The Dream Detective

The Dream Detective

Ten stories featuring perhaps the most fantastic sleuth of them all: Moris Klaw, the Dream Detective. Accompanied by his beautiful daughter Isis, Klaw's mysterious abilities lead him to clues and answers concerning occult occurrances far beyond the ken of ordinary minds.

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She assists Moris by helping him develop his "negatives," that is, by bearing and placing at the scene of the crime his "odically sterilized" red cushion. Moris Klaw operates on the principle that every crime-scene is pervaded by an "odic force" (similar to "qi" or "prana"), and that an "odically sterilized" pillow can act as a filter which will allow the psychically sensitive to dream the events of the crime.

Published in 1925, The Dream Detective recounts ten cases in the career of Moris Klaw. In most cases the psychic detective investigates supernatural happenings (or happenings assumed to be supernatural) using the methods of science (albeit very unconventional science of an occult nature). But Moris Klaws cases are essentially straightforward if unusual crimes without any overt supernatural elements, but he investigates them by methods that are most certainly occult. Klaw believes that thoughts have an almost physical existence, an idea that finds its fullest expression in the best story in the collection, The Case of the Veil of Isis. As Moris Klaw points out in The Case of the Haunting of Grange, a haunted house is not haunted by one ghost over the course of many generations but rather by a new ghost in each generation, but the manifestations will always follow the same pattern. Grimsby had been a sceptic but after the affair in the Menzies Museum he is convinced that Moris Klaw is not merely genuine - he recognises that in any crime that has odd or unusual elements to it Klaws help is absolutely essential to him. The Case of the Potsherd of Anubis (one the best stories here) is about an ancient vase which is believed to have the power to summon great powers, an object sought by at least three different parties all with their own motives.

It is a collection of ten short stories which features the antique dealer Moris Klaw who not only knows his stuff when it comes to the origins of relics of various kinds but also is an expert on Ancient Egypt, mystical oriental phenomena, the occult, and the supernatural. It may be something like a valuable jewel with a history of murder or accidents attached to it such as occurs in the "Case of the Blue Rajah" or just a type of crime that keeps occurring in specific places such as the "Case of the Whispering Poplars." He claims that the cycle is "as inevitable and immutable as the cycle of the ages. Man's will has no power to check it." Using his knowledge of historical crimes tied to objects and the history of the artifacts themselves, he's able to solve current mysteries. Klaw often keeps secrets from his "Watson," the narrator of these stories, and the reader doesn't always have enough clues to find the solution. "Case of the Potsherd of Anubus": An ancient vase was said to be able to summon great powers for the owner. "Case of the Blue Rajah": The best of the locked room stories by Rohmer. "Case of the Whispering Poplars": A man bent on revenge uses the haunting of a house known as "The Park" to try and kill his target. Klaw's knowledge of the hauntings comes in handy.

The upshot of Klaw's methods, at least as far as Rohmer is concerned, is that he can dispense with any sort of detection or methodology.

Klaw has his eccentricities: he regularly sprays his forehead with verbena to dispel the unpleasant odors he psychically picks up from objects of ancient and recent crime and in place of a shop bell he has a trained parrot which, upon the entry of a customer, announces The devil has come for you, Moris Klaw!

Klaw's role isn't always the same in each tale, which lends a little variation to them, though they mostly are a tad formulaic.

He worked as a poet, songwriter, and comedy sketch writer in Music Hall before creating the Sax Rohmer persona and pursuing a career writing weird fiction. His first published work came in 1903, when the short story The Mysterious Mummy was sold to Pearson's Weekly. After penning Little Tich in 1911 (as ghostwriter for the Music Hall entertainer) he issued the first Fu Manchu novel, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu, was serialized from October 1912 - June 1913. His final success came with a series of novels featuring a female variation on Fu Manchu, Sumuru. His wife published her own mystery novel, Bianca in Black in 1954 under the pen name, Elizabeth Sax Rohmer.

  • English

  • Mystery

  • Rating: 3.75
  • Pages: 191
  • Publish Date: July 1966 by Pyramid
  • Isbn10: 0515013161
  • Isbn13: 9780515013160