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The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

(The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,582 ratings  ·  489 reviews
A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
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K.J. Charles It's a collection of 10 stories starting with Caldwell Ghost (because that's where the story begins) but then a whole lot more. Blog post with complet…moreIt's a collection of 10 stories starting with Caldwell Ghost (because that's where the story begins) but then a whole lot more. Blog post with complete info here!

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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K.J. Charles
Jan 25, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The complete story of Robert and Simon, including The Caldwell Ghost (which is no longer available separately) and Butterflies, plus a whole lot of brand new stories, taking the tale of the Victorian ghost-hunter and his narrator/sidekick/lover up to the events of Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery and beyond...

This book will cover a number of ghostly mysteries, along with evil cults, mysterious skin runes, and illicit Victorian shenanigans between the decidedly forceful Si
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US, 10/29/18*

In the few days since I finished this book, I found myself coming back to this story more and more! I originally gave this story 4.5 stars, but I'm giving it the full 5 stars now. I just can't stop thinking about it!

Full confession: I originally DNFed this story.

Granted, it was like the first few pages, but I just didn't get it the first time around. This book has been lingering on my Kindle for a long time, and I hate having overdue review copies lef
Written July 8, 2015

3 1/2 Stars - Nice, kind of "good enough" for KJC fans

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is a newly published historical crime romance by one of the very best M/M authors out here. K.J. Charles' books are usually splendid good stories that leaves you wanting so much more of here 'worlds'. I've read them all and this shall be a joy as always.

One of the MC's is (in this casebook from 1914) telling us his memories and some of his adventurous stories from twenty years together
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, mm
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this book. I have a weakness for ghost stories especially Victorian ghost stories, and this fit the bill wonderfully. I loved how the author worked in period stories, and characters. They worked with the characters, but never felt like they were talking over, or added where they weren't needed. It added to the period feel of the story for me plus it lead me to more of the sort of stories I like which
Moony Eliver
I was frightened, confused and desperate to run for my life, or soul, but my prick was being called, and it seemed to intend to come.

4.5 stars. I had a couple dozen highlights and I wish I could share them all, but spoillllerssss. The story alternated between funny and odious, melancholy and hopeful, sexy and emotive—and every one of these aspects worked.

I've said before that KJC can sell me damn near anything, and this book is exhibit A. Ghost stories usually just make my eyes roll hard, bu
Lois Bujold
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like late 19th C. pulp fiction
Recommended to Lois by: following up on the author from a prior book
OK, I liked this one even better than the Magpie Lord pair. Is there such a genre as romantic horror? In any case, the pastiches of the late 19th - early 20th C. detective and ghost story genres were just a stitch. A good bit of humor, and some really excellent inventiveness with the magic bits. "Butterflies", the second tale in the collection (which taken together also make a chronological biographical story arc for the characters) was deeply creepy in a niftily understated way.

Recommended for
Richard Derus
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled, quiltbag
Rating: a warm and fuzzy four stars of five

This isn't a novel, but a collection of connected short stories. I'm not upset by that, just noting it so others won't go in expecting something they won't get.

Most romantic fiction comes, these days, in series form. This book's series origins are in the short fiction world. Although the premise isn't unique, the untold story behind an unseen told story, it's got legs for a reason: It gives the read an intimacy, a sense that there is nothing held back,
Ms. Smartarse
Robert Caldwell has set course for the exciting life of a XIXth century journalist, full of days where his making himself a general nuisance would ultimately lead to greatness. Unfortunately for him, that was not to be: one investigative avenue leads him towards lots of brilliant sex, ruin, salvation, and even ever-lasting love... all admidst the horrific backdrop that only the supernatural can provide.

Because Robert is a truly awesome fellow, he has been kind enough to share his entire life ex
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

“A story without an ending is an unbearable itch to the reader.”

3.5 stars

I'm gaga over K.J. Charles, I admit it. Love most of her stuff, especially Think of England and the trilogy for The Magpie Lord. Even if this wasn't a favorite like those, it was hard to put down.

A good book, non-conventional as it's told in the space of earlier cases worked together. It starts with a letter where the protagonist promises to tell his history with the infamous Simon Feximal, a paranormal investigator who rea
I truly loved The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal on so many levels.

I really enjoyed the way K.J. Charles uses this book as a way to pay homage to popular Victorian fiction, yellow-covered books, sensationalist horror stories and criminal cases by bringing in characters from other novels and mixing them up with her own fictional creations. It reminded me of what Kim Newman does so well in his Anno Dracula and in his other novels in the series. K.J. Charles does it with the same ease and amaz
Well, it pains me to say this, but I'm being generous with 3 stars.

Possible spoilers below.

The first half of the book was very good. When I originally read the first two free shorts, The Caldwell Ghost and Butterflies, I liked Robert and Simon well enough, but I didn't really connect to them. So the first half of 'Secret Casebook', where we get a better understanding of what the two feel for each other and how their relationship began, was great. I'm also glad that the author didn't include Remn
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
have you ever wished that sherlock holmes was a) a ghost hunter and b) fucking john watson? then boy do i have good news for you
3.5 stars

This is a 'more complete tale' of the lives of Robert Caldwell and his companion of 20+ years, the ghost-hunter Simon Feximal. These gentlemen first appeared in the short story, The Caldwell Ghost, followed by Butterflies (the two stories are included here). I have been quite excited to read the full novel of Simon and Robert. I loved Charles's take on mystery and paranormal in the historical time. I loved those shorts but I wanted so much more.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as gripping and e
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

Written, as a casebook with several stories, with Robert reminiscing about what happened in the past. I appreciated this because this hindsight gave me an overview and I saw how things developed over time - nothing instant. We can see the building up effect, the constancy, the love shining through rather than the instant magic effect. Life/love over a years and I always enjoy that. We get the stories and the relationship. Even though this style of writing creates a certain distance from what’s h
3.5 stars

While well written like everything K.J. Charles writes, the tone of this book was so dry that at times I really struggled to go through it. I’m not used to struggle with a KJC book and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
I’m told that it was a deliberate choice on the author’s part (the change in style, not my struggling), to recreate a specific style of writing commonly used for this kind of stories set in this historical era, and in that I’m sure she succeeded. I’m probably not the righ
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio...5+ Stars for yet another amazing Gary Furlong performance 😍
Story...5 Spooky Romantic Stars

K.J. Charles impressed me with the mixture of supernatural cases and romance.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-love-stories
There are lots of good things to be said about The Secret Casebook. They've already been said before, so I'll be quick.

This is a very competent, well-researched book about two ghost hunters in the 1890s. And I can see why some people love it. Simon and Robert are fleshed-out, interesting and lovable characters. As far as I'm concerned, The Secret Casebook would be a 4-star read if their story made up 80% instead of, roughly, 25%.

But alas, it is a Casebook.

If my house was on fire and this was the
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}
“In writing Simon's stories, I have written myself out of my own life.”

I absolutely adored this book. It was not at all what I was expecting but I loved every minute of it.

I first met Simon and Robert in ‘Remnant’ when they joined Jordan L. Hawk’s boys Whyborne and Griffin on their London adventure. The Simon I glimpsed in that story was very different to the Simon that greeted me at the beginning of this story. I found it difficult to connect with him at first and it felt like there wasn’t mu
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

For me, KJC’s books are the perfect balance of romance and mystery. And I really like that there’s always an amazing atmosphere in them - I get easily transported to the time and place of the story.

But what I love the most in her books is the characters and their intimacy. I’d say KJC is one of my favourite authors when it comes to writing intimacy. Whether it comes from exchanged words or gestures or things the characters share - it’s always beautiful and heartfelt.

All the above are valid for
Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs

Fun, Spooky Read...Did I enjoy...yes sure I did!!
“Need,” he muttered. I could feel his lips against my neck, head resting against mine as he held me. “God damn it, I need you. I can breathe around you, Robert. I need air, and I need you, and in much the same measure. Come home. Stay.”

RTC. Possibly. But maybe not. Because I’m a big flake. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂🙈

For now I’ll just say that I really liked this even though I’m not HUGE on paranormal stuff. That might be why I have yet to finish this author’s Magpie series. I know, I know. Stop attacking me! I’ll
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun. The first few stories are too short to be satisfactory from a mystery perspective, but there is a good build and the book really hits its stride about halfway through.

Having finished, I am still puzzled as to why my library suggested Anita Brookner as a read-alike author.
Cari Z.
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have a weakness for clever writing, and I have a love for historical paranormals. Put them both together and spice the stories up with the occasional genuflection to the literary greats of the age, and I am in reader heaven. That was this book for me. This is Victorian casefic elevated to a truly fantastic level, and I couldn't put it down. 5 stars, and let me add that the ending was pure ambiguous perfection. ...more

Really, really good.

My free time is currently reserved for watching Penny Dreadful and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, so this book fit right in with the whole victorian gothic theme I like and quality entertainment these series provide. The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is a good written story and highly atmospheric and fun ride.
Told in first person pov, as a series of journal entries it covers the love story between Feximal, famous occultist and ghost-hunter and Caldwell, his chronologist a
3.75 stars

I don't know if it's because I'm PMS-ing, but that ending got me right in the FEELS, and made me a little teary eyed.

I really enjoyed reading about the stalwart Simon and his dear friend and irrepressible companion, Robert. They made me smile fondly, laugh sometimes, fear for them, and in the end I was left hoping that (view spoiler)
Elisabeth Lane
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
KJ Charles ruins everything. Reading a Charles book sets off a chain reaction that can only result in chaos or disappointment.

Let me back up. I read the All In Fear anthology from Open Ink Press where Charles has a queered romantic horror take on Sweeney Todd. It was suspenseful, exciting, kinda gross, kinda scary and entirely wonderful. And this from someone who doesn't like horror. It was so good in fact that I picked up The Secret Casebook in desperation as I knew nothing I would read next co
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

Loved the vignettes, and the peeks into Simon and Robert's relationship.

Loved Jo and Sam, too.

Didn't love the somber ending, although the final note was nice.

Side note:
I liked how old stories were incorporated into the collection, and found myself checking out the information in the acknowledgements.
I can't believe its really over. I-I need more. That can't be the ending! I feel like I'm in mourning over the end of Simon's and Robert's adventures.

So this book is a collection of ghost stories written down by Robert, journalist/ghost hunter extraordinaire. Robert writes from very beginning of his adventurous life, the day he met the love of his life Simon Feximal. Each chapter held a new supernatural fight and paranormal mystery to solve. I loved reading about each case and each moment the tw
So. Very. Good.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bbs
This book made me very happy. If you happen to not have read it, although it’s been out quite a while, you do not want to miss it. I picked this book up now because there’s a new series (Spectred Isle) coming out this summer that is set in the same universe as Simon Feximal and I wanted to read up on this.

KJ Charles has quickly become one of my favourite authors and everything I’ve read by her lately has been just wonderful. Like usually, the historical setting is palpable and an integral part o
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The Backlot Gay B...: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal 3 24 Aug 07, 2015 02:58PM  
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal (4 books)
  • The Caldwell Ghost (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, #1)
  • Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, #2)
  • Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, #3; Whyborne & Griffin, #3.5)

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