Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were a reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Win Scott Eckert (that’s his actual name) is no stranger to licensed characters. He’s written about Zorro, Captain Midnight, the Green Hornet, the Scarlet Pimpernel (I didn’t even know they made sequels to that story), a Tarzan biography, and other pulp characters and homages. He also wrote for one of Moonstone’s other anthologies about the Avenger (no, not those guys, and not the one with the sexy British agents). Now he takes on the Ghost Who Walks as we take on the last three stories in the book.
No Ghosts Need Apply
by Win Scott Eckert
The story barely follows the Phantom. Instead the focus is on Kit’s former mentor, Scotland Yard consulting detective Cecil Barker, and his partner, boxer-turned-reporter Nash. January, 1889 in London finds the trio working the case of a dead blackmailer amidst rumors that a noble couple thought dead in Africa may be alive, or at least their infant son was, raised by apes. If you haven’t guessed, references to Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, and probably some other literary characters I didn’t catch sneak in throughout the story.
What could have been an interesting mystery is done away with quickly and all you get are Barker and Nash following the bad guy and discovering his opium operation, with the Phantom having to rescue the pair when they caught. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good tale as Eckert writes some really good characters in Barker, Nash, and their opponent. He also describes events well enough to follow and not get bored by. I just felt it was a missed opportunity considering the characters involved.
Overall, this was a good story and one that you should read if you pick up this book.
Next Time: “The Diamonds of the Brumoli” by C.J. Henderson
- Chapter By Chapter: The Phantom Chronicles V2 – I Of The Storm
- Chapter By Chapter> The Phantom Chronicles V2: Night Visitor To Bangalla
- Chapter By Chapter: The Phantom Chronicles V2 – A Man of His Word
- Chapter By Chapter: The Phantom Chronicles V2 – Justice Delayed
- Chapter By Chapter: The Phantom Chronicles V2 – Devil At My Side