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The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  314 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
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published March 25th 2017 by KJC Books (first published June 16th 2015)
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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…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!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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K.J. Charles
Jan 25, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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 for
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
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 left unresolved, so I decided to give it anothe
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Richard Derus
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindled
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,
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
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
☙ percy ❧
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
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
“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  ·  review of another edition

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

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
Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs

Fun, Spooky Read...Did I enjoy...yes sure I did!!

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 chronologi

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.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So. Very. Good.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Ulysses Dietz
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ah, K.J. Charles, who gave us the Magpie Lord. I should have known I was going to like this one.

Robert Caldwell has a ghost. He tries to ignore it, but the bleeding walls finally force him to call in help. Help comes in the form of Simon Feximal, noted occultist, and Robert finds himself inexorably drawn to the steel-haired muscular man who smiles so rarely.

This fascinating book, presented as the posthumous journal of a well-known popular writer in the Watson/Holmes mold, begins with what appea
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)
Cari Z.
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen Wellsbury
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really, really good
Funny, scary, genuinely suspenseful, clever.
Rats, eels, ghosts

Proper review to follow
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There are quite a few books I'm looking forward to this year, but this one is at the top for the "Most Want- GIVE IT TO ME NOW!" award. **grabby hands**
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paula by: Hollis
Shelves: five-star-2018
I’m not sure why I put this one off because I do love the author. When a trusted book friend recommended this to me, I knew I had to read it. I ended up loving it! Simon and Robert are beautiful together and this book was the perfect mix of paranormal and romance. My new favorite book by this author.
I've given this an A- for narration and an A for content at AudioGals.

K.J. Charles’ The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is a collection of wonderfully imaginative, well-written and downright spooky tales of ghostly goings on and supernatural shenanigans set in the late Victorian era featuring ghost-hunter extraordinaire, Simon Feximal, and his chronicler and long-term companion Robert Caldwell. The author draws on ancient legends and late Victorian sensation fiction for inspiration and has craf
Trisha Harrington
It has taken me forever, but I finally read The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. It's been a long time coming. I wanted to read this so bad since it came out, yet I never got around to it, despite promising myself several times. Well now, I can finally move it from my TBR to my read list. And it was more than worth the wait.

I feel like I need to kick myself when I put off reading a book I really want to read. It happens from time to time and 99% of the time, I end up adoring it. Like with this
Oh wow, these two, I'd forgotten how much I love them. This is the story of Simon Feximal and Robert Caldwell and their paranormal investigations in Victorian London. It's absolutely superb, all the stories run in order and are mostly about their cases from when they first got together. I found the ending somewhat sad, not because it was a bad ending but because of the uncertainty. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

I would love to hear more about these two, and live in hope.
Love KJ Charles, as always. But really wish it had been more novel and less vignettes.
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I'm a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both.

I'm also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at

I live in London, UK, with husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

Follow me on Twitter @kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at
More about K.J. Charles

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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“A story without an ending is an unbearable itch to the reader.” 19 likes
“He had rid my inherited house of a lustful ghost, opened my eyes to a concealed world of strange forces and arcane knowledge, and buggered me twice.” 6 likes
More quotes…