cover image The Bone Key

The Bone Key

Sarah Monette, . . Prime, $12.95 (253pp) ISBN 978-0-8095-5777-6

Writing in the tradition of M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood, Monette reconstructs the traditional English ghost story—insinuated horror, no gratuitous sex or violence—with a decidedly modern-day approach in this laudable collection of 10 necromantic mystery stories featuring introverted museum archivist Kyle Murchison Booth. Noteworthy selections include “Elegy for a Demon Lover,” which chronicles Booth's entanglement with a seductive otherworldly entity who teaches him about “pleasure and pain and the shadowed places in-between.” In the brilliantly Lovecraftian “Bringing Helena Back,” Booth agrees to help an old college friend bring his wife back from the dead, with horrifying results. Booth also investigates the skeleton of a woman sealed within the basement walls of the museum where he works, a house haunted by the spirit of a young girl and the ghost of a murdered private school student. Cerebral, ethereal and stylishly understated, this entrancing collection will appeal to fans of literary horror, dark fantasy and supernatural mystery. (Jan.)