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Lord John and the Hand of Devils

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Lord John and the Hand of Devils
Lord John and the Hand of Devils Book Cover, written by Diana Gabaldon
Lord John and the Hand of Devils Book Cover, written by Diana Gabaldon
Author(s) Diana Gabaldon
Publisher Anchor Canada (eBook)
Delacorte Press (Hardcover)
Publication date November 27, 2007
Media type eBook
Length 320 Pages
ISBN 978-0385311397 (Hardcover)
ASIN B004JKM6BS (eBook)

For other uses of the word Succubus, see Succubus (disambiguation).

Lord John and the Hand of Devils is a novel written by Diana Gabaldon. In this work one of the characters is a Succubus.


  • Title: Lord John and the Hand of Devils
  • Author: Diana Gabaldon
  • Published By: Anchor Canada (eBook), Delacorte Press (Hardcover)
  • Length: 320 Pages
  • Format: eBook & Hardcover
  • ASIN: B004JKM6BS (eBook)
  • ISBN-10: 0385311397 (Hardcover)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385311397 (Hardcover)
  • Publishing Date: November 27, 2007

Plot Summary

A collection of Lord John Grey’s shorter adventures and a spectacular addition to any Gabaldon fan’s library, Lord John and the Hand of Devils brings three unique novellas together for the first time.

Lord John and the Hellfire Club marks the first appearance of Lord John outside the Outlander novels. A young diplomat who had begged for Lord John’s help is killed before he can explain his need. Witnessing the murder, Grey vows to avenge the young man, as the trail leads to the notorious Hellfire Club and the dark caves beneath Medmenham Abbey.

In Lord John and the Succubus, Grey’s assignment as liaison to a Hanoverian regiment in Germany finds him caught between two threats: the advancing French and Austrian army, and the menace of a mysterious “night-hag,” who spreads fear and death among the troops.

Finally, in Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is called to the Arsenal at Woolwich to answer a Royal Commission of Enquiry’s questions regarding a cannon that exploded during the battle of Krefeld. Accusations ensue, and Lord John finds himself knee-deep in a morass of gunpowder, treason, and plot–haunted by a dead lieutenant, and followed by a man with no face.

Book Review

The following review con be found in the External Links below.

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful trio of stories about Lord John
  • Review Date: December 3, 2007
  • By JaneConsumer

The book contains 3 short stories about Lord John, two of which were published previously. The first, "Lord John and the Hellfire Club," previously appeared under the title, "Hellfire," in the anthology "Past Poisons" (Headline, 1998). It's the shortest at about 37 pages. In the chronology of Lord John books, it comes first (before "Lord John and the Private Matter").

"Hellfire" takes place in 1756, shortly after Lord John's return from Ardsmuir (the prison that held Jamie Fraser in "Voyager"). It deals with the murder of a young man invited to meet with the secretive Hellfire Club. No one knows much about it. But John receives a sobbering induction, is framed for murder, and saved by Harry Quarry (his predecessor at Ardsmuir) all in the space of about 8 pages - a major feat for Gabaldon.

The second story, "Lord John and the Succubus," is clever. It previously appeared under the same title in the anthology, "Legends II: New Short Novels by the Modern Masters of Fantasy." In the chronology of Lord John titles, it falls between "Private Matter" and "Brotherhood of the Blade."

The story takes place during 1756 and 1757, when England was at war against France and Austria. While serving as a major in the English army, Lord John investigates rumors and deaths attributed to succubi.

I can't speak to the story's cleverness without giving it away, but suffice it to say that the "devils" in this story are quite human and the hand controlling them quite present today and since the beginning of time.

The third, "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," is an original publication. In the chronology, it comes after "Brotherhood of the Blade." It takes place in 1758.

Lord John has recently returned from the battlefield to respond to an inquest about a cannon that blew up under his command, killing several soldiers. The intrigue involves investigating the cause of the explosion. Lord John struggles with feelings of guilt and memory lapses (In the midst of a crisis, who can say what really happened?).

Consequently, a request that he investigate the disappearance of a local young woman comes as a welcome distraction. Little does he know how the two - the disappearance and the explosion - relate.

Of the 3 stories, I enjoyed Succubus the most. I like Gabaldon's writing style and her imagination, so I'll read anything she writes. But Succubus is a cut above the other 2 stories. If you haven't read it, it alone is worth the price of the book.

For Jamie Fraser fans, you'll find references to him in all the stories. But he is most apparent in the "Haunted Soldier."

For others, you might find this collection easier to follow, if you read the other 2 Lord John novels as well as the first 3 Outlander books. Gabaldon is truly a gifted storyteller in that she can retell episodes from earlier works from the viewpoint of another character. It's quite well done and I'm amazed that she does this without planning for it.

External Links