My look at Craft’s Arkham Detective series concludes.
Review: Who Stole the Necronomicon?, Byron Craft, 2020.
Yes, it’s another story where Miskatonic University has failed yet again to keep the blasphemous Necronomicon under lock and key.
Even the Arkham Detective (and, no, he doesn’t get a name in this novel either) got called in as a policeman when that freak Wilbur Whately tried to steal it as chronicled by H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”.
This time around the Detective isn’t professionally obligated to get involved. He’s a private eye now, but he agrees to look into the theft of the book and murder of a janitor as a favor to Detective Bell, the man who took his place as head of the Arkham Police Department’s Mythos Division.
There’s been plenty of changes in the Detective’s life in the three months since the events of Death on the Arkham Express. His family has grown again, so he needs a bigger house.
He’s also taken up writing. In fact, his first effort, “Cthulhu’s Minions”, was accepted for Weird Tales (under the nom de plume Byron Craft) which makes it kind of plausible, if strange, that a man called J. C. Farnsworth Wright and his assistant Millicent Schulyer Potts show up promising large checks if he can crank out, immediately, some more of his stories for the magazine.
But, as avid pulp fan Bell tells the Detective, it’s pretty improbable Weird Tales has that kind of money. So, what are the two up to and what does it have to do with the Necronomicon’s theft?
And does it have anything to do with the coming of Walpurgis Night?
It’s a good thing that the Detective has his Colt 45 back as he again ventures into the dives and slums of Arkham.
It’s another pleasing installment with more humor than usual for the series. The story also features Waldo Lydecker,
“a columnist with the Vermont Rutland Herald . . . a notable scholar of mathematics, astronomy, biology, anthropology, and folklore.”