Review: Arkham After Dark, Byron Craft, 2022.
If you like a tough-talking private eye as narrator (though his secretary is ugly, his wife beautiful, and a cobbled together family waits at home for him every night), encountering the dark mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos, then the Arkham Detective series is for you. (No, he has no other name except when he shows up in R’lyeh: The Lost Realm, the last volume of Craft’s R’lyeh series.
This installment takes place right after the last one, Who Stole the Necronomicon?. It’s December 1934. Prohibition has ended, but the nation is still poor, including Arkham with some local, one-time bootleggers fallen on hard times.
The Detective is hired by series regular Otto Meldinger, curator of the Arkham Museum of Antiquities, to find the brother of his girlfriend, Astrid Norse. The brother is Vernon Bellows, a professor employed by that same museum.
Not so coincidentally, the museum is peparing an exhibit about the recent Lake Expedition to the Antarctic.
The Detective’s investigation will take him down the mean streets of Arkham, into pawn shops, and bookie hangouts, and even into the sewers.
Several characters from earlier in the series show up, and there are even some illustrations including one by Clark Ashton Smith – whose work is displayed at the museum.