Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Summer 1996
            Baltimore police detective Bianca Jones investigates a series of bizarre rapes. A similar case happened recently in Arkham, Massachusetts. Crime Lab tech Joe Russo asked a Detective Armitage about the Arkham case. Bianca receives a fax from Arkham suggesting that she check with London and call China Alley for possible leads. She goes to meet an informant at his bookshop, which contains copies of Les Cultes des Ghoules; Las Reglas de Ruina; The Undead by John Seward, M.D.; Holmes’ The Whole Art of Detection and Practical Handbook of Bee Culture; and The Dynamics of an Asteroid. The bookseller, Morgan, tells Bianca that the killings are related to a cult worshiping Shub-Niggurath, and mentions Tsathoggua.
            Short story by John L. French in Here There Be Monsters, Dark Quest, 2010. Arkham and Shub-Niggurath are from the Cthulhu Mythos stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Detective Armitage is doubtless a relative of Professor Henry Armitage from Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” London is C.J. Henderson’s private investigator Teddy London. The investigator in China Alley is Anton Zarnak, who was created by Lin Carter, and has appeared in stories by several other authors as well. Since Zarnak left our dimension during the 1998 events of C.J. Henderson’s story “The Door,” “Out of the Darkness” must take place before that story. Les Cultes des Ghoules is from Robert Bloch’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. Las Reglas de Ruina is from Joseph S. Pulver Sr.’s Cthulhu Mythos novel Nightmare’s Disciple. John Seward is from Bram Stoker’s Dracula; his book The Undead also appears in French’s Anton Zarnak story “The Best Solution.” Sherlock Holmes’ The Whole Art of Detection was alluded to in “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” while his Practical Handbook of Bee Culture appeared in “His Last Bow.” The Dynamics of an Asteroid was penned by Holmes’ greatest foe, Professor James Moriarty, as mentioned in The Valley of Fear. Tsathoggua appears in Cthulhu Mythos stories by Clark Ashton Smith.

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