List price: $18.99

Relentless Melt

H.P. Lovecraft meets the Golden Age of Detective fiction in a rollicking supernatural detective thriller that introduces Artie Quick, a sales assistant at Filene’s in Boston, who moonlights as a amateur detective.

The year is 1909, and Artie Quick—an ambitious, unorthodox and inquisitive young Bostonian—wants to learn about crime. By day she holds down a job as a salesgirl in women’s accessories at Filene’s; by night she disguises herself as a man to pursue studies in Criminal Investigation at the YMCA’s Evening Institute for Younger Men.

Eager to put theory into practice, Artie sets out in search of something to investigate. She’s joined by her pal Theodore, an upper-crust young bachelor whose interest in Boston’s occult counterculture has drawn him into the study of magic. Together, their journey into mystery begins on Boston Common—where the tramps and the groundskeepers swap rumors about unearthly screams and other unsettling anomalies—but soon Artie and Theodore uncover a series of violent abductions that take them on an adventure from the highest corridors of power to the depths of an abandoned mass transit tunnel, its excavation suspiciously never completed.

Will Theodore ever manage to pull off a successful spell? Is Artie really wearing that men’s suit just for disguise or is there something more to it?  And what chance do two mixed-up young people stand up against the greatest horror Boston has ever known, an ancient, deranged evil that feeds on society’s most vulnerable?


Jeremy P. Bushnell is the author of two earlier novels with Melville House: The Weirdness and The Insides. He teaches writing at Northeastern University in Boston, and lives in Dedham, Massachusetts. He is also the cofounder of Nonmachinable, a distributor of optically interesting zines and artists’ books.

Bushnell (The Weirdness) seamlessly blends mystery, urban fantasy, and an exploration of gender identity into the kind of fun and fantastical ride that his readers have come to expect. Recommend to fans of TJ Klune and Kevin Wilson.” –Library Journal, STARRED review

”A supernatural crime thriller with a terrifying secret at the heart of an American institution. Bushnell weaves together a story of gender identity, adventure, and the things that go bump in the dark.” –Gizmodo

”Bushnell skillfully blends genres in this charming supernatural mystery set in 1909 Boston…Quick is a hugely endearing lead, and the solution to the mystery is likely to surprise even seasoned genre fans. This is an off-kilter delight.” — Publishers Weekly

”Bushnell’s third novel blends an atmospheric supernatural mystery with an intriguing exploration of gender identity… Bushnell keeps his fantastical elements light but believable… An entertaining urban fantasy.” — Kirkus

”Both an exploration of gender identity and a fast-paced adventure in a 1909 Boston not quite like the one we know, Relentless Melt is an exciting read with a compelling and deeply likeable protagonist.”—Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor

”A supernatural mystery—part Stranger Things, part Enola Homes, but very much itself… This book is way, way over the top—and is sure to delight its intended audience.” — firstCLUE