Thanks ever so, Dem! I'm properly pleased the ending worked for you. Good old (and much missed) Joel Lane wrote to me to say the ending properly disturbed him so much (in the right way, of course), that he couldn't sleep afterwards for thinking about it. I was appropriately flattered.
And yes - I'm still hugely proud of my involvement with this one - opportunities like that don't come along every day & it was an absolute joy to do, so much so it's had me thinking I really should get on with the next Faculty of Terror / Catacombs of Fear - type book of my own.
The right ghoul for the right job, Lord P. If ever a collection had to end on a note of Black Book proper horror, it was this one. For me Psycho-Mania recalls Zombie Apocalypse; there was the initial concern that the theme had already been exhausted to the point of vampire tedium, but each contributor brings something tops to the party, and hitching the stories to a framing device is inspired. The 'Case Notes' play their part, too.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
The latest issue of Rue Morgue magazine has a review for the book, and is very kind to the Case Conference 1-4 pieces. They say.. Its clever Conceit and one that starts the book off on a terrifying note.