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Call of Cthulhu takes on Jane Austen with new novel

‘Secrets and Sacrifices’ promises to blend pride and prejudice with protoplasmic horrors in the first Regency Cthulhu tie-in novel.

Call of Cthulhu regency novel Secrets & Sacrifices cover, showing a woman holding in regency dress looking at a manor while holding a grimoire behind her back. Over this image, a white tentacle is enfolding the book

A new novel, Secrets and Sacrifices by Cath Lauria, promises to blend the otherworldly horrors of Lovecraftian monsters with the social horrors of polite English society during the Regency period. It’s the first novel to come out of a partnership between Call of Cthulhu RPG publisher Chaosium and publishing imprint Aconyte Books.

Secrets and Sacrifices is connected to the Call of Cthulhu RPG setting ‘Regency Cthulhu’, which takes players to the high society of England during the 18th century. The novel is out now in print, as an eBook, and as an audiobook.

When you picture the Regency you might think of romance stories like Jane Austen’s novels or Bridgerton, but it was a period filled with occultism, scandal, global exploration and exploitation, scientific innovation, and political conspiracies – absolutely perfect for a Cthulhu mystery. You can get a sense for how that might work in a game of Call of Cthulhu in the let’s play video by The Good Time Society, below:

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In Secrets and Sacrifices, Heroine Cassandra Wright is trying to get to the bottom of a mystery that ruined her life. Five years ago her father was accused of murder, “leaving her with no prospects, no money, and a broken engagement”. With the help of childhood friend Thomas “reluctantly acting as her new husband-to-be”, she’s trying to uncover the truth from her former fiancé “who she’s convinced knows more than he ever let on”.

As this is a Regency novel, there’s a whole world of social etiquette to navigate and scandals to avoid – and because it’s a Cthulhu novel there are “dark, twisted secrets lurking in the shadows”.

We can neither confirm nor deny that Cassandra and Thomas will have to share a bed to maintain the ruse of being engaged, only to realise that their feelings for one another are deeper than they imagined. Ordinarily we would take it as a given, but this is a Cthulhu novel…

Call of Cthulhu Regency illustration - investigators in Regency clothing stand back to back in an underground location, firing at oncoming creatures

Cath Lauria is a prolific author. She’s written four novels and contributed to three anthologies for Aconyte, focusing on Marvel, Cthulhu, and tabletop tie-ins with the Zombicide board game and Keyforged trading card game. She also has a substantial library of original novels, hitting every subgenre including mystery, historical, supernatural, and romance. She seems like a good fit for this title!

This is the first release to come from the partnership between Chaosium and Aconyte, but the two studios have already announced another title, Jonathan L. Howard’s ‘The Shadow on the Glass’. That book ties into the Cthulhu by Gaslight setting, set in the Victorian era.

For more genre fiction recommendations, we have some essential Warhammer 40k book recommendations, and a guide to the best Horus Heresy book order to make it through that massive series.

If you’re interested in romance and have found your way to our site, we assume you’ve played Baldur’s Gate 3 – we have a guide to Baldur’s Gate 3 romances if you’re struggling to click with your Forgotten Realms sweetheart. We also had the pleasure of interviewing Astarion actor Neil Newbon recently – he had a lot to say about how the game studio handles sex, how he doesn’t care what some people think of him, and how important he think stories can be for healing.