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NORTON VYSE: PSYCHIC by Rose Champion de Crespigny 1st HC LIMITED

NORTON VYSE: PSYCHIC by Rose Champion de Crespigny; edited, with an Introduction, by Jack Adrian. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 1999. 1st edition hardcover.


Rose Champion de Crespigny (1857?–1935) was a popular writer of historical stories and novels during the first two decades of the twentieth century who, after the Great War, switched to the newly flourishing detective fiction genre. Her mystery novels were light and pacey, and unusual for the time in their emphasis on professional police-work over inspired, yet hardly credible, amateurism.

There was, however, another side to her character: she was a firm believer in psychic research and other aspects of the occult, and, in later years, was an enthusiastic propagandist for the Psychic Science movement. Her interest is reflected in the series of stories she wrote in 1919 for David Whitelaw's Premier Magazine about Norton Vyse, a psychic investigator and 'psychometric' (one who can also divine the future by the same means).

De Crespigny's excellent plotting and writing skills are very much in evidence in the Norton Vyse stories, which are now collected in bookform for the very first time.

Jack Adrian's Introduction for Norton Vyse : Psychic, the second volume in Ash-Tree Press's Occult Detectives Library, provides a valuable background to the stories and the author, and speculates as to why a second series of Vyse stories—proudly announced by the author's publisher—never materialised.

Contents: Introduction by Jack Adrian; 'The Moving Finger'; 'The Shears of Atropos'; 'The Villa on the Borderive Road'; 'The Witness in the Wood'; 'The Case of Mr Fitzgordon'; 'The Voice'.

Jacket art is by Linda Dyde. Limited to 500 copies. Fine in fine dj.