Dark Detectives: An Anthology Of Supernatural Mysteries edited by Stephen Jones
This was originally published in 1999 and has now been reprinted.
Jones overlooks all female occult detectives.
In Egypt’s Land
By Kim Newman, this is the prologue to ‘Seven Stars’. It is short and has no solemnity.
Our Lady Of Death
The snotty biddy Sister Fidelma stomps around Ireland whilst exposition flies and a ‘ghost’ wanders. The author recycled this dull plot as a Sherlock Holmes story for ‘Villains Victorious’.
The Mummy’s Heart
By Kim Newman, this is part 1 of ‘Seven Stars’ and it has a mummy, a curse and a jewel in Victorian London. Good.
“There’s a curse you see.”
“Of course there is.”
“The Seven Stars fell to Earth as a meteor. Maybe it is a message from those stars.”
“Come out from that desk and be thrashed.”
The Horse Of The Invisible
A Carnacki story, which the ‘hero’ relates to some ‘friends’. This is a boring, badly written tale of a fake haunting.
The Magician and the Matinee Idol
By Kim Newman, the 2nd part of ‘Seven Stars’ involves an actor. This was dull and full of quiet indignation.
“Occupied himself by skulking villainously.”
The Adventure Of The Crawling Horror
A blatant Sherlock Holmes rip-off. A villain fumes with resentment and this was boring of clichés that reek of neurosis.
The Trouble With Barrymore
By Kim Newman. This is part 3 of ‘Seven Stars’ which was mediocre as more severe difficulties are encountered.
“A bar catering to the more theatrical type of alcoholic.”
Rouse Him Not
A psychic detective looks into a mysterious circle on a couple’s land. It is connected to a long ago executed sorcerer. This was excellent.
“They drove an ashen stake through him to keep him in his grave.”
De Marigny’s Clock
Thieves try to rob a psychic detective and fall into a Tardis like ‘clock’. Good.
“That’s no clock and I’m not touching it.”
The Biafran Bank Manager
By Kim Newman. The 4th part of ‘Seven Stars’ is terrible and full of unsupportive prats.
Someone Is Dead
Two psychic detectives romp around in this dated, unfunny and sexist bunk.
“Break contact, you silly cow.”
A will and a way leaves people unheard, unappreciated and misread. This was executed terribly and things break irreconcilably.
By Clive Barker, hack by day and hack by night.
By Kim Newman. ‘Seven Stars’ part 5 is a yawn.
The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Makes no sense.
“It started with a friendly game of strip Ouija.”
The Dog Story
By Kim Newman. ‘Seven Stars’ part 6 is dated cyberpunk.
A poem by Neil Gaiman. I didn’t care.
The Duel Of Seven Stars
By Kim Newman. The tiresome 7th and final part of ‘Seven Stars’.