Monday, February 22, 2016

Crossover Cover: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

This collection features occult detective Simon Feximal and his biographer and lover, Robert Caldwell. In "The Caldwell Ghost," Feximal says the Third Line of the Saaamaaa Ritual, on which he and his fellow ghost-hunter Carnacki had done such perilous research. The Saaamaa Ritual and Carnacki are from William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. In "Remember, Remember," Mr. Lownie, editor of the Chronicle, tells Caldwell that Feximal is at Hartley House "with Miss Kay and Dr. Berry. Carnacki’s in Ireland chasing some haunting, else he’d be there too, I hear." According to Robert, "that list encompassed the best-known ghost-hunters in England, with the exception of the reclusive Dr. Silence." Dr. Silence is the title character of Algernon Blackwood's collection John Silence. In "Devils on Horseback," Feximal is a member of the Diogenes Club, to which he had been nominated by one of his more peculiar acquaintances, a Government man whose intellectual capacity is matched only by his corpulence. Both Simon and Caldwell are members of a club called the Remnant, whose members include Dr. Silence, Thomas Carnacki, and Dr. Nikola. The Diogenes Club and the corpulent Government man (Mycroft Holmes) are from the Sherlock Holmes stories. Nikola is a supervillain created by Guy Boothby. In "The Writing on the Wall," Feximal and Caldwell encounter the occultist Karswell. Dr. Silence appears, and the Saaamaaa Ritual and John Watson are mentioned. Karswell is from M. R. James’ story “Casting the Runes.” Dr. John Watson is Sherlock Holmes’ best friend and biographer.

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