Great discussion as always. I really enjoyed this story and i didn’t know I needed occult Sherlock Holmes! The other stories in this series feature the Watson type assistant much more Prominently, so I agree that a mention was shoehorned into the first story to give it all a connection. Do you think that the able assistant who functions as the audience is required for an iconic protagonists story to work? Or is it the influence of the Holmes stories? I was trying to think of an iconic hero who doesn’t have an assistant and the only one that I thought of was Robert Howard’s Solomon Kane.
I was not surprised by the appearance of the cat and dog in this story at all. In a modern tale you wouldn’t be surprised if a character pulls out a cellphone or credit card that hasn’t been introduced before, I don’t see how the cat and dog function any differently here. I actually really like the idea that this whole thing is part of nature that some creatures of nature can detect with the senses they have.
I am looking forward to more Blackwood stories, this series needed more than the few he published about Dr. Silence.