The Occult Detectives of C.J. Henderson
Marietta Publishing, 259 pp.
I confess that prior to starting this zine I only had a passing familiarity with the works of H.P. Lovecraft. However, the Mythos-tainted stories of Henderson (a frequent contributor to this zine) have been one of the major factors that have dragged me kicking and screaming into the realm of the Great Old Ones. Henderson is perhaps best known for his stories about psychic detective Teddy London and fans will be happy to know that several of those stories are collected in this volume. In addition to the London stories there are sequels to some classic Lovecraft stories; a couple of tales using Lin Carter’s popular detective, Anton Zarnak; a Blakely and Boles story; and tributes to Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley. Horror is a tough subject to tackle well, but Henderson makes it frighteningly believable with his unique blend of terror, pathos, and humor. Some highlights include “Patiently Waiting,” a sequel to Lovecraft’s “The Tale of Inspector Legrasse” that perfectly captures the hazy horror of the original; “A Forty Share In Innsmouth,” which gives us the inevitable combination of Lovecraft and reality television; and “The Door,” a brief but powerful meeting between Teddy London and Anton Zarnak. If you haven’t discovered C.J. Henderson yet, this is a great place to start.