Sunday, November 9, 2014

Crossover of the Week

April 9-May 1, 2007
            Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain battle the vile Walter Grobius, who has purloined a copy of Abdul Alhazred’s Book of Shadows from an Iraqi museum. An extremely dangerous occultist named Janos Skorzeny is mentioned. Quincey tells FBI Special Agent Dale Fenton that he knew Will Graham and asks if Jack Crawford is still in charge of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit, only to be told that Crawford died of a heart attack some years back. Quincey asks if Fenton is “from the X-Files.” Fenton replies that the X-Files Unit is a myth in a manner that suggests he is quoting somebody. Quincey subsequently heads to Chicago to meet with Harry, the city’s resident wizard, who has problems with machinery. Fenton’s partner Colleen O’Donnell says that she thought Quincey was just a hustler, “like that ‘Ghost Whisperer’ clown.” Quincey and Libby visit a pub whose owner, Mac, gives them a letter from Harry, explaining that he had to miss their appointment because he was called away on Council business. One of Quincey’s other Chicago contacts is a reporter named Carl, who monitors supernatural occurrences in the city, despite his boss Tony repeatedly trying to dissuade him from doing so. Quincey and Libby visit the Ouroboros Bar and Grill in Cleveland, which is owned by a psychic sensitive named Frank, who has a daughter in college named Jordan. He states that about ten years ago he used to work with a group of people who believed that the new millennium would bring about a major supernatural catastrophe. The group managed to prevent this before falling apart. Quincey and Fenton compare Grobius to Keyser Soze. Quincey and Libby’s ally Hannah Widmark, aka “the Widowmaker,” had as a mentor “a shadowy, enigmatic man named Cranston,” who taught her to fire a pair of .45s, had a weird laugh, and once told her that “the weed of Satan bears bitter fruit.” A college professor mentions that Sharon Purcell, alias Shari Sexpert, is giving a talk on campus.
            Novel by Justin Gustainis, 2009. Abdul Alhazred is most famous as the author of the Necronomicon in the Cthulhu Mythos. While some characters in this novel refer to the Necronomicon as fictitious, Quincey’s friend John Wesley Hester counsels him not to be sure of that. There are two villains named Janos Skorzeny in horror fiction: one is the vampire battled by Carl Kolchak in Jeff Rice’s book The Night Stalker and its TV movie adaptation, while the other is a malevolent lycanthrope in the television series Werewolf. The occultist Janos Skorzeny may be a relative of one or both of his namesakes. Will Graham and Jack Crawford are from Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels. Graham appears in Red Dragon, while Crawford appears in that novel, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, the latter of which depicts his fatal heart attack. Given references to Dana Scully and Monica Reyes as real people in the first novel in this series, Black Magic Woman, Agent Fenton is obviously providing Quincey with misinformation when he dismisses the X-Files as fictional. Harry is Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files, a series of urban fantasy novels by Jim Butcher. Harry frequents the pub McAnally’s, and is a member of the White Council, which governs the world’s wizard community. “That ‘Ghost Whisperer’ clown” is a reference to Melinda Gordon from the television series Ghost Whisperer. Carl is clearly meant to be Carl Kolchak, whose boss is Tony Vincenzo, although both Carl and Tony would be a bit long in the tooth by this time. However, the 2005 television series Night Stalker featured much younger versions of Carl and Tony based in Los Angeles. It has been conjectured that the Carl Kolchak seen in that series is the nephew of the elder Carl, in which case maybe the younger Tony is Tony Vincenzo Jr. Perhaps the two relocated from Los Angeles to Chicago sometime in the three years since their last recorded appearance. Frank is Frank Black from the television series Millennium. Keyser Soze is the villain of the film The Usual Suspects. Hannah Widmark’s mentor is the Shadow, of course. Shari Sexpert is a character from Gustainis’ earlier novel The Hades Project.

1 comment:

  1. On Janos Skorzeny, it worth noting that in folklore people werewolves sometimes became vampires after death. That's interesting since in modern fiction werewolves and vampires are portrayed as natural enemies. This was popularized by the Undeworld movies, but probably comes from those monster mash Universal horror films.

    The reference to the Ghost Whisperer as a fake would make that not terribly good show more interesting.