Tales From The Murenger: Stories to Darken the Soul
A collection of dark fantasy stories centered around Newport in South Wales. Newport’s oldest inn, The Murenger, acts as its centre point.
Cheyney, Behave: Peter Cheyney: A Darker World
Between 1936 and 1951 Peter Cheyney wrote over forty books and was the highest paid novelist in Britain. In many respects he blazed a path for Ian Fleming and the brutal glamour of Bond. Today, Peter Cheyney is almost unknown, his books out of print.
CHEYNEY BEHAVE, recaptures a lost world and provides an eye-opening analysis of a popular culture we might prefer to forget. The book examines the importance of cigarettes and alcohol in Cheyney’s world, his attitude to ‘pansies’, racism, women, and the jaw-dropping sexism of his age. It analyses the significance of Cheyney’s ‘Dark’ series in terms of war propaganda and how Cheyney accurately captured the effects of war on prevailing morality.
For those jaded by pilgrimages to Baker Street, Cheyney provides a welcome alternative. Most of his many heroes, villains and victims live in a very small area of London. Some are unwitting neighbours, and all jostle each other on the same roads and streets, ghosts in parallel worlds. These are mapped, allowing the reader to go on his or her own ‘Cheyney walk’.
CLAY CROSS is a swirl of Voodoo, Noir, and mangled metaphors, its comic aspects coming from a 1950’s private eye out of his time.
When James Finn ran down the priestess daughter of a houngan in a Louisiana bayou, he never imagined the consequences. When Laura Finn begins a search for her husband, the nightmare begins. Laura and James Finn have been transformed into something greater but cruder than their original selves. James Finn finds himself trapped in the persona of Clay Cross, a 1950’s cold war warrior and misogynist private eye, in fact a composite of every pulp novel Finn’s ever read. The equally cultured Laura Finn has mutated into Sheri Lamour. Earthbound and heralding a new age of Djinn, both become the playthings of two competing loa, Damballa and his brother, Baron Samedi.
One man is key to their survival, Roy Evans. Samedi promises him a charmed life as an acclaimed comic book writer. At a price. One day the disembodied Djinn will come looking for him, feeding from his mind to gain substance and form. The story continues in the late C20th. Roy Evans, widowed, and raging against the man who ran down his wife, has all but forgotten the incident until a ghostly detective invades his apartment.
The story reaches its climax as Cross, a noir Don Quixote out of his depth and far from his comfort zone is pursued by the houngans responsible for his predicament. The houngan and his wife, Ginny Mambo, seek the spell their dying daughter whispered to James Finn before his transformation. The spell will enable the two houngans to control the power of Damballa and the emerging Djinn being formed from fire and dust.
Events take Clay Cross and Roy Evans to Newport South Wales, where the hideously transformed Ginny Mambo seeks to turn their minds. Samedi, too, is exploiting Roy’s perception of reality as it merges into a tragic comic book world.
Raoul, a C12th adventurer rescues Simone, the daughter of the legendary witch Melusine. Raoul, realises his danger too late. He has rescued her but also fallen captive to a love he will never escape. Both are now hunted, but as their pursuers close in, Simone has one last trick up her sleeve: Dark Fire, a satanic paste activated by sexual magic that will transport them through time and space. The only proviso is that they must find each other again. The penalty for failure is eternal damnation.
In the C21st their future hangs in the balance for Raoul is now Ralph and married to Laura. Simone is trapped in the C17th as Verity Strong. Time is against them…