An Affair of Sorcerers
Comments from George C. Chesbro
The 3rd novel in the Mongo series, An Affair of Sorcerers was adapted from 3 novellas that originally appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's and Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. It may be viewed as a cautionary tale reflecting my belief that you should be very careful what you believe for you will eventually become that which you believe.

An "outsider" from my early teens, by which I mean that, unlike most of the billions of other people on the planet, supernatural belief systems seemed ludicrous to me, I quickly took an interest in those very belief systems, in how, by allowing otherwise rational people to believe 6 impossible things before breakfast, people lost a part of their humanity and bad things happened. This/these theme(s) will form the spine of most of my work that follows.

My attitude is perhaps best summed up in an article I was recently commissioned to do by a local paper (perhaps I should note that it is copyrighted by me and should not be reproduced without permission). For those of you who are interested, click on the title below.

"Trusting in Wizards at the Dawn of the Millenium"

Mongo, the undauntable dwarf/criminology professor/former circus star/Black Belt karate expert/licensed detective who gained fame (if not fortune) in Shadow of a Broken Man and City of Whispering Stone, embarks on his most bizarre and dangerous adventure in New York. Three seemingly separate cases point to the shadowy world of witchcraft and launch him into the greatest personal crisis he's ever faced.

Investigating a secretive Nobel Prize winner's strange work with sensory deprivation and a murder case involving a jailed psychic healer is more than enough to try Mongo's skills. Then, Kathy Marlowe, his seven-year-old neighbor, gives him her life's savings---57 cents---to find her father's "Book of Shadows," or, as Kathy says, "something terrible will happen."

Kathy is right. Mongo finds Kathy's father ritually murdered in a circle of greenish-white fire and the little girl in a deep coma that medical experts can't break. Mongo's only clue: the mysterious gown, covered with occult symbols, that Kathy was wearing when Mongo discovered her.

Searching desperately for the cause of Kathy's coma with his policeman brother, Garth, Mongo discovers to his horror that Kathy has become a helpless pawn in a deadly affair of sorcerers. With Kathy's mother, a beautiful witch with whom he falls love, Mongo penetrates the mushrooming world of the occult underground and encounters powerful, dark forces that threaten his own life as well as Kathy's. Racing against time in a terrifying quest that takes him from the Cloisters of Brooklyn, Mongo uses every trick he knows to discover the significance of the Book of Shadows and the identity of "Esobus," the legendary sorcerer who leads a murderous super-coven of witches. In a final, apocalyptic confrontation with the powerful sorcerer, Mongo learns the ultimate truth about witchcraft---and himself.

---From the dustjacket of the Simon & Schuster edition
Quotes from the novel
  • "You'd be amazed how few people feel the need for a dwarf private investigator." -Mongo
  • Marlowe was rather strange man, even for a writer...He'd once announced, only half joking, that I'd inspired him to create a new series of paperback novels featuring a dwarf private detective. I'd heartily discouraged the idea, assuring him that no one would believe it. -Mongo

  • "I believe that anyone who rejects out of hand the tools that other men have found useful for thousands of years is a fool." -Madeline Jones

  • "I know for a fact that most of the very scientists who would ridicule me are the stalwart members of churches or synagogues. They're intellectual schizophrenics; they just can't accept the fact that orthodox religious beliefs are every bit as 'occult' as witchcraft." -Madeline Jones

  • "But ignorance bothers me, especially when the ignorant are so self-righteous." -Madeline Jones
  • "...just an average superdwarf." -Mongo

  • In some circles, lusting after a comatose girl's mother might be considered a bit tacky. -Mongo

  • "I haven't had the time to be fascinated; I've been too scared." -Mongo

  • "When you've been dying as long as I have, you get used to it." -Mongo

  • Dying can be a distraction. -Mongo

  • Deformity- any deformity-can crush, but it can also propel a man beyond his normal limits. -Mongo

  • "Who'd have thought that the Messenger of Death was a dwarf?" -Garth

  • "...the white magician cultivates love because he or she knows that love is ultimately a more powerful force. The black magician stalks and wields evil because it offers quick results. Love offers freedom; evil offers slavery. YOU think the choice is simple, but it's not. Most people unconsciously prefer to be slaves to their secret desires, rather than control and define their lives through love." -Kathy Marlowe

Copyright © 2018, Hunter Goatley. All rights reserved.
Last updated 25-MAR-2018 21:41:48.14.