Bride of the Rat God

Norah Blackstone is the companion and sister-in-law to Chrysanda Flamande a star in the silent Hollywood cinema. Chrysanda has just completed Kiss of Darkness, a silent horror thriller, where she wore a beautiful opal necklace, a gift from her lover, which is an ancient magical object that signals Chrysanda is the bride of the Rat-God, Da Shu Ken. Since Da Shu Ken consummates the marriage by murdering his bride and enriching person who marked her as a sacrifice, Chrysanda must rely on Norah, her Pekingese guardian dogs and the services of a Chinese magician who has faced the Rat God before and lost, to avoid becoming the god's sacrifice.

Bride of the Rat God is not a traditional mystery, but more like an early Hollywood horror movie, complete with sacrifices, cursed objects and mysticism, which will delight readers who love silent Hollywood, while showcasing determined, complex heroines with lots of moxie. Hambly creates an authentic setting, full of music, drugs, flouting of Prohibition and egomaniacal actors, producers and directors, all witnessed by the straightforward Norah who is trying to rescue the sister-in-law who saved her at her darkest point. Even the three Pekingese, Chrysanda's pampered pets, are drawn with verve and attention to distinguishing each canine character. Bride of the Rat God is a delight for people who revel in silent Hollywood and its pre-Depression, gilded charms.

Book Blurb for Bride of the Rat God

After donning a cursed necklace for the cameras, a silent screen starlet and her entourage are terrorized by an ancient demon

It is 1923, and silent film reigns in Hollywood. Of all the starlets, none is more beloved than Chrysanda Flamande, a diva as brilliant as she is difficult to manage. Handling her falls to Norah, widow of Chrysanda’s dead brother. She has always done her job well, but she was never equipped to deal with murder. When a violent killing shocks Chrysanda’s entourage, and other weird happenings swiftly follow, Norah begins to suspect that some strange power is stalking the star. In Chinatown she receives warning that a curse has been placed on the actress as vengeance for wearing a sacred amulet in one of her films—and this curse could mean death for all who surround her. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barbara Hambly, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 5.00