—and looks the other way! And it was cases of this kind, perhaps, more than any other, that fell into the wide-spread net of John Silence, the psychic doctor, and, appealing to his deep humanity, to his patience, and to his great qualities of spiritual sympathy, led often to the revelation of problems of the strangest complexity, and of the profoundest possible human interest.

Aleister Crowley’s The Artistic Temperament —  Jack Flynn was the centre of a happy group of artists. They were seated upon the terrace of the Café d’Alençon to drink the apéritif; for although November was upon Paris, the Sun still remembered his beloved city, and fed it with light and warmth.

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Horror at Red HookNot many weeks ago, on a street corner in the village of Pascoag, Rhode Island, a tall, heavily built, and wholesome-looking pedestrian furnished much speculation by a singular lapse of behaviour. He had, it appears, been descending the hill by the road from Chepachet; and encountering the compact section, had turned to his left into the main thoroughfare where several modest business blocks convey a touch of the urban. At this point, without visible provocation, he committed his astonishing lapse; staring queerly for a second at the tallest of the buildings before him, and then, with a series of terrified, hysterical shrieks, breaking into a frantic run which ended in a stumble and fall at the next crossing. Picked up and dusted off by ready hands, he was found to be conscious, organically unhurt, and evidently cured of his sudden nervous attack. He muttered some shamefaced explanations involving a strain he had undergone, and with downcast glance turned back up the Chepachet road, trudging out of sight without once looking behind him. It was a strange incident to befall so large, robust, normal-featured, and capable-looking a man, and the strangeness was not lessened by the remarks of a bystander who had recognised him as the boarder of a well-known dairyman on the outskirts of Chepachet.

Christine Morgan’s Matt Brimstone, PIFinding yourself chained hand and foot to a wooden chair in a falling-apart warehouse down by the docks, surrounded by big bruisers with brass knuckles embedded into their rock-hard fists, is nobody’s idea of a good time.

Greg Mitchell’s MetamorphosisJosh Banks turned his key and entered the country shack. The place seemed colder these days without her there. On the wall, where portraits of her pretty face once smiled back at him, there was only bare wood paneling. Vinnie had already removed all the painful reminders of her beauty, her warmth. Dirty clothes lay draped over furniture and empty bottles of Bourbon were scattered on the carpet, but what bothered Josh most were the stacks of strange books. Vinnie’s new obsession.

Robert E. Howard’s Names in the Black Book“Three unsolved murders in a week are not so unusual—for River Street,” grunted Steve Harrison, shifting his muscular bulk restlessly in his chair.

Steven L. Shrewsbury’s Zenith of the TotemI read the message from Oswald A. Kellod again, as if the words would be different at the airport than they were in my office at Miskatonic University.

Occult Detective Stories, Volume One — A Cat of Nine Tales — featuring supernatural thrillers from Algernon Blackwood, Aleister Crowley, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, William Meikle, Greg Mitchell, Christine Morgan, Joshua M. Reynolds, and Steven L. Shrewsbury — is available now from AMAZON.COM


Available now from Rookhaven Publishing

Posted in Archive with tags , on September 4, 2012 by Occult Detective


You want Guns, Ghouls, and Grimoires? Well, look no further. Collected here are nine supernatural thrillers — from Algernon Blackwood, Aleister Crowley, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, William Meikle, Greg Mitchell, Christine Morgan, Joshua M. Reynolds, and Steven L. Shrewsbury — guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for mystery, suspense, and esoteric adventure.

Occult Detective Stories, Volume One — A Cat of Nine Tales — Edited by Tracy DeVore & Thaddeus Sexton, with illustrations by Bob Freeman

It’s almost here…

Posted in Archive with tags , , on January 8, 2010 by Occult Detective

Gorgeous, isn’t it? Bandersnatch’s Rich Ristow holds That Olde Black Magick in his hands and soon it will be in mine and in yours as well, provided of course that you drop Rich and Scott an email at to reserve a copy.

Remember, you’ll not be billed until the item ships and all preorders come with a snazzy little bookplate signed by your friendly neighborhood occult detective.

ADDENDUM (1/15/10): Three random people will receive an added bonus to their order… One will receive a copy of FRESH BLOOD (a Burning Effigy anthology chapbook featuring stories by myself, Kelli Dunlap, and David Alexander), another will be sent a limited edition Penny Dreadful chapbook of my story The Cabin in the Woods, and finally, one lucky recepient will be able to snag a copy of STRONGER THAN DEATH, by Steven Shrewsbury (cover art by yours truly)…

Best of luck and Alba gu brath.


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