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Chapelwood: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie…
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Chapelwood: The Borden Dispatches

by Cherie Priest

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A follow up to her earlier work "Maplecroft", this book picks up the lives of Lizzie Borden/Lizbeth Andrew and Detective Simon Wolf in 1921. Seems there is another set of unsolved bizarre killings in Birmingham, Alabama that bear a striking resemblance to those we read about in Massachusetts. Inspector Wolf calls himself to do the inspecting, and Lizzie just can't stop her intuition telling her to leave her home and go find out what these newspaper articles are describing.

The veterans form a natural alliance, with Detective Wolf "giving" Lizzie a new name, and they set out to learn about a Catholic Priest's murder, his aid to a young woman, and her father's brutal attack. Oh, and then there's this strange church on the outskirts of town, not to mention an axe-wielding murderer driven by numbers and one of his survivors who seems to have an insight into the beyond.

There is a bit of formula here that Priest used to great effect with her first book; this one uses it because it works, but it leaves the originality of her earlier work a bit tempered. Still, the strange creature lurking is enormous and not at all like what they fought in Massachusetts. Or is it?? ( )
  threadnsong | Nov 20, 2018 |
Priest returns to Lizzie Borden’s fight against the Lovecraftian horrors from beyond the stars. Thirty years have passed and Lizzie has to head down South to investigate another series of axe murders. It was okay, but I didn’t feel like it was necessary to Lizzie’s story. ( )
  rivkat | Aug 24, 2017 |
It's not a bad sequel, but it didn't pack as much punch for me as the first novel. For one, Lizzie didn't really appear in the book all that much, and when she did, she didn't really have much to do (I appreciated her mentioning Emma and Nance often, but I would have rather have seen them make an appearance in the book instead!). The story is okay, nothing too complicated, but I felt like most of the characters were just so bland. It was hard to feel much for them while reading. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Fair Warning: This book is the second in the Borden Dispatches series, and so this review will unavoidably contain spoilers for the first book.

___________________________

Thirty years have passed since the events of Maplecroft. Emma Borden is dead, as is the good doctor Seabury. The town of Fall River is quiet and peaceful, and Lizzie Borden (now going by Lizbeth Andrew) has settled into quiet infamy with a great many cats.

But a new celestial threat is rising in Birmingham, Alabama of all places. A shadowy group calling themselves The True Americans, supported by a strange new church known as Chapelwood, is looking to cleanse Birmingham of its undesirables, namely blacks, Jews, Catholics, and those who don’t want to see the world end screaming in the tentacles of an Elder God.

Called in by her old aquaintance Inspector Simon Wolf to help solve the murder of a local priest, which may or may not be tied into the nighttime activity of an ax-murderer known as Harry the Hacker, Lizzie Borden must shoulder her ax once more to defeat a cosmic evil growing strong in the dark southern soil.

I began this series because I could not say no to a Lizzie Borden-Cthulhu mashup (who could?). The first book in the series was enjoyable (though with some tweaks to the mythos and to geography that irked me a bit). The second in the series is weaker, less cosmic horror, more plain old crappy human beings. I will say, however, that I enjoyed the Ku Klux Klan as despotic bringers of the elder god apocalypse angle. That part of the story was done quite well, and should resonate with anyone who’s been following American politics recently. Though I will say that it made this book a bit of a dud when it comes to escapist fiction (but not entirely in a bad way).

In all, if you enjoyed the first book, this one is a different creature altogether, but still worth your time. New comers to the series should definitely start with the first book, both because that one is a bit more in the Lovecraftian style, and because you will be thoroughly lost if you try to start this series in the middle. ( )
  irregularreader | Oct 31, 2016 |
I didn't like this one as much as the first book in the series, but maybe that's because it was just Too Real for me right now -- a racist church trying to awaken dread Cthulu. But I also felt that the returning characters weren't as strong as they could have been, although I did like our new heroine Ruth very much. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Oct 18, 2016 |
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For Karl, even though he's not in this one.
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I escaped Chapelwood under the cover of daylight, not darkness.  The darkness is too close, too friendly with the terrible folk who worship there.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451466985, Paperback)

From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.  

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 12 Jul 2015 12:18:22 -0400)

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named "Harry the Hacker" by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens. This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life. Unless she stops it ...… (more)

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