The best books that cross the genres of crime fiction and the Cthulhu Mythos

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos and detective fiction since childhood, cutting my teeth on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett at an early age. A voracious reader of both horror and mystery, I read and reread these tales and began crafting my own to the point where many years later, as an award-winning writer with over 200 fiction publications under my belt, I feel these genres go together like they were always destined to cross. I write daily, and have a Bachelor’s Degree in Crime Scene Science. You could say crime and horror are always on my mind!


I wrote...

Arkham Nights: Tales of Mythos Noir

By Glynn Owen Barrass, Ron Shiflet,

Book cover of Arkham Nights: Tales of Mythos Noir

What is my book about?

The Cthulhu Mythos has always been home to investigators, those brave men and women pursuing its mysteries and horrors while trying to save humanity, and their own hides, from madness and death. The classic, Hard-Boiled Private Investigator, struggling with his own inner demons, has to fight to keep unimaginable evils at bay armed with a gun, violence, and a bottle of liquor to ease the pain. Hard-Boiled detectives and the Cthulhu Mythos were made for each other, and we offer here a fusion of Mythos and Hard-Boiled Noir detective fiction, in the vein of Lovecraft’s classic The Horror at Red Hook and C.J. Henderson’s You Can’t Take it with You.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Shadows Over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror!

Glynn Owen Barrass Why did I love this book?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos? I cannot think of a finer genre cross than this. Holmes’s adventures often touched on the macabre, on the supernatural, and here in this anthology he faces the most monstrous and alien of foes: those created by H. P. Lovecraft. Cosmic horror, ancient mysteries, Doyle’s dauntless detective has his investigative work cut out for him. 

Twenty of the finest modern authors contributed to this book and I could not put it down. Neil Gaiman’s "A Study in Emerald" is a particularly horrific and effective tale.

By Michael Reaves (editor), John Pelan (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadows Over Baker Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The terrifyingly surreal universe of horror master H. P. Lovecraft bleeds into the logical world of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s champion of rational deduction, in these stories by twenty top horror, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writers.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous literary figures of all time. For more than a hundred years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the ability of human reason to penetrate every mystery, solve every puzzle, and punish every crime.

For nearly as long, the macabre tales of H. P. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their…


Book cover of Cthulhu Detective: A C.J. Henderson Tribute Anthology

Glynn Owen Barrass Why did I love this book?

C.J. Henderson is recognized as the father of modern-day occult detective fiction. He wrote his protagonists' encounters with the Cthulhu Mythos in beautifully effective prose. Sadly, C.J. passed away in 2014 and his passing is a great loss to the literary world and fans old and new.

This book was written as a tribute to C.J.’s finest occult detectives, twelve authors being chosen to contribute to this hard-boiled, tentacle-smacking anthology. All earnings from this book go to support C.J.’s family. An added bonus for fans of weird hardboiled fiction is the never-before published novella by C.J. Henderson, The Temporal Deception.

I love this collection for it expands on both the Cthulhu Mythos and C.J.’s own creations.

By C. J. Henderson, David Conyers, David Kernot , Konstantine Paradias , Brian M. Sammons , Jeffrey Thomas , William Meikle , Peter Rawlick , Cody Goodfellow

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cthulhu Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

C.J. Henderson is widely regarded as the father of hardboiled occult detective fiction.

His private eyes went head-to-head with the horrors of the Lovecraftian mindscape. Their weapons

were fist cuffs, .45s, wise-cracks and harsh language. On occasions they got knocked down by a

tentacle or two, but they got back up again, bruised and battered perhaps, and they kept on fighting.

They were the first Cthulhu Detectives…

In July 2014, C.J. Henderson tragically lost his battle with cancer, but his influence has not dwindled,

and many writers today have followed in his tradition. Cthulhu Detective brings together 12 tales of…


Book cover of The Occult Detectives of C.J. Henderson

Glynn Owen Barrass Why did I love this book?

This book features the best of author C.J. Henderson’s supernatural detective stories in one volume. Not only does it contain his creation P.I. Teddy London, he writes tales about many other supernatural detectives. There are stories here of Lin Carter's Anton Zarnak, H.P. Lovecraft's Inspector Legrasse, and more, including Cthulhu Mythos settings created by Brian Lumley and Ramsey Campbell. There are thirteen stories in total, this being an exciting collection detailing the adventures of investigators, both private and otherwise, taking on the horrors of the supernatural and the Cthulhu Mythos. I consider this book a must for all fans of detective fiction and horror.

By C. J. Henderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Occult Detectives of C.J. Henderson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before The X-Files, before Buffy, his tales of P.I. Teddy London were being read and enjoyed by fans around the world. Now, for the first time ever, the absolute best of his supernatural sleuthing tales have been brought together in one incredible collection. Join him in the pages of fright-filled compilation as he furthers the careers of Lin Carter's remarkable Anton Zarnak and H.P. Lovecraft's resilient Inspector Legrasse. Experience his haunting takes on the mythos worlds of both Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley. And immerse yourself in stores featuring all the characters of his London universe. Here are thirteen tales…


Book cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows

Glynn Owen Barrass Why did I love this book?

Another Sherlock Holmes book featuring an encounter with the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. This time however, we have a full-length novel rather than a collection of short stories. This novel retells Watson’s first encounter with Holmes, adding the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos to the venerable doctor’s past. An almost destitute Watson, on the tip of losing his sanity, meets Holmes and together they set about investigating a series of strange murders. From here they encounter a criminal empire with a drug lord at its center, and dark forces beyond human comprehension. I cannot get enough of Holmes versus the Mythos, the tales are always fascinating and great reads. Luckily for me this novel is part of a series!

By James Lovegrove,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is the autumn of 1880, and Dr John Watson has just returned from Afghanistan. Badly injured and desperate to forget a nightmarish expedition that left him doubting his sanity, Watson is close to destitution when he meets the extraordinary Sherlock Holmes, who is investigating a series of deaths in the Shadwell district of London. Several bodies have been found, the victims appearing to have starved to death over the course of several weeks, and yet they were reported alive and well mere days before. Moreover, there are disturbing reports of creeping shadows that inspire dread in any who stray…


Book cover of Southern Gods

Glynn Owen Barrass Why did I love this book?

This debut novel is a delight to read for it not only blends detective fiction with Lovecraftian horror, it also weaves a spell filled with the Blues scene and the Southern gothic genre. An intriguing tale from start to finish, it features a war veteran turned detective hired to find missing a blues man. It takes place in the Jim Crow south of 1951, these times being a horror unto themselves. Rich with atmosphere and mystery, the scenes the author depicts are something else entirely.

By John Hornor Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Southern Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil.…


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Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

Book cover of Rip Current

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

What is my book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.

Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary. When a young internet influencer goes missing and is feared drowned, Fin realizes that someone lured all the dead women into the dangerous rip currents. But who, and why?

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

What is this book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.
Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary.
Soon after a young internet…


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