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Review of the Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer

By April 12, 2019January 28th, 20232 Comments

The sky had gone full dark, starless and azure, and the city ignited with a million points of shimmering light.


Irresistibly drawn to mysteries, if only to debunk them, reporter Lionel Page exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. His latest case is an obsession—at least for an ancient and wealthy heiress: verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City’s literary underworld. But the shrewd Regina Dunkle offers more than money. It’s a pact. Fulfill her request, and Lionel’s own notorious buried past, one he’s been running from since he was a child, will remain hidden.

As Lionel’s quest begins, so do the warnings. And where rare books go, murder follows. It’s only when Lionel meets enigmatic stranger Madison Hannah, his personal usher into the city’s secret history, that he realizes he’s being guided by a force more powerful than logic…and that he isn’t just following a story. He is the story.

Now that the true purpose of his mission is revealing itself in the most terrifying ways, it may finally be time for Lionel to believe in the unbelievable.


  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 427 pages
  • Published April 9th 2019 by 47North
  • Original Title Ghosts of Gotham
  • Edition Language English

My Thoughts

Nothing gory or shocking about the pictures, not a drop of blood, but the animals were dead. One charcoal sketch depicted a pair of rabbits and some kind of bird on their backs, eyes shut, a hunter’s fresh catch. Another captured a single spread-winged pheasant, neck bent in eternal slumber.

Would you like a story that has ghosts, witches ghouls – and a crime noir style plot with an intrepid reporter. Have I got the story for you.

Ghosts of Gotham is about Lionel Page, referred to as little lion occasionally, a thirty something investigative journalist. Lionel is given an investigation by a mysterious woman, Regina Dunkle. Is she just a wealthy reclusive heiress with a fascination for all things old or is she more? What follows is a well-written adventure into the world of antiques, the Poe Manuscript, mythology and lore. Instead of going the way of some crime books, with a “who done it?” Schaffer has involved all sorts of creatures of myth and lore that are dealt out to you slowly like receiving cards while playing poker. He expertly and slowing brings the “things that go bump in the night” into the narrative that by the end of it you realize had you followed the clues the whole story you would have realized they were there all along waiting for you in the wings.

These days I prefer to interact with humanity through books, as exclusively as possible. The pages, the type, they’re like…the glass walls of a zoo enclosure. I can watch the wild animals all evening long, safe on my side of the window.

I haven’t read any of Schaffer’s books, something I plan on rectifying, but I found this book to be a very well formed story. Plot and pacing were perfect for me, dialog was some of the best I have read, and it was simply a very fun read. The story could go on to more in a series or be an excellent stand-alone story and a great place to start reading his work. This story was a great introduction to me of Schaffers works, and I am looking forward to diving into his other series. Check it out.

This story was released on April 9th, and is now available for purchase.


I received a copy of this from Netgalley. Thank you for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Craig Schaefer’s books have taken readers to the seamy edge of a criminal underworld drenched in shadow (the Daniel Faust series), to a world torn by war, poison and witchcraft (the Revanche Cycle), and across a modern America mired in occult mysteries and a conspiracy of lies (the Harmony Black series).

Despite this, people say he’s strangely normal. Suspiciously normal, in fact. His home on the Web is


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