Oliver Sherry's Mandrake is one of the most bizarre and exciting supernatural horror novels of the 1920s, a chilling tour de force unworthy of its obscure status.
The story centers around the investigations of an American occult detective, Tom Annesley (following in the great literary tradition of earlier psychic sleuths Carnacki, John Silence, Flaxman Low and Abraham Van Helsing), in two remote English villages. This area is terrorized by the immortal Baron Habdymos, malevolent sorcerer and last surviving of seven ancient adepts of black magic, and his evil bestial familiar or "mandrake," which feeds on blood -- a memorable creation worthy of M.R. James at his darkest.
Malignant ghosts and demons haunt nearly every chapter of this extremely fast-paced novel, all steadily leading up to a thrilling climax.
Medusa Press is pleased to reissue this lost supernatural classic for the first time since its original publication over eighty years ago.
In addition, researcher Richard Dalby provides an informative intro-duction to the work and its equally obscure author.
"Medusa Press has picked a strong story from almost a century ago to bring back to modern readers…The story is well-written and holds up to the test of time. Both the Baron and his familiar, the "Mandrake" demon are quite memorable and creepy as well."
— James Beach, Dark Discoveries
"A centuries-old sorcerer, ghosts, and a murderous familiar populate the pages of an action-packed, fast-paced story that doesn't let up until the very end. The descriptive writing is fantastic, allowing the reader to really use their imagination…Mandrake will make a beautiful addition to any horror fan's library."
— Colleeen Wanglund, Horror Fiction Review
"Oliver Sherry is a forgotten master of the gothic macabre. His description of Habdymos' background reveals him also to have been a well-versed student of the occult, in the Irish tradition of Bram Stoker and W.B. Yeats. It is a pity that "Mandrake" was his only gothic novel, but Medusa has done us a service through its resurrection."
— James Guy Roberts, Suspense Magazine
"It's hard to believe Mandrake managed to slip through the cracks for so long …Medusa Press has done an inarguably good deed to the horror community by bringing an heretofore unknown piece of literary history to a group of readers who may be jaded by some of the 'dark fiction' coming out of the modern literary machine. The book itself, limited to 350 copies, will look great on any reader's shelf with its hardcover wrapped in a matte dustcover decorated with a stark rendering of Habdymos threatening his victims."
— Lincoln Crisier, Shroud Magazine