Vaughn Entwistle's The Teleporting Tomb and Other Tales was published in October 2020 (e-book edition) / December 2020 (paperback edition).
About Vaughn Entwistle:
Vaughn Entwistle is a British author who grew up in Northern England. After the family moved to the United States, he attended Oakland University in Michigan where he earned a Master’s Degree in English.
In the early nineties he moved to Seattle to work as a writer/editor. In his spare time he ran a successful gargoyle-sculpting company for ten years (yes, really!). Entwistle has published poetry and fiction in a number of small literary journals and won awards for screenplays and novels.
His novel The Angel of Highgate garnered outstanding reviews from the Historical Novel Society, Kirkus Reviews, Lit Reactor, Starburst Magazine, The Consulting Detective, Crime Review, Rising Shadows, and The Literary Review, amongst many others and was shortlisted for the 2015 Gothic Novel of the Year by the London-based Dracula Society.
His Paranormal Casebooks series has been favourably reviewed by The British Fantasy Society, Historical Novel Society, the Book Blog, The Book Garden, Rising Shadow and many more.
Click here to visit his official website.
About The Teleporting Tomb and Other Tales:
Six scintillating tales from the files of the Paranormal Casebooks. Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.
The Teleporting Tomb: Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde meet the bizarre Egyptologist Joseph Bonomi in the pre-dawn darkness of London’s Brompton Cemetery. They rendesvous at the at the Courtoy mausoleum, an Egyptian-themed tomb thot Bonomi claims is, in reality, a Victorian time machine or teleportation device. Although Wilde is highly skeptical and even Conan Doyle has his doubts, when the tomb door is finally opened, the incredible truth is revealed.
The Cabaret du Neánt: When Wilde and Conan Doyle visit the City of Lights, the lure of Parisian flesh pots such as the Folies Bergere and the Moulin Rouge seems irresistible. But instead, Wilde takes Conan Doyle to an alternative venue, the Cabaret du Neánt (The Cabaret of the Void) a nihilistic-themed night club that makes light of death with its morbid and ghoulish decor. Here they encounter two young lovers having a spat. But when the lover’s tiff turns violent, Conan Doyle and Wilde are swept up in a murky melodrama of love, murder, death... and the here-after.
The After-Life Telephone: The genius scientist, Sir William Crookes summons our friends to a meeting at a derelict graveyard. However, the reason is not spiritual but purely monetary — the chance to invest in a new technology that promises to yield a fortune — the wireless telephone. However, the choice of the old cemetery takes an unexpected turn when the phone rings as the dead start calling.
Death Mask: Augustine Schneider, the world-famous phrenologist, invites Conan Doyle and Wilde to see his huge collection of death masks, the largest in the world. But when an errant champagne cork accidentally shatters a glass flask containing the final breath of an infamous serial killer, the evening turns into a struggle for survival.
Night Walking: Conan Doyle is staying at his club in the city of London when he suffers with a bout of insomnia. In hopes of tiring himself out, he decides upon a walk about the night time city. However, his evening stroll soon turns into an odyssey around a London that the night time has rendered strange, alien and filled with uncanny presences.
The Necropolis Railway: After attending a literary soiree, Conan Doyle and Wilde find themselves tramping the fog-bound streets of London in search of a ride home. However, the fog has bullied all the cab-drivers from the streets. The two friends think themselves lucky when they find a darkened railway station. Although the trains still run, they have mistakenly bought tickets for the Necropolis Railway, a service intended to carry the coffins of the recently deceased and their mourners. Both men fall asleep on the train ride only to awaken at a final destination neither wanted to visit.
REVIEW: THE TELEPORTING TOMB AND OTHER TALES BY VAUGHN ENTWISTLE
Vaughn Entwistle's The Teleporting Tomb and Other Tales is the third book in The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's a highly enjoyable collection of stories in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde experience strange things and investigate paranormal mysteries. I'm happy to say that this collection is simply marvellous and worthy of the attention of quality-oriented readers, because it's excellent entertainment.
If there are readers out there who have not yet heard of Vaughn Entwistle, I can mention that he's one of the best authors of entertaining speculative fiction ever to emerge from the UK. His stories offer readers a captivating blend of fantasy, mystery and wittiness. I sincerely hope that readers will find his fiction and will take time to personally experience how gifted and imaginative an author he is, because he writes captivating stories. If this collection is your first introduction into his fiction and you find it entertaining, I strongly urge you to seek out his other books, because you'll love them.
The Teleporting Tomb and Other Tales consists of these uncanny stories:
- The Teleporting Tomb
- The Cabaret du Neánt
- The After-Life Telephone
- Death Mask
- Night Walking
- The Necropolis Railway
Each of these stories is extremely well written and features wonderful prose. They're delicious slices of gripping storytelling that have been aimed at those who appreciate amusing, clever and macabre stories. When I began to read these stories, I was instantly pulled into their mysterious and macabre world where strange things happen and mysteries await to be solved.
Here's more information about the stories and my thoughts about them:
- In "The Teleporting Tomb", Conan Doyle has received an intriguing letter from Mister Bonomi, who is an Egyptologist. He meets Mister Bonomi at Brompton Cemetery and has invited Oscar Wilde to join them, because he wants a witness to what is about to happen there. Bonomi claims that the tomb in the cemetery is not a tomb, but actually a teleportation device. He tells Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde what he has discovered and what he has done... This marvellous and fantastical story combines teleportation, time travel and mystery in an excellent way. I greatly enjoyed this story, because it's something different.
- "The Cabaret du Neánt" tells of Oscar Wilde and Conan Doyle's journey to Paris. Wilde has travelled there to meet with the managers of several theatres about performing his new play and has invited his friend to accompany him. Conan Doyle is expecting to experience naughty entertainment, but Wilde takes him to Cabaret du Néant. The club turns out to be something quite extraordinary and macabre... I loved this story, because there's something about it that slightly reminds me of Jean Lorrain's stories. There's also something intriguingly morbid about this story that fascinates me, because the author writes excellently about the fate of the woman the protagonists meet at the club.
- "The After-Life Telephone" tells of how the famous scientist, Sir William Crookes, invites Conan Doyle and Wilde to become investors in a new wireless telephone technology. This technology is potentially worth a lot of money, but things begin to go wrong when the dead start answering the calls... This is an excellent story with intriguingly macabre undertones. I enjoyed reading about what Wilde thought of telephones, because he was not impressed with them and considered them a nuisance. This story reminds me a bit of the episodes in The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.
- In "Death Mask", Conan Doyle and Wilde visit the house of the famous German Phrenologist, Augustine Schneider, who has a unique collection of death masks. They learn that the man's servants haven't lasted long, because the masks make them nervous. Besides having an incredible amount of death masks, the man also has flasks which contain the last breaths of certain deceased persons. When Wilde opens a bottle of champagne, the cork hits one of the flasks and something dangerous is released... I enjoyed this story very much. The author writes intriguingly about what happens to the protagonists when they have to fight against the evil spirit intent on killing people.
- In "Night Walking", Conan Doyle is creating a new character that is the opposite of Sherlock Holmes. He finds himself suffering from insomnia. Because he can't sleep, he rises from his bed and begins to walk around London after dark. Soon he notices that the city is totally alien by night... This is a splendid tale, because the author's desciptions about nocturnal London are beautiful and atmospheric. He easily evokes a sense of compelling strangeness as he writes about what kind of persons Conan Doyle meets during his walk and how he experiences certain things.
- "The Necropolis Railway" finds the protagonists walking the streets of London in search of hansom cab. While wandering around London in a thick fog, they come across an underground railway station, which is part of the London Necropolis Railway. Unwittingly, they purchase two tickets and find themselves on a chilling journey to the land of the dead... This is a marvellous tale, which is in equal parts entertaining and macabre. I was impressed by this story, because it's perfect entertainment to a reader who loves dark and macabre tales with surprising events.
The characterisation in these stories is fluent and works perfectly. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are an unlikely yet clever and formidable pair who come across various paranormal and metaphysical mysteries. The author manages to bring wittiness into their conversations and expertly fleshes out their characteristics. If you know a thing or two about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Oscar Wilde, you'll be fascinated by what the author writes about them and how he makes them come alive in his stories (it's a pleasure to read about these characters and their deeds).
The author's prose is excellent and flows in an effortless way. He easily creates a mysterious atmosphere and expertly combines elements of dread, humour and mystery. His use of words and expressions is charming and effective. I admire his writing skills and consider him to be one the best authors of entertaining speculative fiction.
One of the best things about these stories is that there's humour in them. I find the author's sense of humour deliciously clever and mischievous. There's underlying sharpness and wittiness in his writing that fascinates me a lot.
I highly recommend Vaughn Entwistle's The Teleporting Tomb and Other Tales to readers who love fantasy stories with mystery elements. This book is a satisfyingly entertaining and original collection with plenty of amusing and unexpected scenes that will hold readers spellbound. It's great fun and marvellous escapism.