The Book of the Most Precious Substance

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Pub Date 08 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2022

Description

The highly anticipated new thriller from internationally renowned author Sara Gran, author of Come Closer and the Claire DeWitt series.

A mysterious book that promises unlimited power and unrivaled sexual pleasure. A down-on-her-luck book dealer hoping for the sale of a lifetime. And a twist so shocking, no one will come out unscathed.

After a tragedy too painful to bear, former novelist Lily Albrecht has resigned herself to a dull, sexless life as a rare book dealer. Until she gets a lead on a book that just might turn everything around. The Book of the Most Precious Substance is a 17th century manual on sex magic, rumored to be the most powerful occult book ever written--if it really exists at all. And some of the wealthiest people in the world are willing to pay Lily a fortune to find it—if she can. Her search for the book takes her from New York to New Orleans to Munich to Paris, searching the dark corners of power where the world’s wealthiest people use black magic to fulfill their desires. Will Lily fulfill her own desires, and join them? Or will she lose it all searching for a ghost? The Book of the Most Precious Substance is an addictive erotic thriller about the lengths we’ll go to get what we need—and what we want. 

The highly anticipated new thriller from internationally renowned author Sara Gran, author of Come Closer and the Claire DeWitt series.

A mysterious book that promises unlimited power and unrivaled...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780578947099
PRICE $18.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 16 members


Featured Reviews

Sara Gran has the most demented imagination (and I mean that in all the best ways). I’m this one, she mixes magical realism, the occult, sex, and self sacrifice to create a mystery/thriller with an awesomely twisty end.

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Sara Gran fans REJOICE!!! This book contains everything you expect from one of horror's rock star authors. Erotic, thrilling, and tense all the way through. There is nothing like THE BOOK OF THE MOST PRECIOUS SUBSTANCE on the shelves. Original concept and expertly crafted. Gran does what she wants on the page and we're all lucky enough to take the ride.

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I had the best laugh about half way into this novel … a laugh that only makes sense if you’ve read the first 50%. “Would you say this is a common occurrence in the book world?” — asked by Detective Frank. So…. let me explain — a lot of drama is generated around a rare book called “The Book of The Most Precious Substance”. Lily and Lucas were book dealers (lovers too - but that’s a story within a story of itself).. A colleague died. ( that’s also a story within a story), but Lily and Lucas were helping fill some of his orders — for the good of his family — But then a ridiculously wealthy ‘Admiral Masters’ heard that Lily snd Lucas had a way of getting hold of the rare book…. willing to pull out all stops to F-over another buyer and sell it himself—steal it if given the chance. The book is about war - power - and sex. …. [sex magic: the art of using sex to affect change in accordance with one’s will]… a book about ….. “the most precise, and most effective, grimoire on sex magic ever written. It guides the reader through five steps, each corresponding to a different bodily fluid, and along with it, a specific symbol and a word”…. the book calls it “the nectar of the woman’….next is the life-giving seed of the man”. “Only one man in a thousand will be able to draw it out of a woman, and only one woman in a thousand will allow it to be drawn”. “When a women’s pleasure reaches a crescendo, there will be a wave like the ocean, violent and forceful, but sweet and delicious when it crashes”. Ha….. Don’t get too swaddled in juicy-naught thinking… because… don’t you want to know why a detective Frank even cares… and why he might be asking about a rare book? Well… things get a little voodoo spooky in the land of Sara Gran’s grand creation. Admiral Masters was murdered at approximately 4am… and …..the question is….. did another ridiculously wealthy book buyer send someone to take out his competition? …..and ….are there more stories within a story? That take turns the reader upside down and around - in other words a surprise twist? Yep… all is-ha-‘business as normal’ in the book world 😉 This was pure page-turning fun from start to finish—a surprise offer (thank you Cai) with lots of entertaining surprises to boot. I’m so tempted to share more about the plot (my first experience reading ‘sock-it-to-me’ *Sara Gran*….whom I found devilishly delightful)… I’ve several pages of notes should anyone want more of me — but instead — are you hungry? How about dinner on 5th Ave. in New York? (personally, I’m not much of a foodie- but if I were - I might be able to appreciate being dined and wined by two attractive men)… Leo Singleton (let’s just say — one of several ridiculously wealthy men you’ll meet in Gran’s novel), took Lily and Lucas to a very posh restaurant with luxurious food and alcohol on 5th Avenue with exorbitant prices. (duck, rare lamb chops, mane mushrooms, sea bass crusted with fresh green herbs and hazelnuts, plenty of wine - getting a little drunk- pistachio ice cream, vanilla orange meringues and a plate of tiny white and dark chocolates in unusual flavors: violet, pecan, lemon blossom for dessert-adds a little Brandy to top off the three hour dinner/meeting. It was the best dinner Lily had in years (with those two attractive men, I mentioned)… But …. we get a lot more in this novel than just tasty-teasers… If one ‘must’ indulge in a crime-thriller-novel-(for those of us who do not regularly read crime novels), this unique story about a sought-after rare book adds a new dimension to the words ‘crime’ and ‘book’ in the same sentence. The characters were interesting— I liked hanging out with them (main and supporting)… 99% of the time I got a great kick out of the detailed descriptions—for ‘every’ major and minor character—for every house (be it a farmhouse in upstate New York, a clean-masculine-impressive apt. in Oakland - or a - ridiculously wealthy- mansion in D.C. or Paris. But …. my one tiny quibble —1% quibble… I had thoughts about some of the descriptions beginning to feel repetitive (in styling) — yet— I at the same time, I enjoyed each of the descriptions for its own merit. Here’s a sample creative-eye-catcher ‘character’ description: “Elena was unattractively tall—there was nothing wrong with her height, which was about six-three, but she hunched her shoulders, which made her back look bent and put her face and neck at the worst possible angle—chin out, neck doubled, chest sagging. Her nose was big and matched by her forhead, with cheekbones and chin lagging far behind. But there was much that was appealing about Elena nonetheless; a happiness that shone out from a deep dark point inside”. And… a ‘house’ description: “The entryway to Toby Gunn’s house had twenty-foot-high ceilings and stone walls and marble floors. Tapestries that looked like they were from the 1500s hung from the walls, showing scenes of the unicorns and walled gardens, muffling the noise in the already too-quiet house. A chandelier that was as large as a car hung from the ceiling”. FUN FUN FUN… Lily has a sarcastic tone… which we understand once we are privy to her past history. The male characters are charismatic & tantalizing—but also puzzling debatable. Lily - center of every man in this novel has a sarcastic tone which I grew to admire and understand. It’s clear to me that Sara Gran (tell me that’s not a great name for a woman) knows who she - she writes with chutzpah — with her shrewd sultry, imperfect characters…. giving us (both)compelling male and female characters…. and a darn gran story….(thrilling, erotic, tantalizing, and never predictable)… THE BEST TWIST ENDING of the Year!!! Gloriously entertaining!! 4.9 stars

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Sara Gran has done it again. A smart sexy mystery with a book dealer as the main character. What's not to love.

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I’m a bit obsessed with this book. Im writing a review to come in BookPage near the time of release.. But for now I’ll say it’s sexy and mysterious and cool, like nothing I’ve read before. And the main characters are book people, which is fun— a rare book dealer and a university archivist on a quest to broker a million dollar deal for an ancient and rare handwritten guide to “sex magic.” There are multiple definitions of “sex magic” in the book. This is my favorite: “the art of using sex to, as Crowley defined magic, affect change in accordance with one’s will.” 4.5 stars I think.

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Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced copy of the book. I really enjoyed it. It's fun, funny, and very sexy. It's equal parts seductive and heart breaking. I reccomend!

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Books about rare and or magical books are the most entertaining books, I'm thinking of two of my favourites, Jen Banbury's Like a Hole in the Head or Scarlett Thomas' The End of Mr. Y. Now we have Sara Gran's The Book of the Most Precious Substance and it's a fantastic novel about rare books, booksellers, sex magic, loss, grief and about how the universe is never, ever fair. I breezed through this book, Sara Gran is a fantastic writer, please pick up her Claire DeWitt series if you haven't already. Dreamland books is off to a great start, here's hoping they'll publish many more brilliant, fun, smart and sexy books like The Book of the Most Precious Substance.

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