Carol Rose's 'Spirit, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins' is exactly what it claims to be - an encyclopediac guide to all manner of spirits, ghosts, djinn, goblins, angels, demons, fairies, dwarves, gods and other denizens of folklore and myth. And while no such volume could ever be complete, given how rich (and often contradcitory) the world's folkelore really is, this volume is still quite good. No doubt those reading this book will have heard of, say, the Green Man, La Llorona, brownies, nagas, trolls and elves, but what about more obscure tales such as Pahuanuiapitaaiterai, the each usige, hantu ayer or leshii? Each spirit, goblin or deity is given a seperate, dictionary style entry, along with references and related articles. Entries may refer to individual beings (Coyote, Lilith, the Jersey Devil) or types of spirits (black dogs, ohdowas, pitris, roane). Furthermore, she also gives a series of appendices at the end, breaking down entries by type of spirit (Demon, Nat, Nymph, Keremet, etc), associations (spirits of water, spirits of nature, spirits of fate, spirits of disease, etc), and country or culture (Welsh, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Vietnamese, Norse, etc).
One of the big strengths here is that Rose was so thorough in including often overlooked non-western beings, like Indian gandharvas, Malay langsuir, Afro-Brazilian Exu or the Penobscot wanagemeswak. In addition, she does make notes on regional variations on particular beings, such as the different role of Daevas in Hinduism and Persian Zoroastrianism, or how dwarves change in German, Scnadinavian and other folklores. And yet, as previous reviewers noted, she also sometimes displays very obvious western biases. For instance, saying Durga is 'evil' completely misunderstands her role in Hinduism. Far from being evil, Durga is a demon-slayer and one of the most beloved aspects of the Goddess (Devi) in all of India! Even in her more destructive aspect of Kali, she is still not 'evil.' Still, one cannot be an expert on everything, and excepting these cultural biases, this work is a good reference for looking up various spirit beliefs. More detailed research you can find elsewhere.
So while there are indeed a couple of shortcomings, this is still an excellent resource for looking up different types of goblins, bogies, phantoms, demons and other denizens of the invisible worlds. Couple this with a half-way decent library of folklore, mythology and legends and your set to do some serious research here. Students of folklore will get good use out of this book, especially with regards to the more obscure beings, so definately give this book a look. As for myself, I saw she has a companion volume, 'Giants, Monsters and Dragons,' which I am going to pick up soon.