The Deadly Grimoire
An Arkham Horror Novel
by Rosemary Jones
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Pub Date 15 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 25 Feb 2022
Aconyte Books, Aconyte
Betsy Baxter is the plucky stunt-actor star of the 1920s serial adventure, The Flapper Detective. While researching a wing-walking scene, she meets the fearless Winifred Habbamock and discovers a shared background of eerie encounters and eldritch phenomena. For years, Betsy has been investigating the disappearance of an old friend during the horror-struck filming of The Mask of Silver, when she learns of his reappearance in Arkham, she and Winifred hit the road to investigate. But Arkham is full of mysteries and danger. Betsy will need all her skills, and new allies, to prevent an otherworldly cataclysm from consuming her and all of Arkham.
A Note From the Publisher
“I may have a new favorite Arkham story: Mask of Silver… [a] slowburn work of unsettling horror.” - Fistful of Meeples
“I loved Mask of Silver, and am very much looking forward to the next title in this excellent series.” -The Catbox
Season announcement Sept 21
• Cover Reveal at GenCon 21
• eARCs w/ NetGalley 3 months out
• Cross-promo w/ FFG
• ½ page adverts in Tabletop Gaming magazine during
• Facebook Live interview w/ author on publication
• GenCon Online author panel Sept 21
• Co-Op with Ingram
• Amazon Ads for related searches
• Aconyte Extra with free chapter samplers, high-res
• Social media promo & giveaways w/ influencers
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 22 members
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher(s) for a digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. The very first thing that grabbed me was the cover of this book. I have zero exposure to Arkham Horror or to any of the characters in this book. That said, if you've never, ever read anything related to this topic, I think you'll still enjoy it. There was enough back-tracking and re-explaining that I didn't feel like I had missed out on anything that may have happened elsewhere previously. This was a fun romp-when I saw the "horror" part of this, I read with one hand mentally over my eyes in case anything horrifying popped up. I was pleased at the "horror" that did pop up wasn't gory or gruesome or absolutely terrifying-just enough to keep me hooked and intrigued and now I'd like to go back and explore all of the stuff related to Arkham Horror. Betsy is a delightful character! The only thing about this book that bugged me was the weird usage of conjugations. A character would say something like "I did not see you there" where they'd just said something like "he must've left". The switch between the two styles was occasionally jarring to me, but that could just be a personal quirk of mine! Overall, very enjoyable and intriguing.
'The Deadly Grimoire’, a follow-up to ‘Mask of Silver’ (which I’ve previously enjoyed and reviewed). This stands alone if you’ve not read that, though, being its own tale as well as a continuation of those events.
Betsy Baxter is the Flapper Detective, daring stunt-performer and actress, who’s found great success after surviving the previous events in Arkham. However, there’s still loose ends to be tied – so with the help of a female pilot known as ‘The Woman without Fear’ and an antiquarian bookseller seeking the titular Grimoire, Betsy charges straight into an adventure that far surpasses any movie!
Again, this has the vibe of a matinee movie, but also a strong detective story. Where (and what) is the mysterious Grimoire? What do bootleggers and a local crime syndicate have to do with anything, and what are the innovative seaweed-based treatments at the local sanatorium?
Every aspect of Lovecraft is here, bound up with a fun heroine whose thinking is definitely ahead of her time.
I’m glad to say that every single one of the books in this series branches further into the Real World than Lovecraft would ever have been comfortable with – in terms of strong women, native Americans and Inuit, homosexuality and much more. The Ancient Old Ones don’t care about such things, and their tentacles affect everyone, so there’s (happily) no discrimination to be found in any of these pages.
As always, at the end of these books those who survive are forever changed by their encounters with the Great Unknown – as are we, the reader. Part of me wonders what happens next for them, but I know it won’t be necessarily good. It’s just that feeling of wanting to see more of a traditional adventure serial, feeling the jumps and gasps as skilled hands lead us further into the dark.
Hugely enjoyable and absolutely recommended.
ARC Copy...that was good tie-in media. I only had a rough idea what Arkham Horror but fully aware of the world's Lovecraft elements and mythos which this tie-in very much does have and thought the roaring 20's world of daring hijinks and detective intrigue was portrayed well too.
My thanks to NetGalley and Aconyte Books for an advanced copy of this horror game tie-in novel.
Eldritch creatures and dark gods from beyond usually don't mix with speakeasies and flappers, barnstorming lady aviators, but in The Deadly Grimoire: An Arkham Horror Novel, Rosemary Jones has been able to mix all this and more in something that I would like to call Charleston Cthulu. Spills, chills, seaweed, handsome booksellers, and strange New England towns, with gin, dancing and rum runners all around.
Betsy Baxter is a silent movie actress/ studio head/ and professional thrill jockey whose serial adventure The Flapper Detective gives her both fame and money to live life as she wants it. Risking her neck doing daredevil stunts, and looking for friends who disappeared under mysterious circustances. Winifred Habbamock is female pilot with a dream of flying, and winning a cross country race for only women aviatrixes, who childhood in New England has taught her much about the spooky countryside of Arkham. And Tom, a handsome bookseller whose family is cursed with a spell book that always returns to the family, usually after causing some chaos. These three come together to fight bootleggers, find missing friends, and find out the secret of the mysterious grimoire.
This book is more fun than it should be. Silent film references, history of aviation, gangsters, dark creatures from beyond, and a real sense of inclusion. Sure a woman could do this, all types would be welcome at their air shows, no matter color, race or sexuality. Certainly not true of the twenties in which this book takes place, but not in out current twenties in this century. This is a small book with so much, characters who seem real, and comfortable with what and who they are. A big story with scares, but a story that cares about about what happens, to the good guys, the bad guys, even just small characters who might not have a big role. Not just a lot of research went into this book, but a lot of heart too.
The plot moves well, the story is interesting, and the characters are all characters I want to read more about. Even like I said the smaller characters, like the ex-sailor bookstore owner who appears for just a chapter. There is a novel in him. I hope there is. This is the first book I have read by Rosemary Jones, but not the last, and I can't wait to read more. Not just a great tie-in story, but a great story period.
Usually when someone attempts to recreate a IP using another form of media, such as video games, books, or movies, they end terribly. They will either create something too similar to the source material and alienate new fans, or stray too far, creating something totally different and angering loyal fans.
The Arkham Horror books are the rare exceptions that perfectly balance the line of creating new and interesting stories, while still honoring the characters, world, and mythos of their source material. This can only be done by talented writers who understand, and love the Arkham Horror games.
Rosemary Jones uses some characters from her previous book The Mask of Silver in The Deadly Grimoire, but it is not necessary to read that to enjoy this book.
Betsy, a daring actress, Winnie, the woman without fear, and Tom, a bookworm who I felt a personal connection to, join together to find an old friend, recover a lost book, and also raise money for a flying competition. This book is sure to keep you on your toes and turning the pages as you discover why Arkham is a town best left alone.
Interesting characters and a plot that wont let up makes this read well worth your time.
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