"Moris Klaw! Moris Klaw! The devil's come for you!"
Visitors to Moris Klaw's shop in a dismal district of London were announced in this manner by his parrot. Moris Klaw is the central figure of "The Dream Detective," by Sax Rohmer. What is a "dream detective"? One who solves crimes through the aid of his own dreams.
Silly? A bit, perhaps. But in the early years of the 20th century, many fictional detectives had some peculiarity, something to make them stand out in the readers' minds. In the case of Moris Klaw, it was his reliance on his "scientific" theory and use of dreams. Author Sax Rohmer is far better known for his "Fu Manchu" thrillers, but the stories about Moris Klaw are quite memorable. You'll find a review of "The Dream Detective" on this week's Classic Mysteries podcast.
Now an apology: when I originally picked this book and recorded the podcast, it appeared that there was a version of the book in print, available through Amazon. That has since disappeared from the listing. If your favorite mystery bookstore has difficulty finding "The Dream Detective," check the link above - a number of Amazon's dealers appear to have copies available, and some of them are quite reasonable. Moris Klaw is a most unusual character, and he's worth knowing.