Today I’d like to introduce you to John Silence Psychic investigator the creation of Algernon Blackwood. It’s almost impossible in describing John Silence to avoid allusions to Sherlock Holmes but he is something of a psychic Sherlock. He uses reason and logic and combines them with his psychic training to help people suffering from psychic afflictions. In the sense that he is curing maladies rather than solving crimes he might be better compared to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s lesser known Dr Martin Hesselius whose cases feature in the collection’ In A Glass Darkly’ .
There are only 6 John Silence short stories which are available in various Kindle of paperback versions together or separately as parts of other Blackwood collections.
The John Silence stories have the good doctor investigating the case of a writer of humorous tales who has lost his sense of humour and so too his income due to ‘A Psychical Invasion’ I like this one though it does bear some similarities to Le Fanu’s ‘Green Tea’ . In this case, however, the stimulant involved is not quite as innocent as tea.
Other stories deal with fire elementals, schools where the monks aren’t as pious as they once were, feline magic in a small French town, a man who is ‘A Victim of Higher Space’ and even something akin to a werewolf story.
These are a fun twist on the supernatural tale for fans of the short story and worth a read. There are also plenty of other Algernon Blackwood stories out there to try too.