Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark Detectives

Dark Detectives is an anthology of supernatural mysteries edited by Stephen Jones, containing works by Clive Barker, Neil Gaimen, and the entire Seven Stars series by Kim Newman.

book cover dark detectives an anthology of supernatural mysteries edited by stephen jonesI’m going to be honest and say that short stories and mystery are not for me, but I’ve been trying to support local bookstores recently as since my favourite second hand bookshop closed down I’ve been relying a lot on Book Depository – which I love but supporting local businesses means supporting your own community.

Although I really enjoyed the Nancy Drew books when I was younger and liked Poe’s Dupin stories so there are genres I dislike more but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Normally when I get a collection of short stories eventually I get sick of it and don’t finish, but I really tried this time. I like short stories in small doses, but a whole collection is a bit much for me. I prefer anthologies that have both poetry and prose as it breaks it up.

I couldn’t finish it.

Horror/supernatural is actually my favourite genre so I thought this might be a good book for me anyway – and it’s always good to try read something different.

I got nearly 3/4s of the way through before deciding to stop. I got this mid-July and it became a chore to read this. I often get through one book a week but this had the opposite effect of not being able to put it down. A lot of it felt like Scooby Doo and the rest was basically Sherlock fanfiction – including carbon copies of John who also happens to be a doctor, a rip off of Sherlock himself and even an off-brand Mrs Hudson – some of these authors really didn’t try to be original at all.

clip art of a detective

I’m also aware that technically Sherlock Holmes is Dupin fan-fiction and Edgar Allan Poe would be considered the first to have wrote detective fiction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at least made Sherlock his own, while taking inspiration from Poe.

Everyone is inspired by other writers and stories. It would be hypocritical to have an issue with that as everything has already been done, nothing anyone can do anymore hasn’t already been created, but literally writing your own Sherlock story and just switching the names is a cheap move for a professional author. You can be inspired by Sherlock but at least put your own spin on the genre and other authors actually do write Sherlock stories, so either write something new or do that instead.

If you’re a fan of short stories and detective fiction/mystery then you’ll enjoy this much more than I did, and if you’re not a big fan of either then this definitely isn’t the book for you.

 

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