Saturday, December 21, 2013

"The Best Blending of Supernatural and Detective Novel Genres"

By R. C. Ashby.
1933. $2.00
Available on Kindle.
R. C. Ashby was really Rubie Constance Ashby:
Murderous ghost of Roman legionary terrorizes Northumberland village and baffles Scotland Yard skeptics. - Well nigh perfect admixture of eerie horror, romance, and good detecting. The writing is excellent and the scenery grand. - Verdict: A 1. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (July 1, 1933)
Truly a little masterpiece of a book. Reminiscent of Christie at the height of her powers in its brilliant use of misdirection . . . . Really a classic of its kind. One of the best blending of supernatural and detective novel genres written in the 1930s. — J. F. Norris, MYSTERY*FILE (27 November 2010)
A minor masterpiece in the subgenre of the supernatural detective novel it tells the story of an ancient Roman soldier who haunts a Welsh manor and a wicked murderer who exploits the legend for his own personal gain. Ashby's use of multiple narrators and a brilliant use of misdirection and misinterpre-tation is something to be admired for such an early work. — J. F. Norris, The GAD Wiki
Ashby also wrote OUT WENT THE TAPER (1934):
Not as good as 'He Arrived at Dusk', because, although it’s another ghost story (haunted house in Wales, with a splendidly nightmarish journey through underground passages festooned with cobwebs), it’s basically an adventure story, with gangsters. — Nick Fuller, The GAD Wiki
Triple murder, haunted ruin, ditto house, believable ghost, and inquiring young Rhodes scholar in eerie Welsh hills. - Warranted to freeze most torrid vertebrae on hottest night (by author of "It Walks by Night," q.v.) - Verdict: Br-r-r! — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (July 21, 1934)
A tremendously good ghost story, with a background of eerie Welsh hills, a ruined monastery with a sinister history, a young American hero, a wholesome English heroine, three satisfactorily vicious villains, some shuddery "psychic" passages and no end of spine-tickling situations. And all done in literate, smoothly flowing prose. Not to be missed. — SCRIBNER'S (August 1934)

Category: Detective fiction

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