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Review of Mask of Silver by Rosemary Jones

Mask of Silver by Rosemary Jones (Aconyte Books, 2021) is an Arkham Horror novel, related to the Arkham Horror board game. Set in the 1920s, it’s a fun mix of historical fiction and the creeping dread horror that is conjured when one says Lovecraft or Arkham.

The story focuses on a film production team, including their eccentric director, actors, and crew. Though normally based in Hollywood, the director uproots the team to shoot his next film in his hometown of Arkham, Massachusetts. Jeany Lin, the protagonist, is the team’s costumer. Her sister, Renee Love, is the star of the film and the director’s lover. What ensues is a desperate struggle for the two sisters to stay alive and sane in the face of the script, the town, and machinations of outside forces.

Jones’ writing shows a love of the film industry and the 1920s, and she adds in loads of details that shows she’s done her research. Jeany Lin is Chinese American, and the prejudices of the period make their way into her life, whether in the background or the foreground, even as her sister does her best to pass as non-Chinese in an industry that would toss her aside if they knew the truth of her heritage. The story has a wonderful sense of creeping dread as things get stranger and stranger in Arkham, culminating in a devastating end to the film production.

If you enjoy well-researched historical fiction and horror that is more about creepiness and something awful lurking nearby, you’ll enjoy¬†Mask of Silver. Fans of Arkham Horror and other Lovecraftiana will also enjoy this clever twist on one of the mainstays of the Mythos.

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