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Today the names of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and Clark Ashton Smith, all regular contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the first half of the twentieth century, are recognizable even to casual readers of the bizarre and fantastic. And yet despite being more popular than them all during the golden era of genre pulp fiction, there is another author whose name and work have fallen into obscurity: Seabury Quinn.

Quinn’s short stories were featured in well more than half of Weird Tales’s original publication run. His most famous character, the supernatural French detective Dr. Jules de Grandin, investigated cases involving monsters, devil worshippers, serial killers, and spirits from beyond the grave, often set in the small town of Harrisonville, New Jersey. In de Grandin there are familiar shades of both Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and alongside his assistant, Dr. Samuel Trowbridge, de Grandin’s knack for solving mysteries—and his outbursts of peculiar French-isms (grand Dieu!)—captivated readers for nearly three decades.

Collected for the first time in trade editions, The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, edited by George Vanderburgh, presents all ninety-three published works featuring the supernatural detective. Presented in chronological order over five volumes, and including all thirty-two original Weird Tales covers illustrated for de Grandin stories, this is the definitive collection of an iconic pulp hero.

The first volume, The Horror on the Links, includes all of the Jules de Grandin stories from “The Horror on the Links” (1925) to “The Chapel of Mystic Horror” (1928), as well as an introduction by Robert Weinberg.

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597808938

514 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 4, 2017

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About the author

Seabury Quinn

269 books45 followers
Best know as an American pulp author for Weird Tales, for which he wrote a series of stories about occult detective Jules de Grandin. He was the author of non-fiction legal and medical texts and editor of Casket & Sunnyside, a trade journal for mortuary jurisprudence. He also published fiction for Embalming Magazine, another mortuary periodical.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Karl.
3,258 reviews264 followers
Want to read
September 25, 2017
vii -A. Vanderburgh and Robert E. Weinberg


001 - "The Horror on the Links" (Weird Tales, October 1925)
019 - "The Tenants of Broussac" (Weird Tales, December 1925)


045 - "The Isle of Missing Ships" (Weird Tales, February 1926)
078 - "The Vengeance of India" (Weird Tales, April 1926)
092 - "The Dead Hand" (Weird Tales, May 1926)
103 - "The House of Horror" (Weird Tales, July 1926)
121 - "Ancient Fires" (Weird Tales, September 1926)
142 - "The Great God Pan" (Weird Tales, October 1926)
154 - "The Grinning Mummy" (Weird Tales, December 1926)


174 - "The Man Who Cast No Shadow" (Weird Tales, February 1927)
195 - "The Blood-Flower" (Weird Tales, March 1927)
215 - "The Veiled Prophetess" (Weird Tales, May 1927)
233 - "The Curse of Everard Maundy" (Weird Tales, July 1927)
258 - "Creeping Shadows" (Weird Tales, August 1927)
275 - "The White Lady of the Orphanage" (Weird Tales, September 1927)
294 - "The Poltergeist" (Weird Tales, October 1927)


314 - "The Gods of East and West" (Weird Tales, January 1928)
339 - "Mephistopheles and Company, Ltd." (Weird Tales, February 1928)
364 - "The Jewel of Seven Stones" (Weird Tales, April 1928)
393 - "The Serpent Woman" (Weird Tales, June 1928)
414 - "Body and Soul" (Weird Tales, September 1928)
437 - "Restless Souls" (Weird Tales, October 1928)
463 - "The Chapel of Mystic Horror" (Weird Tales, December 1928)
Profile Image for Nancy Oakes.
1,922 reviews731 followers
September 3, 2017
On the less-serious reading side, I find myself in complete agreement with George A. Vanderburgh and Robert Weinberg who say in their introduction to this book that the tales in this book "might not be great literature, but they don't pretend to be." They also remark that the stories found here are "good fun" which is absolutely the case. The Horror on the Links is the first book in a proposed five-volume set, and if the remaining four installments are even half as much fun as this one, then I'm in for a seriously good time. Let's just say that I enjoyed this series opener so much that I already have volume two, and I've pre-ordered volume three which is supposed to be out in March. I love good old pulp fiction, I love occult-detective stories, and I love weird tales, so I'm absolutely in my element here. Ahhhhhhh.

Vanderburgh and Weinberg refer to Jules de Grandin as "the occult Hercule Poirot," and it's really difficult not to make the comparison while reading, waxed moustaches and all. They also say that he shares "more than a passing resemblance" to Sherlock Holmes, with a "Dr. Watson-like sidekick, Dr. Trowbridge. As a detective who sees himself as "a scientist; no more", Grandin is not at all quick to dismiss the possibility that there may be more going on than science alone can explain.

And indeed, in the scope of the twenty-three stories included here ranging (in order of publication in Weird Tales) from 1925 to 1928, some of the answers to these puzzling tales are definitely of this world while some are to be found in the darker realm of the occult. The real-world solutions are actually far more frightening than the supernatural ones, for example, after "The White Lady of the Orphanage" (September 1927), I had to put the book down for a while, and I posted somewhere that this was one of the most gruesome stories I'd ever encountered. Eek and Ick.

My personal favorite is "The Isle of Missing Ships," which is a straight-up pulp fiction story with no foot in the occult world; it is also the only one that does not follow the formula/pattern by which a solution is discovered which is found in all of the other entries in this volume; and then there's "The Chapel of Mystic Horror," because who in their right mind can pass up a story about an old abbey transported from Europe to America, former home of the Knights Templar?

No story synopses here -- to tell is to spoil and I don't want to do that. My advice: sit back, relax, and enjoy these wonderful weird tales of yesteryear and appreciate them for what they are -- delicious pulpy goodness. My hat is off to the team of Vanderburgh and Weinberg for making these old stories available once again -- I had the time of my life reading this book.

Profile Image for Malum.
2,222 reviews128 followers
November 16, 2020
Jules de Grandin was a pulp occult detective, similar to a Hammer Films version of Sherlock Holmes. Serving as his Watson (and the person that de Grandin can explain things to the audience through) is Dr. Trowbridge. Every adventure that de Grandin and Trowbridge get themselves into has a 50/50 chance of either being a real occult happening or just a hypnotist/mad scientist/criminal taking advantage of vulnerable and/or gullible people by faking or reproducing strange phenomena.

I think these adventures are a lot of fun, but there is something for a potential reader to keep in mind. The stories in this volume were written in the 1920s, and are quite sexist and unbelievably racist (and, as a big fan of Howard and Lovecraft, that's really saying something!). If you are already into old pulps, then you are probably used to tales like these and can enjoy them for what they are and for when they were written. If you are just getting into classic pulp tales and/or are sensitive to issues like these, then you might want to move on to something else.

Profile Image for Squire.
350 reviews1 follower
May 16, 2017
Seabury Quinn is a pulp fiction horror writer whose contemporaries (Lovecfaft, Howard, Smith, Bloch, Derelith and Wellman) are more well-known. But Quinn's occult detective Jules de Grandin and his comrade, Dr. Samuel Trowbridge, made an appearance in 62 of the 96 issues of Weird Tales (1925-1951) and was quite a popular draw for it's readers.

But there's a reason Quinn has fallen into near obscurity. His tales of the French physician, soldier, and intelligence officer are of pure pulp formula: narrated by Dr. Trowbridge, a strange situation is presented, de Gardin investigates, makes deductions that he keeps to himself, runs off to New York (or elsewhere) for consultations, returns to wage a final apocalyptic battle and spends the last 3-5 pages of each story explaining to his bewildered companion what just happened (though the modern reader won't need such a post mortem in most cases). It's the same for every story--the best of which have de Grandin and Trowbridge together for almost all the story and not much needs to be explained at the end.

There's also the dated language which today would be considered racist and bigoted; but, taking into account the time period, it came off as simply elitist to me. Quinn was a lawyer who quit his job to become a full-time writer and he certainly was successful--he published over 500 stories in his lifetime. His writing, while quite good at times, screamed "look how smart I am you little people. Aren't I clever?" at me.

Then there's De Grandin himself. He's pompous, self-righteous, conceited, and unable to let anyone help him with his ideas until he is ready to implement them--and that's to his friends. He is insulting to Trowbridge, telling him several times he doesn't know if he is foolish or just stupid. But to the rest of the world he is exotic, charming, effeminate and debonair. Not an easy character to cozy to.

But if you strip all this aside, what you find is a remarkable imagination at work and some truly striking stories (which probably could have been better told with a POV change). The House of Horror, The Jewel of Seven Stones and Restless Souls were my favorites of this anthology.

The editor admits that these stories are not easy to take one right after the other, and he's right. The formulaic nature of the stories works against them and makes the whole experience repetitive. But I'll take a few months off before tackling the second volume which is due out in September.

Recommended for complete-ist fans of pulp fiction horror tales.
Profile Image for Michelle B.
17 reviews14 followers
March 26, 2021
Not bad. I give it 3.5 stars. I found the lead character Jules de Grandin totally insufferable. But then I have the same opinion of Sherlock Holmes. Both are a couple of freeloaders who accidentally solve a case now and then. Dr Towbridge is much denser than Dr Watson (in the books anyway). This is essentially "men's literature." You get lots of damsels in distress, many naked or as near-naked as Quinn could manage. It goes with the territory. Quinn is a good writer though, not great, but good enough for what he's turning out. He's never boring and he never reaches beyond what he's capable of.
Profile Image for Doug Bolden.
353 reviews24 followers
February 16, 2020
One should take it as a warning when the introductory essay, written by literally one of Quinn/de Grandin's biggest fans and editorial contributors, instructs you to not read them back to back [not more than one a week is the instruction given] and then spends the remaining wordcount explaining why Quinn is forgotten in this era of the Lovecraft/Weird-ascendancy with the fervor of a medieval apologist: Quinn wrote pulp (but at least he knew it), Quinn slammed out too huge a body of fiction to actually vary his plots much (but at least he made it exciting and, hey, it paid the bills), Quinn had no sense of character development or even a good grasp of time passing in his stories (but at least...ok, he has no good explanation for this one, just admits it), and Quinn had no real qualms with working in naked (white) women into every damned story (but hey, topless women on the cover sold issues of Weird Tales). It is a look into a time period now largely remembered for the aforementioned Lovecraft* but which was driven by the pragmatic side of writing in a way nearly forgotten by the end of the 20th century and since.**

I initially ignored the warnings. The first story (the eponymous "Horror on the Links") was pretty middlin' but that's nothing new in pulp detectives where you save your good stuff until after you are sure you are going to write a second one (and more) but nearly out the gate there are interesting, varied stories involving ghost snakes and and ghost hands and cannibal islanders and other naughty foreigners. The first third of the book is a great set of pulp that has rickety moments and throws plenty of red flags but still hums along under its own power.

You have stories that shine like "The Great God Pan," which is a strange romp about a nerd's attempt to sequester a group of beautiful women by having them believe in a return of ancient deities, and "The House of Horror," which is a precursor to a Human Centipede type of body horror and which taps in nicely into the Weird Menace subgenre. Sure, you have middlin' tales with some bad takes such as "Ancient Fires" (with the ludicrous insertion of old world style gypsies into New England just so it can play off the pulp trope of gypsy criminals for no reason related to the plot) and "Vengeance of India" (which is very pro-colonial and includes de Grandin bragging about using one of the "Hindoos" religious beliefs to torture him) but it was something like 2-for-1 on the good vs meh side and so I kept plowing through story after story.

It was around "The Grinning Mummy" when the love affair started to wane. Quinn's grasp of exciting prose begins to dip with stories getting longer and plot points getting repeated (again you have foreigners attacking white folks because of things white folks did but being the villains nevertheless). The next two stories return to classic monster types and "The Blood Flower" has a fun take on werewolves (including a scene where de Grandin shoots down a werewolf and points out that silver bullets aren't needed with good engineering and modern firearms in hand). Still, the stories felt more padded and more repeated. By this point, Quinn had given up explaining why de Grandin was staying in a middle sized town in New Jersey and just ran with it.

In fact, of the middle third the only real stand outs are "The Curse of Everard Maundy" and "The White Lady of the Orphanage" which are quite good and interesting (but do not make up for "The Creeping Shadows" being yet another repeat of "Vengeance of India" or having several stories which could be summed up with "white women are beset, de Grandin gets his jimmies up and kills a bad'un").

The stories tend to decline in quality and interest throughout this section, while increasing in length, for the rest of this section. Every good element of them is bathed in formulaic prose and surrounded by the sense of having to slog through the contents.

The final third opens much as the second closed with stories like "The Gods of the East and West" and "Mephistopheles and Company, Ltd." being very nearly good but retelling the same sort of story structure you have now read several times (and with some villains being basically revisited from earlier stories). Then you hit the absolute nadir of the entire collection, "The Jewel of Seven Stones," and it was this point I was not sure I could continue.

First off, there is the the weird morality of these stories. de Grandin has time and again chosen a somewhat sadistic path while being the "good guy". In one story, victims of cruel experimentation are left to die because he feels it would be better than having their families find out they have been disfigured and are no longer beautiful. He has chosen to enact deadly violence on some of the villains because of their slights against a friend of a friend or against a pretty (white) woman. In this case, we see the worst take on this possible. A friend of Townbridge gets a hold of two sarcophagi to prove some odd theory about history. When they open up the first one, they find a beautiful woman inside who, after a few seconds, wastes away to dust. Upon finding out that the other sarcophagus contains an even more beautiful woman who is (also???) slated to fade to dust if it is opened before a certain time period, his immediate response is, "Let's pop this baby open because I have to see how hot this chick must be!" He basically is down with killing a woman as long as that means he can take a look at her for a few seconds.***

Not only does it have that terrible response to finding out about a curse, and not only does it never mention the first woman again or what her part was in all of this (I sincerely think Quinn wrote her in just to establish what would happen and then ceased to care about her), but it soon after drops the worst prose in the entire collection—
"Except for two tiny studs of hand-beaten gold which held the robe together over the shoulders and the narrow double border of horizontal purple lines at the bottom of the cape, marking her status as a Roman citizen, her gown was without ornament of any sort, and no jewelry adorned her chaste loveliness save the golden threads with which her white-kid sandals were embroidered and a single strand of small gold disks, joined by minute links and having seven tiny pendants of polished carnelians, which encircled her throat and lay lightly against the gentle swell of her white bosom."
—and then ends with some weird smug explanation that negates a good portion of the story.

However, after this low point the collection almost immediately rebounds. "The Serpent Woman" yet again starts with a distraught woman just happening upon de Grandin's path and starts out following the same beats that several stories have followed (including a foreign baddie), but Quinn tweaks it up a little. Especially in the role of our good detective (who actually makes a reasoned decision about guilt by the end instead of just killing the culprit). Then "Body and Soul" and "Restless Souls" continue to improve upon the formula. The latter, especially, is interesting in the way that it kind of just retreads previous plot points but does it better and with more interest. The detective continues to feel more like a proper hero-detective. If anything, it is Townbridge that irks at this point because he has become little more than an arch-Scully (mostly hanging about to tell the reader than everything has a reasonable explanation and then to be proved wrong while doing very little to help with anything).

The collection ends with one of the longer stories that brings up the now tired yarn about how evil the Knights Templar were and bites a bit of M.R. James imagery on the way down—and has yet another beset white woman—but it does it with actual glee and invoke a sense of actual horror. It is good pulp. It feels very much like Quinn had started to like his characters, again, and was once more trying to make them work. Despite the introduction's claim that de Grandin never really changes, I would say that he did. He becomes an actual pulp hero—though a prissy, sometimes nonsensical one.

It feels good to be done with this collection, but it feels better that a good half of the stories are actually worth reading. Some are actually quite good and one could imagine a "best of" collection (even a couple of volumes worth, overall) being a serious contender for one of the better collections of early 20th century pulp/weird. The problem with these "complete" collections is that you have to wade through all the rest, and it flavors in the highlights with negative qualities (later good stories repeat elements from earlier bad stories, etc). And sure, you could say, "Doug, this was a different time," to shush up my complaints about certain world-views, but to that I would say that you only read collections like this partially for the anthropological sense and even outside of that there is only so many times you can read about foreign folks assaulting our Christian white women before it gets a bit...tired. Even in the context of the time.

One final note, there are a few typos and oddities in the text. Nothing super serious, but just FYI.

* Lovecraft was published in Weird Tales prior to the first de Grandin story, though the de Grandin stories tended to hit big before Lovecraft had moved on into his more "golden days" of writing.

** I'm sure that Brian Keene would like to disagree with me.

*** Said de Grandin also speaks this line in another story, "Mademoiselle, you are beautiful. There is no reason for you to wish to die." Presumably beautiful women only need to die if de Grandin is in a rush to male-gaze the ever loving hell out of them.
4,862 reviews53 followers
December 15, 2020
A large collection of stories about Jules de Grandin, known as the Supernatural Sherlock Holmes. After the first couple of stories, it settles down to a formula. de Grandin and his Watson, Dr. Trowbridge, would be minding their own business in New Jersey, when the paranormal rears its head. Trowbridge never knows what is going on, but de Grandin figures things out. They encounter vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, and more!
Profile Image for curleduptoes.
216 reviews24 followers
November 8, 2021
"I am Dr. Jules de Grandin of France, and I assume authority over this case now!"

This is how Jules, the occult detective introduces himself in most cases, along with his doctor friend Trowbridge. I am still reading the Volume, but I had to write an update midway since it has become really tough to tolerate his arrogance. Of course he capably solves cases and helps his clients but not before blowing his own trumpet. His rude responses to the clients as well as to Dr. Trowbridge have become pretty annoying, plus, he is not a good decision maker. He is also cruel, self centered while feeling smug all through the way. Calling Americans inept, foul and whatnot, seems to be his hobby. He thinks of himself above ALL. Ugh.

I had to pour my heart out because I listen to him boasting every morning and evening while commuting to and from the office. Some venting should help.

The pairing is definitely done as per Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's but temperamentally he is not like Sherlock, nor is Trowbridge like Watson. Anyway. Waiting for the volume to finish because some stories are really interesting.
Profile Image for Robert Hobson.
22 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2019
An impressive collection of shorts from the pulp era. Easy reads that are fun and engaging from beginning to end. Seabury Quinn is not only a great author name, it's his real name.
Profile Image for Tenebrous Kate.
62 reviews32 followers
September 21, 2018
I'm not going to put on like I don't understand why H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard are more highly-regarded than Seabury Quinn by today's genre critics. That having been said, these stories are a hell of a lot of fun, and there's a value all its own to a ripping yarn crammed full of bizarre details. Quinn layers on at least two extra outrageous plot twists into each of these tales, all of which are well-served by their brevity. It's easy to see why these energetic and oddly optimistic stories were among Weird Tales' most popular entries.

Covered in more detail in an episode of the Bad Books for Bad People podcast: http://badbooksbadpeople.com/mini-epi...
Profile Image for Dean.
349 reviews26 followers
June 8, 2018
I have read a lot of pulp over the years. I like pulp and don't mind the purple prose or the normally predictable tales. I have read some Seabury Quinn over the years so I was excited to get this.
Unfortunately, the stories told here were just bad and not entertaining in the least.
I did not find the main protagonists( Jules de Grandin and Dr. Trowbridge- a shitty half-baked Holmes and Watson imitation...and I've been entertained by Imitations of Holmes, and this was just not a good imitation.) in the stories to be likable or even interesting. The stories told were meandering and not that great.
This is a pile of crap.
Profile Image for Kat Rocha.
Author 22 books19 followers
August 24, 2017
As the preface says, don't read them all in one go. you'll get overwhelmed... but the adventures of deGrandin are amazing and deserve to be on the shelf next to Conan's adventures and Lovecraft's writtings.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,124 reviews72 followers
December 17, 2021
Jules de Grandin is, truly, a bubbly French (not Belgian!) Hercule Poirot, solving occult mysteries with aplomb at the side of his Captain Hastings/John Watson pal. More affable than many of his fellow Golden Age detectives (occult or otherwise), one of the best things about de Grandin's adventures is the cheer and enthusiasm with which he approaches each case. The stories haven't all aged well (though they are mostly anti-Semitism-free), but they were never meant to be great literature - they're fun, slightly campy tales, and in that regard they hold up very well...even if (or perhaps especially if) you read them while recovering from surgery.
Profile Image for Cindy.
1,624 reviews9 followers
May 24, 2023
The first volume of short stories first seen in Tales Of The Weird. Circa 1920s.
This was a $2 deal on Amazon.
Some of the stories were good. Some only ok.

De Grandin is arrogant & full of himself. Physically described with hands & feet as "womanish". He's like a Hercule Poirot wannabe. Complete with the twirling moustache!
Dr Trowbridge is his dumber friend. Lord knows what they see in each other.

Historical horror.
Profile Image for JoeK.
322 reviews3 followers
December 11, 2020
It's been a long haul, but I'm finally done. I took the advice of the editors and didn't sit down and read the whole thing through in one go. Judging by my personal log, I've read about one story per month for the past two years, something like a reader of Weird Tales would have experienced in real life. Although Seabury Quinn didn't have a story in every issue, or at least, not a Jules de Grandin story. Having that gap didn't really endear the characters or the format to me, but slow reading probably prevented me from throwing the book at the wall.

While there are aspects I enjoyed, I can't see myself reading another four volumes of these mysteries. As other reviewers have pointed out, this series is very formulaic. After twenty-three adventures with de Grandin, Samuel Trowbridge is still flabbergasted and astonished by events and de Grandin's supernatural explanations -- every -- single -- time. Even though he's right there, recording events in great detail, witnessing bizarre occult events, Trowbridge is a clean slate who's never seen anything odd in his life by the next installment. None of the characters develop in any significant way through the series. De Grandin is abrasive and smug, and to "friend Trowbridge" he seems especially abusive. I have heard people speculate that the two were the first gay couple in the pulps, but I can't see it. In fact, I can't see why Trowbridge continues to let de Grandin stay in his home, eating his food, drinking his liquor, and driving him around on adventures.

I found that Quinn had an amazing vocabulary and wrote really well. The adventures were almost evenly split between true occult detective stories, and just humans behaving badly but hiding their nefarious schemes with occult trappings. I think two or three had no occult associations at all. There was also a wide variety of occult backstory and creatures/legends from all over the world.

Unfortunately the bad outweighs the good. If I ever read another story in the series, it would be the last one to see if anything of the formula changed in the 25 years that they appeared.
Profile Image for D J Rout.
218 reviews4 followers
October 24, 2022
At last we have a complete collection of Jules de Grandin stories available to the public who aren't willing, or able, to lash out $1500-odd on a hardcover collection.

I came across my first Jules de Grandin story, 'The House of Horror', in an audio version of The Pan Book of Horror Stories in 1991, and the scene of horror in it was at once so vivid and horrifying I determined to track down more stories by the same author. Unfortunately, I thought that was David Case, so that delayed me finding the real author for a few years.

Anyway, 'The House of Horror' is in this volume and I'm pleased to say it has lost none of its impact. If anything, more empathy for the victims on my side means it has more horror in it than it did in the last millennium, which is all to the good.

Not all the stories have some aspect of horror or the supernatural, and some, such as 'The Serpent Woman' are mysteries which at least sow light on the 1920's. The stories are presented in publication order, so it's possible to see the characters grow and change as the stories go on. Whether they improve I leave up to the reader to judge. Some people may find de Grandin's French oaths a tad ludicrous—for example, one is Nom du fromage vert. Name of green cheese? But perhaps that's a real French exclamation.

There's a pretty good introduction that makes an interesting case for why Seabury Quinn is not included with H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard as ne of the great writers to come out of Weird Tales magazine. With any luck, this and the other four volumes will get that changed.
Profile Image for Dale.
465 reviews10 followers
September 17, 2017
Doctor of the occult, the bizarre, and the outré…

This beautiful book contains 22 stories of Dr. Jules de Grandin, published in Weird Tales Magazine from 1925-1928. It is volume one in a series that promises to reprint all of the tales Seabury Quinn wrote featuring the little blonde Frenchman with his vast knowledge and experience with the unknown.

Jules de Grandin resides for the most part with his friend and biographer Dr. Samuel Trowbridge in Harrisonville, New Jersey. Dr. Trowbridge and Grandin travel widely, and some of their adventures occur in other countries.

Across these 22 stories our heroic duo battles demons, ghosts, vampires, and such creatures. There is almost always a lovely woman who is in danger of losing both body and soul.

Jules de Grandin, much like Sherlock Holmes has supreme faith in his own abilities and knowledge. He comes across as pompous and self-promoting. He has little use for those who cannot see what he sees. He is often short with Dr. Trowbridge to the point of insult, as Holmes was with Dr. Watson. In the end, he will always return to his friendship with Trowbridge and give an explanation of his thought process and how he succeeded in saving the day.

In these first 22 stories, I give Best in Book to “The Gods of East and West.” The story I liked the least was “The Dead Hand.”

Fans of Holmes, Carnacki the Ghost Finder, John the Balladeer, John Thunstone, etc should be able to enjoy these tales with much delight! I give the volume five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…
Profile Image for Riju Ganguly.
Author 31 books1,393 followers
October 14, 2018
My-my! These must have been the wet dreams of pulp lovers. You have a parody of a Frenchman, as sought after by the ignoramus, to make the tales more exotic. You have a Dr. Watson working as the faithful narrator for a hero who is a combination of all penny dreadful and subsequent detectives (including those dealing with paranormal). And you have stories. By God! What stories. This volume contains twenty three stories, and they cover the whole gamut of pulp villains. Vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters of other varieties, giant snakes, reincarnation, curses imported from Asia and Africa, half-breed people, Germans, sadists, cultists, Egyptian man and goddesses...!
In short, if you can take yourself to the level of America between the two wars, and appreciate what the great unwashed used to consume as entertainment, then you are in for a tremendous ride.
I am, however, already afraid of the other volumes that I have purchased, and which I have to read because they had cost me too much.
Your call.
Profile Image for Love of Hopeless Causes.
721 reviews48 followers
May 5, 2018
Neither fish nor foul, these tales don't succeed in the horror titillation sense--nor the anticipatory mystery sense--due to poor structure and tension. Quinn should give us something up front to worry about, but we spend the first fifteen minutes of each tale floundering about trying to discover the story goal. This is common for pulp. Too much of the author's thought process remains apparent when you only do two drafts.

After five hours and five stories, I'm abandoning ship. If I managed to finish all twenty-five hours, I'd guess this at three stars. I'm not saying it's crap, some people like nifty adventurelets that aren't very deep. I prefer novels over shorts, and Cthulhu over Holmes, so I'm not quite the target audience here.
Profile Image for Anne Wingate.
504 reviews15 followers
June 21, 2018
New Old Story Still Works

I was a little dubious about the book before I began reading it. I need not have worried. It consists of excellent short stories, mildly horrific, but with good triumphing. If I had more stories in the series I would go right on reading. I recommend it for most people.
Profile Image for Steve Rainwater.
172 reviews10 followers
February 25, 2021
French investigator and his American assistant solve weird cases.

Pulp era stories from the pages of Weird Tales. These stories were the X-Files of the 1930s. French Professor Jules de Grandin of the Service de Sûreté and his American companion Dr. Trowbridge investigate cases involving science, superstition, religion, and the paranormal. As often as not, they reveal the seemingly paranormal to be nothing but the scams of mortal men. But occasionally they run into actual paranormal things like mummies, werewolves, vampires, and occult curses. And they encounter a fair number of horror-type scenarios - serial killers, mad doctors, strange murder plots. Whether they face conventional or paranormal dangers, de Grandin always brings science to bear against their enemies; finding ingenious ways to kill a vampire without the use of a wooden stake or trap a killer by use of some clever chemistry.

These volumes present the Jules de Grandin stories in the order they were originally published in Weird Tales and it's worth mentioning that a few of the earliest ones are pretty bad. "The Dead Hand" is unbelievably silly. But the writing and plotting improves as stories progress and nearly all of them are fun reads.

A few stories exhibit the common, unintended racism that's found in writing from that era but, on a hopeful note, they lack the usual sexism of the pulps. In fact, de Grandin is way ahead of his time on that score. In many of the stories, every other male in sight wants to write off a female victim as "hysterical" or insane but de Grandin is always willing to listen to their stories and stand up for them when no else believes them.

The de Grandin stories are often compared to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales but a more apt comparison would be Doyle's paranormal series of Professor Challenger stories. Professor Challenger wins on the quality of the writing but de Grandin wins on sheer the volume of tales.

If you enjoy pulp stories and old tales of the paranormal, I recommend this series. I liked it well enough that I've ordered the second volume.
Profile Image for David Welch.
Author 15 books36 followers
October 28, 2021
This book is a collection of supernatural adventure pulp stories, all feature Jules De Grandin, supernatural detective. Think Sherlock Holmes for ghost stories, and you get the idea (Though the main character is French). A Dr. Trowbridge plays the Watson to this Holmes, though he is more a narrator than a full-fledged character, De Grandin is doing all the work. The tales feature a range of your standard ghosts and ghouls. A few were quite creatively presented and characterized, others fell a little flat. Similarly, some tales really stuck out, while others were fairly forgettable, though none weren't fun to read. These tales are straight pulp adventure, designed only to entertain, and they do that. De Grandin also comes up with some creative ways to fight the beasties of the night, sometimes with magic charms, other times with modern science (of the 1920s). But the book does fall short in a few places. The Trowbridge character is basically a non-entity, and has an annoying habit of not believing De Grandin regarding the supernatural even after he's experienced it time and time again. De Grandin gets a little more development, but it's more hinted at then explored, so he often comes off as an archetype. And you never really get the impression that he's in any serious danger, which takes some of the punch out of the tale. There are also some old attitudes in this book some modern readers might not like, but with the exception of one story they are minor, and irrelevant to the plots. Would probably give it a 3.5 if I could, but it was a fun, light read, so 4 stars.
385 reviews
July 5, 2018
Classic pulp

This is undoubtedly classic pulp, written long before Ghostbusters ever came on the scene. Already met Carnacki and Flaxman Low, they're nothing like Jules De Grandin and his companion, Dr. Trowbridge an never ending skeptic. They're nothing like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. And Jules De Grandin is certainly not Hercule Periot. Even though Jules De Grandin had called a psychic Periot. But he isn't. What he is is a detective who cows police, villains, and thingies with his wit and dry humor. He solves cases but does not always save everybody. Won't tell you which one. Just have to read them yourselves. Even though you'll find most of the stories not entirely PC. Like the author, they're products of the time. No need to judge them with 21st century eyes. Back in those days, Jules De Grandin stories were popular. Seabury Quinn was not afraid tackle subject matter outside mainstream. He was ahead of his time in most of the stories. They may not be art but what the hell? These adventures are the stuff dreams were made on.
Profile Image for Tim Schneider.
393 reviews3 followers
August 12, 2021
The history of Weird Tales is incredibly interesting and not at all what you'd expect given the out-sized influence the pulp has had on the history of fantasy and horror literature and pop culture in general. And within Weird Tales there are things that, looking backward nearly a century, are incredibly surprising. Seabury Quinn was a name I knew...but that was pretty much it. He barely registered in the company of the "leading lights" of Weird Tales authors; Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, etc. So to find out that Seabury Quinn was not just the most prolific contributor to Weird Tales, but that he usually topped their polls of favorite authors during the time the pulp was being published was eye-opening.

This is the first of four tomes that reprint the complete tales of supernatural detective Jules de Grandin. De Grandin was not the first occult detective. He followed Blackwood's John Silence and Hodgson's Thomas Carnaki among others and was roughly contemporaneous to both John Thunstone and Judge Pursuivant (both by Manly Wade Wellman). But he was probably the most successful at least through the first half of the Twentieth Century. It was a fairly simple formula. Think Sherlock Holmes pursuing vampires, werewolves, mummies and other ghosties and ghoulies. He even had his own assistant, Dr. Samuel Trowbridge, who never quite figured out that the occult exists even though he was faced with it several times a year.

I read this one at the rate of about one story a week. Generally I'd break it out and read a story when I'd finish a novel or on a set day of the week. I think this is the right way to read a book like this. These stories originally appeared at a rate of about seven or so a year in a monthly magazine. Spaced out, they're a fun reasonably quick read but I have no doubt they'd be incredibly same-y if read in bulk.

Ultimately Quinn's work is solid pulp. No, he's not as good a writer as Howard. He's not remotely as inventive as Lovecraft (though I find him easier to read). And I probably prefer Wellman's occult detective work. It's been so long since I've read Smith or August Derleth that I just can't render an opinion. But I will say that I think Quinn has been unfairly marginalized. These are solid pulp stories that, while not ground-breaking, are fun to read.
Profile Image for Emmett Hoops.
217 reviews
March 15, 2019
This book is only interesting insofar as it provides illumination on what kind of tripe typically would fill pages in pulp magazines when they weren't publishing Lovecraft, Derleth, Hammett, and other well-known authors. Quinn was neither a great stylist nor an enlightened man, as evidenced by the reference to "the white women" and "Negroes" -- the white women need to be saved from the predations of the Negroes, of course. I couldn't endure reading every story: if it seemed to have not all that many sentences in italics and ending with an exclamation point, I gave it a shot.

To be read by only those who have a burning desire to know what OTHER stuff got published in those long lost magazines.
381 reviews4 followers
January 17, 2021
Originally from the 1920s, these are a set of mystery stories with a supernatural element to them. Despite their age, they are entertaining and enjoyable stories, although they are admittedly not PC in some cases. Well, the stories are from a long time ago and the author isn't around to change them, therefore one can see they are a snapshot of the time they were written. Most are set in New Jersey, and Quinn reliably gets the feel for New Jersey. The dialogue between Jules de Grandin, the French equivalent of Sherlock Holmes, and others, is enjoyable (and sometimes oddly modern sounding), and some of the statements de Grandin makes ("name of a little green man!") are hilarious, and I imagine were meant to be that way. Ultimately a set of fun stories.
Profile Image for Kevin.
61 reviews
September 21, 2020
I think I was hoping for a little more. It was kind of like Hercule Poirtot meets Scooby Doo, with just a touch of the X Files tossed in there for good measure. Quinn's fictional NJ town of Harrisonville seems like the worst place to live with all these weird crimes happening.

I am not sure which character annoyed me more, the egotistical title character or the moronic Watson ripoff, Dr Trowbridge - who constantly is skeptical of de Grandin's methods and ideas (even of the crimes themselves) despite seeing all these paranormal things happening around him all the time. I think de Grandin is right, Trowbridge is stupid.
Profile Image for Joseph Raborg.
160 reviews7 followers
December 17, 2017
Fun Horror Adventures

This is a series of fun adventures. Some of the stories can be quite horrifying and gruesome. The couple involving cannibalism are hard to take. Overall, this is a fun series of short stories, but not for the faint of heart!

One has to love the character of Jules de Grandin. He is perhaps the most swashbuckling horror hero you'll find in literature. Dr. Trowbridge, his friend, is loyal but dumb as a rock. Essentially, certain cinematic representations of Dr. Watson describe the New Jersey doctor to a T.
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