Stein & Candle, Vol. 1, by Michael Panush - CoverBy Michael Panush

Morton Candle is a tough guy.

He grew up on the streets of Brooklyn, dodging from mobster-ruled neighborhoods to reform school before the army snapped him up and sent him to Europe to fight Hitler. That’s where he met Weatherby Stein, the scion to one of the greatest occult families of Europe. Weatherby and his parents were being held prisoner by the Nazis, forced to use their supernatural knowledge to aid the Third Reich’s war effort.

Morton Candle got Weatherby to safety, but the kid’s parents didn’t make it.

Now it’s the 1950s.

Weatherby’s a teenager, with his father’s knowledge and a chip on his shoulder from the indignities of the modern world. Morton bumps into him again and they decide to go into the only business they can – paranormal private detectives.

This time, Weatherby and Mort have cases that will take them from a vampire’s decaying mansion to the mob-controlled streets of Havana. They’ll take on roadside attractions gone wrong, hordes of the living dead, and ride against the devil in a high speed car race to the death.

Between them, Weatherby and Mort have a small arsenal and a deep knowledge of matters arcane and bizarre. They’ll need brains and brawn to survive in a world where horror, action and hardboiled noir come together in a cataclysmic mix.

Vital Stats

  • Theme: Hardboiled Detective / Urban Fantasy
  • Type: Curiosity Quills Press Novel
  • Length: 254 Pages
  • Pub. Date: March 9, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-62007-028-4 (ebook)
  • ISBN: 978-1-62007-029-1 (paperback)

Included in Anthology:

  1. The Bloodsucker’s Goodbye: Weatherby and Mort take a job for Baron Edwin Exham, a powerful vampire with some dark secrets. His wife Lenora is looking to exploit those secrets – and bring Weatherby and Mort along for the ride.
  2. Black Havana: A high-rolling gambler hires Weatherby and Mort to find his kidnapped son, in mobster-controlled Havana. But when Cuban rebels, a rogue CIA operative, ruthless mob hitmen and flesh-hungry zombies are involved, Havana becomes less of a tropical getaway – and more of a death trap.
  3. I Rode in the Devil’s Hot Rod: When Weatherby’s older sister is kidnapped, he and Mort are forced in a deadly automobile race along the Pacific Coast Highway – and their competitor is the Devil himself.
  4. Monsters of Mallet: England’s Mallet Films have made millions with their lurid monster movies, but their latest photo shoot is experiencing some monstrous problems of its own. Weatherby and Mort are hired to travel to Mallet’s studios where they discover that the real horror is happening off-camera.
  5. Zombies in Paradise: Weatherby and Mort head to a booming resort town for a friend’s birthday. But the outbreak of a zombie plague and a brutal mob hitman’s arrival means that Paradise City is about to become the most dangerous place on earth – and they’ll be lucky to get out alive.
  6. War Stories: the story of how Mort and Weatherby met. In the dark days of the Second World War, Weatherby and his parents are being held prisoner by the Nazis for their supernatural knowledge. Weatherby’s father decides to risk everything on a hasty escape – but only tragedy awaits them.
  7. Roadside Rampage: While traveling cross-country, Mort and Weatherby find themselves wrapped up in a mystery dealing with a sleazy cluster of reptile houses, cheap zoos, gift shops and museums called the Roadside Line – and facing off against a monster called the Rout ’66 Wild Man.

Web Reviews

“This is a brilliantly inventive series, with unforgettable characters. It is written in a witty, pulpy style, bordering on hard-boiled in parts. There’s not a single bum note in any of the stories, they all pop off the page, and I for one cannot wait to read Vol.2.”
~Tony Healey @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“This book is rollicking, engaging, and truly entertaining. The characters have quirky personalities and work diligently to keep the reader flipping pages.”
~Vergere Street @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“The plot lines are fun, to-the-point and no-nonsense. There are recurring supporting characters and villains, which serve to enrich the world of this paranormal version of the 1950s. The language and descriptions are very well done, and it felt like I was reading something written in the 50s, not 2012. It gave the story an atmospheric charm, and deepened the immersion.”
~Thea Gregory @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up. I’ll say it right off the bat- I have a hard time with short stories. Every once in a while, I try to read them, but they always leave me wanting. Not this!”
~The Windy Pages (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“I just couldn’t resist a book with that description; it has all the elements I love – monsters, strange partnerships, mystery… I mean, what’s not to love, right?”
~Katy @ Goodreads (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“OMG I loved STEIN & CANDLE so much I can’t even tell you. It had the perfect amounts of cheese, campiness and noir all mixed in together. I can’t tell you what it was specifically that I loved about this book but I can say it hit me just right in the cockle area that it made me a little giddy. Seriously, it was wonderful.”
~Donna @ Goodreads (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“Loved every minute and so will you!”
~Blithe Queste @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“The Stein and Candle Detective Agency Volume 1: American Nightmares won me over right from the get go. This is the first time I have ever read and of Michael Panush’s writing and he deftly captures the sights and sounds of the American post-war era. “
~Paul @ Goodreads (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“Move over Mike Hammer and Sam Spade, here comes Morton Candle. If you like 1940′s/1950′s detective stories, you are going to love Michael Panush’s The Stein and Candle Detective Agency, Vol. 1.: American Nightmare This is book noir with a paranormal twist. The bad guys are frequently monsters–literally.”
~LAS Reviewer @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“OMG I loved STEIN & CANDLE so much I can’t even tell you. It had the perfect amounts of cheese, campiness and noir all mixed in together. I can’t tell you what it was specifically that I loved about this book but I can say it hit me just right in the cockle area that it made me a little giddy. Seriously, it was wonderful.”
~Donna at Bites @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“I just couldn’t resist a book with that description; it has all the elements I love – monsters, strange partnerships, mystery… I mean, what’s not to love, right?”
~K. Sozaeva @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“The short stories make it easy to pick up and put down at will. In fact, these stories would even make a good old-fashioned TV series, episodic with just enough arc to carry the viewer from week to week, but also a viewer could pick it up at any point in the series.”
~S. Duncan @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)
“Non-stop fast paced action, interesting characters, a fun dose of history, popular culture, and the occult, seasoned with humor and a noir inspired view of life— the adventures of Morton Candle and Weatherby Stein make for an entertaining and exciting read. You never know what crazy thing will happen next when you read these stories. I am looking forward to Michael Panush’s next book—an extraordinarily gifted young writer.”
~Bonnie Lutsky @ Amazon (Star VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar VoteStar Vote)