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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysteries of the Diogenes Club - Defense of the Realm
First of all a quick word of warning - if, like me, you're an avid collector of Kim Newman's stuff then this collection contains reprints of two stories, Organ Donors (first published in Dead Travel Fast) and Seven Stars (first published in Seven Stars) which you've probably already got. As both of these collections are out of print I can understand why they were...
Published on 26 Feb 2011 by Neil Chester

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lecture in mutated history
I'd been waiting ages to read something by Kim Newman. I can't remember the exact point he stepped out of the shadow of the powerful and constantly re-publishing Gaiman machine, I simply know that he did. And I was intrigued. Newman's approach to alternate histories made me want to read more than simple sum ups and people telling me how badly these books needed...
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Christopher Long


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysteries of the Diogenes Club - Defense of the Realm, 26 Feb 2011
This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
First of all a quick word of warning - if, like me, you're an avid collector of Kim Newman's stuff then this collection contains reprints of two stories, Organ Donors (first published in Dead Travel Fast) and Seven Stars (first published in Seven Stars) which you've probably already got. As both of these collections are out of print I can understand why they were reprinted here but when I first got this I was a bit disappointed to find that it contained two stories I already had and thus only three new stories. However, as they're such good new stories I don't mind too much!
The first, Sorcerer, Conjurer, Wizard, Witch is the longest of the new stories. It is the eve of World War II and a Wizard War is also looming. The Great Enchanter is rising and rumours abound that one of the four defenders of London, Sorcerer, Conjurer, Wizard or Witch, is a traitor. If London falls then Britain falls. It's up to Charles Beauregard, Chairman of the Diogenes Club, along with Edwin Winthrop and Catriona Kaye to determine whether these rumours are true and to act accordingly. Unwanted assistance is offered by The Undertaking and unexpected help by Geneviève Dieudonné.
This story rolls along at a great pace and is full of entertaining ideas and familiar Diogenes characters. It's also stuffed full of references to other pop culture characters and stories. (as is every story in the collection in fact) And like Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tales whilst it's fun spotting the references it doesn't matter if you don't get them as it doesn't impede the story in any way. (And there are amusing and informative notes at the back of the book to help.)

Then comes The Kentish Glory - a delightful parody of the girls boarding school genre, with a Kim Newman twist, complete with a sinister headmistress, murderous prefects, kidnapping, intrigue and female bonding. The story tells the origin of costumed adventurer Dr Shade's occasional sidekick The Kentish Glory and is fantastic fun.

Richard Jeperson returns in the third story Moon Moon Moon. It's July 1969, the eve of the first Moon landing and Richard, under orders from Catriona Kaye, is teamed up with beautiful and extraordinary American agent Whitney Gauge, to investigate a potential, sorcerous threat to the `one giant leap for mankind.'. This entertaining story also deals with many pop culture references and toys with the idea that (pop) culture and popular belief can help to shape reality. And there's even a cameo from a Cyberman in it!

All in all a fantastic little collection and a lovely addition to the Diogenes Club mythos.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another glimpse into the world of SECRET SERVICE!, 27 Feb 2011
This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
At the time of its release in 2006, "The Man from the Diogenes Club" had looked (& read) like a folder for action-packed and fun-filled 1970-s style occult detective adventures, with loads of clues & references to films, novels, contemporary politics and social commentary thrown in to further spice them up. Then came "The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club" in 2008, darkening up that colourful vista to a considerable extent. Although it had featured the "cold war" taking place between the somewhat old-fashioned (i.e. with a strong sense of good & bad) Diogenes Club and the other "agencies" in the same business but using "sharper" practices, it also had tremendously enjoyable romps like "Angel Down, Sussex", "The Big Fish" and "Richard Riddle, Boy Detective". And now we have this volume (with an extremely attractive cover) which contains the following novella-length stories:

1. Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch: A retelling of "Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Spy", with the (notionally) evil empire replaced by something truly evil. The story read like a gritty cold-war story of espionage, deceit, betrayal and paranoia(which had been intended, at the first place), and re-awakens ignoramus like us to the fact that Diogenes Club actually reflect the words of the good doctor ("sometimes.......is the British Government)!
2. Kentish Glory: a brand-new offering, but again taking us to the unknown & unexplored darkness behind the rise of any hero (or heroine).
3. Moon Moon Moon: a Richard Jeperson adventure, where our hero, accompanied by a beautiful 'agent' from "The Unnameable-s", i.e. one of the Federal Bureau of Investigations from across the Pond, tries to neutralise the threat posed by a 'truly secret' person towards the first man-made lunar landing. It had earlier seen release in the online Subterranean Magazine.
4. Organ Donors: A "Derek Leech" story which features Sally, a tough-yet-honest detective. This story has a direct link to the next, and this volumes last offering.
5. Seven Stars: A 'legendary' (no-pun intended) story, written for Stephen Jones' "Dark Detectives", and linking up the different phases (& personages) of Diogenes Club over a lengthy period of time.

Yes, the last 3 stories would be in the possession of almost all Newman-lovers. But nevertheless, they are invaluable from the Diogenes Club's point of view, and HAVE to be there. But, despite earning all the 5 stars from me with its stories, delightful notes in the rear, and cover, I would like to plead the author of the book, asking for the following:
1) "The Man In The Clapham Omnibus" should figure in the subsequent volume.
2) Leo Dare's badventures (if heroes can have adventures, that is what the villains should have, esp. if they are of commercial type) and his comeuppance at the hand of Mycroft Holmes need to be revealed.

With these requests, and wholehearted recommendations to every lover of pulp fiction, spy stories, Diogenes Club adventures, Wold Newton universe, Allan Moore-Jess Nevins type of cross-referencing works, etc. etc.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lecture in mutated history, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Christopher Long "Phone Monkey" (Rugby, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
I'd been waiting ages to read something by Kim Newman. I can't remember the exact point he stepped out of the shadow of the powerful and constantly re-publishing Gaiman machine, I simply know that he did. And I was intrigued. Newman's approach to alternate histories made me want to read more than simple sum ups and people telling me how badly these books needed republishing again while trying to sell me old, used copies for crazy amounts of currency. Anno Dracula was the one I really wanted to read but this one got the cat a little curious as well. I knew a little about the Diogenes Club from reading Sherlock Holmes and other bits and pieces and I liked the idea of someone like Kim Newman using it to create something strange and magical and British. Finally, this year, I got to read Anno Dracula and then slender volume appeared for my birthday and I couldn't wait to dive in. Maybe it was the hype or the expectation but it just didn't grab me as completely as I thought it would. It reminded me of reading Lumley's Titus Crow stories, constantly clever but not constantly entertaining. Sadly these mysteries are a little slow in places. Which is never good. The pace, at points, feels like its stuck in the wrong gear. Don't get me wrong, some there is fun to be had here. Mystical moon forces, cursed jewels, a shadow side of London, possible double crossing vampires and some nice little tweaks of mythology and familar faces. It's all stuff I should like, and I did enjoy it, but it's just that it didn't sing. Anno Dracula sang. It's fast and loaded with in jokes and references, but they never really add any drag to the plot. Whereas the plot in these shorter works feels to be nearly choking the experience to death. For me it felt like Kim Newman was chasing the idea while he was writing it and the damn thing kept getting away from him. I liked the idea of a number of short stories linking in the final piece but, to be honest, I've seen it done better. Sorry.
Don't get me wrong, this book is worth reading. But I don't think it's one you'll come back to time and again. I don't think it's one you'll feel the need to tell people about. Instead this feels more like a work in progress that maybe we saw too soon. Sorry, Kim, I really wanted to like this and maybe that was where I went wrong. I have been known to over hype. But I promise I really did like Anno Dracula.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kim Newman is well worth a read, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
This book is really well written. The characters are engaging, and the stories are written with a degree of wit and satire, that is very amusing. My first Kim Newman book will not be my last.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
Having enjoyed his Dracula series of books (and of course his excellent reference book Nightmare Movies) I had high hopes for his Diogenes stories. I was not disappointed. There is a great vibe in these stories, akin to watching a really good episode of the Avengers. The stories are uniformly excellent, cannot recommend highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 17 July 2012
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This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
This book is a collection of short stories by Kim Newman, using some characters that appear in some of his full length novels.

It's really a lot of fun, too. Kim has clearly had a good time writing these short stories and this comes through when you read them. An interesting supplement to the full length novels they are designed to slot in with.
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2.0 out of 5 stars For the collectors, 25 July 2014
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This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
I relished 'Tess of the Baskervilles'. This collection of stories however seemed too self indulgent and I found myself leaving it to read something else, a great shame.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Mysteries of the Diogenes Club (Paperback)
You may have come across some of the stories already. But it is a septic publication. Nonteless an excellent addition to the world of Newman
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Mysteries of the Diogenes Club
Mysteries of the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman (Paperback - 30 Dec 2010)
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