23 Short Stories from the Wild West: Dead Man’s Hand

deadmanshandAll we get now in the multiplexes and the TV screens are superheroes, zombies and vampires!  Hey, Hollywood, about some good old-fashion cowboy flicks?  That Johnny Depp “Lone Ranger” fail of a film did not count!  How about dropping some John Woo/Tarantino-style old west cowboy stories?  I can envision a pair of Colt .45’s blasting in slo-mo during a stage coach robbery scene.  Enough with the World War II movies, but I digress.  If you want your fill of the old wild west with a mix of weird and the wonderful, try “Dead Man’s Hand” an anthology of short stories collected and edited by John Joseph Adams.

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The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

newburyhobbesI am ready to kick off the New Year with more Retrenders stuff, but I had some left overs from last year, like this George Mann book of short stories – The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes, Volume 1.  Over the weekend, as I watched American playoff football in-between breaks, I was able to finally finish reading it.

I am new to the Newbury & Hobbes books and the various characters created in this universe.  I was a little weary reading these all-new short stories in this collection, wondering if I needed to read the “The Affinity Bridge”, “The Osiris Ritual” and “The Immorality Engine” to get what is going on, but I was well relieved by Mr. Mann kicking off with nice introduction chapter about his characters and his first book.  Newbury & Hobbes revolves around 3 main characters, the sleuth Sir Maurice Newbury, assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes and police friend Sir Charles Bainbridge as they solve crimes and murders in Victorian London.  The book collects 15 short stories as Newbury and Hobbes face the weird and strange crimes.  Mr. Mann also includes a helpful timeline of where these short stories took place over the course of his 3 books and a chapter of story notes on all the short stories (they include spoilers, so please read the short stories first!).

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Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s First Dectective

edgar allan poeBefore there was a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin the sleuth from Paris, France. The short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” appeared in Graham’s Magazine in 1841 and kicked off an influential fictional character in which he uses his brains and wit instead of guns and physical combat to solve mysteries.

Editors Paul Kane & Charles Prepolec have brought together an amazing group of award-winning authors to the table featuring new adventures of Auguste Dupin by Clive Barker, Mike Carey, Simon Clark, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Weston Ochse & Yvonne Navarro, Lisa Tuttle and Stephen Volk.

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