Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Weird Master!

I remember being very surprised when I learned that the most successful series in the whole of the long and venerable run of Weird Tales was not one by H.P.Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard, the two most famous writers associated with the magazine, but was instead a series written by Seabury Quinn.

The series featured a Sherlock Holmes-like protagonist named Jules De Grandin, a French ex-patriot who alongside his comrade Dr. Trowbridge battle all manner of supernatural beasties from their home in New Jersey. The series was often of the Scooby Doo variety, in that the supernatural had perfectly rational explanations. The series ran for nearly three decades beginning in 1925.

The only Seabury Quinn De Grandin adventures I've read are in a few of the volumes published by Pocket Books during the heyday of the 1970's fantasy revival. Above and below are the covers in this incomplete reprinting featuring some very distinctive covers by Vincent Di Fate.

The adventures are gathered more comprehensively in three volumes which are currently available at much steeper prices. Here is a nifty review. Here's a link to a free online De Grandin story by Quinn to get a taste.

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