Review: The Case of the Phantom Legion by G. W. Thomas
A malign, invisible, chanting entity attacks a doctor in the woods outside Arkham. He is seeking the help of Baron von Klarnstein. The doctor’s home, the logging town of Lone Pine, Michigan, is under assault by a legion of ghosts. The Baron and the centuries old order he heads, the Athenodorians, decide to investigate.
The Baron, his beautiful and chaste warrior daughter Orestia, and other members of the Athenodorians will encounter an old menace from history, one whose past is recorded in the weird fiction Thomas is a student of. The origins of that menace and the tantalizing glimpses of the pasts of various Athenodorians are all quite enjoyable as is Thomas’ take on ghosts.
This is Thomas’ contribution to the occult detective sub-genre. The Baron posseses Holmesian powers of deduction as well as occult knowledge. The human resources of the Athenodorians and those who owe them favors reminded me a bit of Doc Savage’s crime fighting network. I even liked Orestia and found her a winning variation on a character type I’m tired of, the warrior babe.
And I loved the historical origins of the mystery.
There is another Athenodorian story too, “The Case of the Blue Man”, which I will be reviewing shortly. The group also shows up in the “The Apache Gate” of Thomas’ The Book of the Black Sun II: The Book Collector. All three works are self-contained.