The stories are influenced by the tradition of fictional detectives such as Sherlock Holmes and like Holmes Carnacki lives in a bachelor flat in No 427 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea; and the stories are told from a first-person perspective by Dodgson, a member of Carnacki's "strictly limited circle of friends" (much like Watson). But where the Holmes stories never made use of the supernatural except as something to be debunked, this is the central theme of the Carnacki stories, though several of the stories do have non-supernatural endings.
The character of Carnacki was inspired in part by Sheridan le Fanu's Dr Hesselius, a supernaturally inclined scientist and is also highly reminiscent of Algernon Blackwood's John Silence (both available in the yellowbacks revival).
William Hope Hodgson was an English author who produced a large body of work, consisting of essays, short fiction, and novels, spanning several overlapping genres including horror, fantastic fiction, and science fiction. Hodgson spent many years on the sea and that formed the basis for his well-received 'sargasso sea' stories. A great advocate of physical culture, he originally began an institute for physical training and fitness but couldn't make it a going concern and then turned to writing as an alternate career. He died in World War I at age 40.