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Night Worms Book Party: THE DEVIL'S CITY by Sara Tantlinger & Matthew Corley

The Night Worms review team is apparently really into H.H. Holmes. We had another book party and this time we got down with The Devil’s City by Sara Tantlinger and Matthew Corley. Overall, it seems like we all liked it. But here is what we all REALLY LIKED: It is part of a 5E RPG universe. The authors have a kickstarter going to help fund their sourcebook for this game. It has some killer artwork and I, for one, am going to play it. To quote their kickstarter site, 

Within this Kickstarter you’ll find two books: The Devil’s City, a novella, and Horror in the Windy City, a full-length RPG campaign sourcebook expanding the Whispers in the Dark RPG universe. Whispers in the Dark is compatible with the 5th edition of the world's oldest rpg and set in a world adjacent to our own. The books can be enjoyed independently, but when conjoined they offer the players, readers, and game masters a truly immersive experience.”

Their kickstarter funded, congratulations! Take a second to go check it out here and preorder if you feel so inclined.

The following blurbs are from each of our reviews and the photos are from our social media sites. We have a book party for The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson coming up soon, so stay tuned for more book party round ups.

For The Devil's City, Tantlinger is co-authoring this novella with Corley who is a pharmacist (as was Holmes). Their combined levels of expertise, knowledge, and storytelling voices make for a compulsive and disturbing read.” -@mother.horror

“The style in which authors Tantlinger and Corley write this story gives you an intimate sense of the goings-on inside of Holmes’ Murder Castle. And at just under 100 pages, I devoured this novella as each compulsive chapter is titled after a character’s name and contains a passage from Holmes’ diary. It’s an excellent character study of the people who unfortunately crossed Holmes’ path, with the exact right amount of gore.” -@shereadswithcats

“What is it about serial killers that make for such compelling reading? I’m such a squeamish person in real life, but I never seem to shy away from reading about the things that some of the more depraved members of society have done to other people. While THE DEVIL’S CITY novella is technically a companion to the Horror in the Windy City tabletop roleplaying game that’s seeking funding on Kickstarter right now, this little gem contains more than enough mayhem and Murder Castle hijinks to solidify this as a standalone on any true crime geek’s bookshelf.” -@holo.reader


“This short novella certainly packs a punch. Each chapter is about a different person who unfortunately ends up a victim in the murder castle….Tantlinger and Corley put themselves in the madman's shoes, and weave a tale of evil that I will not soon forget.” -@gowsy33


Previously, I've read and loved Sara Tantlinger's dark poetry collection inspired by Holmes and so I knew going in this would be good. However, I didn't expect such detail! 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐡,⁣ 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 from this because your skin will crawl! I shuddered a few times and I live for gruesome stuff. “ -@readswithdogs


This story is a horrifying look into the mind of true evil. Readers get to experience the frightening experiments performed In the monstrosity that is the nefarious H.H. Holmes murder castle. I think that this is an exciting opportunity that fans of horror fiction will enjoy thoroughly. Not just because this is an incredible tale, readers can engage in the story and fully immerse themselves with the role-playing game as well. I don't know about you, but I'm excited to relive this dreaded tale over and over.” -@thebookdad

“Be on the lookout for this! If you enjoy reading about serial killers then you definitely need this one!” -@findingmontauk1


“A fictionalized version of HH Holmes and his murder castle, The Devil's City is a binge-worthy novella. The unique spin on it makes it fun for anyone especially if you think you know everything there is to know about HH Holmes. There were some scenes that honestly hurt my eyeballs but did I stop reading? Never!” -@bookishmommy

“I feel like this book was made for me. I read Devil in the White city last year and while reading this I instantly felt this is how I wished that book had been. There’s not page after page of filler, what we have here are deadly cat and mouse games between Holmes and numerous victims of his.” -@steelrainreviews


“In 90 pages, we get the stories of various characters that have met their demise at the hand of Holmes and his treacherous castle. We learn how they get involved with him and what happens when they make this fatal mistake. As someone who has read a ton about H.H. Holmes, it is a pleasure to get a more behind the scenes look into the minds and feelings of those who met their match. What's even more intriguing is learning what he also gained from them during his own unorthodox and gruesome process. In short, there's a lot of everything put into under 100 pages of horrific fascination.” -@wherethereadergrows

“The writing in this little novella is very good. The descriptions of the murders are interesting and disturbing. But the real star of this book is the setting. The inner workings of The Murder Castle are so interesting to me and I hope that the authors revisit this subject for a full-length novel because I could read their take on Holmes all day.” -@teamredmon


“The Devil's City is a short and sweet novella with a gruesome side that will leave every horror lover ready to dive deeper into this dark universe. I definitely recommend it.” -@pageandparlor


“...this really leaves you wanting more, in the best way possible! And I wouldn’t of been mad if this was longer. Nonetheless, it’s a fast, easy, and gripping read. HIGHLY recommend.” -@marcyreads


“As we are engulfed in darkness in gritty Chicago we are given a chilling look into the mind of a murderer. Each tale begins with a diary entry of a madman; that truly was my favorite part. I seem to resonate more with the killer than his victims as the walls of the castle offer a warm embrace.”-@kamis_korner


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