Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches, #2)” as Want to Read:
Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The Borden Dispatches #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  160 reviews
From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citize
Paperback, 434 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Roc
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chapelwood, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mathew Whitney I don't think it is necessary, but it may take a while to understand the relationship between the main characters or even why Lizzie Borden would be…moreI don't think it is necessary, but it may take a while to understand the relationship between the main characters or even why Lizzie Borden would be involved at all without having read the first book.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  905 ratings  ·  160 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Althea Ann
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
In response to the first in this series, 'Maplecroft,' my friend wrote: "I assume, however, there's a sequel because the big "Lizzie Borden vs. Cthulhu" build-up was not really satisfied. ... I'm definitely looking forward to the next one."

I have to reveal that this book might not really satisfy those looking for the Borden vs. Cthulhu Boss Fight, either.

Thirty years after the events of 'Maplecroft,' Lizzie Borden is living a life of quiet isolation, ha
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I almost gave this four stars, but ultimately couldn't. I think I wanted to love this book much more than I actually ended up doing. Pacing-wise, the story drags---I can perhaps see why someone else might read it as a sort of slow-building terror, but I just ended up bored. Parts of it read like it was meant to connect to another series (not "The Borden Dispatches", some other series, starring Inspector Simon Wolf and his parent organization). I haven't researched Cherie Priest's other books, so ...more
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Just like book one, it was deliciously fun and chock full of creepy weirdness. But it lost a star at the end. One final event just really made the ending less fulfilling for me. You'll know when you read it. Just felt kind of out of the blue and unfair to the reader.

Maybe we'll get some more though, since this book was supposed to be the last but ended just open enough for potential future entries.
Anna's Herding Cats
Aug 20, 2015 marked it as eventual-reviews
8/23--Loving this one. It's so...curious. Very different writing voice where everything almost sounds like journal entries. It's working for me though.

This cover! Total #Covergasm And pretty good so far. Interesting voice.

Reviewing for herding cats & burning soup.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I liked the first volume as it introduced many interesting ideas and I was curious to discover this second novel. I must say that I enjoyed this volume a little more than the last one, which was a pleasant surprise.

20 years have passed since the end of the previous novel and Lizzie is more alone than ever in her mansion. Nance has disappeared without a trace, Emma is gone as well as well as the dear doctor we had learned to get to know. Everyone thinks she’s
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lovecraft
Storage Room Six is TERRIFYING.
Ian Mathers
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, rt
This is the kind of sequel that some fans of the original will tell you is not as fun; there's no chance of getting the band back together, for various reasons, and Priest refuses to distort either the story or the characters in order to just serve up more of the same. By which I mean, it's 30 years later and Lizzie has been living quietly by herself for most of that time, not spending her time hunting monsters. There are no sudden resurrections of beloved past characters, and while the relation ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first thing I had to do to sort my thoughts regarding Chapelwood is to stop comparing it to Maplecroft.
With that out of the way, you could see why this story is special. And yes, different. First, where else can you find sixty or so year old protagonists? Since this book takes place thirty years after the events in Maplecroft, both Lizzie and Inspector Wolf are much older than you are used to in fiction.
As in the previous book, there are more point-of-views; each chapter features a differen
A disappointment after the wonderfully creepy Maplecroft. The relationships between the characters had less depth, the characters themselves were more thinly drawn, the first person narration was frequently clunky (and I dearly wished to excise the phrase (view spoiler) from the book), and the historical Lizzie Borden story was so far from central to the plot that it felt an unnecessary addendum. Perhaps most damningly, I--the biggest scaredy-cat of my ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was actually better than the first book in this series, Maplecroft. It is set 30 years after the events of Maplecroft. All the questions left hanging in the first book were not answered in this second one. But that really did not matter in the end. This was a good stand alone story and touched many of my old stomping grounds. I grew up less than 45 minute from Lilydale, NY which is still a spiritualist community going strong. I currently live about 2 hours North of Birmingham AL, the l ...more
The first book of the series was amazing and this would have been too, if it didn't stumble into some social issues C.Priest was unable to handle properly. If you like lovecraftian horror and/or stories of Lizzie Borden you're probably going to enjoy this.

We all know what a raging racist H.P.L. was. I think it's smart writing when authors write cultists as racists and white angry men. It makes narrative sense and it serves as a subtle critique of Lovecraft's racism and prejudices. So, I find it
Baal Of
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, weird
While I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first, it still made a very good selection for a plane trip. The story moved a bit slowly, taking its time to build up. The switching between point of view characters was handled very well (in sharp contrast to the Sherlock Holmes And The Servants Of Hell that I read a few weeks back). Priest uses this book as a way to explore themes of bigotry and racism, tying the Ku Klux Klan directly to the cult that is attempting to contact the eldritch hor ...more
David Biondi
I'm really digging these books. Priest is an amazing writer and she really puts the time and effort to make the journal entries in these book seem authentic. Everything from sayings, to grammar, respectfulness, and politeness are covered. Oh and obviously the book it self is good. Can we expect any less? It follows along a similar vein as maplecroft with a few changes. I really liked the ending of this book and I can't wait to see how the series turns out!
Leliel Mitsukai
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listened to both Maplecroft and this via Audible. Much slower than reading but enjoyable in its own way.
In the realm of delightfully spooky reads, Cherie Priest is undeniably the master. I appreciate the care she takes with the history of the setting, doubly so in this one as I'm Birmingham born and raised.
Chapelwood by Cherie Priest Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it reads just fine as a stand alone.
Set roughly 30 years after the events that take place in Book 1 (Maplecroft), Lisbeth Borden is finding retirement lonely and boring. She orders books and papers, adopts feral cats, and keeps up an on going letter to her now dead sister Emma. Then the odd and gruesome events of Birmingham, Alabama catch her eye. Then an Inspector Wolf contacts her and asks her to join him on his investigatio
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I was a little worried about Chapelwood, thinking perhaps it would suffer as many 2nd in a series stories do. Instead, I think that it was the better written of the two, and is the story that the author actually wanted to tell, but she was obliged to tell the first in order to set up characters.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at

Another great book in The Borden Dispatches series. For me, this one had even more tension than the first one.

Detective Wolf has aged as well, settling even more into his large body, which does not do well in the southern heat. He ends up in Alabama because his long time friend, who happens to be a priest, is killed on the front steps of his church in the middle of the day. Det. Wolf feels that it is somehow connected to the supernatural elements that h
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-grade, fantasy, horror
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I hadn’t intended to review Chapelwood for Smart Bitches, but as soon as I told my fellow Bitches that I was reading a book in which Lizzie Borden fights Lovecraftian monsters with an axe, something really alarming happened. Their eyes got really big and they started drooling and tentacles sprang forth and reached out towards the book that was inconveniently located in my hands, and they gibbered, “GIMMIEGIMMIEGIMMIE.” So clearly there’s some overlap bet
Brendan Coster
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I need to stop reading her books. All her books have the subjects I want to read, with such promise, and great ideas but with no execution.

The whole True Americans, as cult and klan members (more or less each), taking over the local government read so much like Trump taking the presidency so as to be deeply disturbing. Problem is, it was the most cthonic and disturbing part of the story!

2 stars. It was okay, as many of her books are o-kay. If you itemed out what actually takes place in Chapel wo
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Priest's writing, and this was an excellent, creepy novel that kept me turning the pages!

It's 30 years after the events in Maplecroft, and Lizbeth Andrews (Borden) has mostly retired from the world... except for her research, including reading newspapers from various other areas. And now, events in Birmingham, Alabama, start sounding a bit too familiar...

I think it is safe to say that the menace is Lovecraftian, and that the Elder Ones seem to be revealing their will via math.
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
5 stars for sheer fun - from a reader who is somewhat more than average fond of Lovecraftian things (much more so than of anything actually authored by Lovecraft).

This story takes place 30 years after the events of Maplecroft, and thus the cast and the world have changed a little bit. Some might find this disappointing - I thought it worked well. Lizbeth Borden is a tough old lady (who seems to be acquiring many cats, as time passes).

(I didn't really care for Cherie Priest's steampunky Bonesha
Sep 07, 2015 added it
Shelves: fiction, horror
A satisfying, if slightly less compelling, sequel to Maplecroft, Chapelwood takes place in the 1920s in Birmingham, Alabama, where Lizbeth Andrew's presence is requested by her old friend Inspector Wolf after a string of murders that hint toward the supernatural. I loved what Priest was doing with her setting here, and there were several new characters with whom I wished we had gotten better acquainted -- principally our final girl, Ruth Gussman, whose grit and will to survive resonates with Liz ...more
Maria Kramer
Lizzie Borden is back! Thirty years after the events of "Maplecroft", Lizzie is called back to action by inspector Simon Wolf to look at a rash of axe murders in Alabama that seem to relate to a mysterious church in the woods.

This volume is still thoroughly enjoyable - but not as exciting as "Maplecroft." The action takes a looong time to get going. The florid writing style is still in effect, possibly even more so than the last book. And it's still kind of irritating. You don't get to see many
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully creepy, very slow reveal, new characters not in Maplecroft, it is 30 years later after all and folks have died. This story is told with alternating POV per chapter written either as first person letters or journal entries. This type of style usually feels extra removed from the action, but it works well here. But it is a little slow reveal and Lizzie is fairly removed from a lot of it. Someone mentioned she is more a side character and I have to agree.
This won't be for everyone, but
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, horror
If you've been missing your dose of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, this book is for you. It has long internal monologues, purple prose and not much action until the end, it's a slow starter. While in the form, HPL could have never written this book with its sympathetic minorities, evil Klansmen, wife beaters and strong female characters, Priest is a 21st century author. The ending is pretty good, indeed almost axe-kicking and the series title, The Borden Dispatches, is true in more ways than one.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ng
Received a free copy from NetGalley

Really enjoyed this squeal. After 30 years Lizzie Borden is still a badass.

Priest does a good job of managing the epistolary throughout the squeal. The creepiness factory was on point just like the first. The church and darkness freaked me out the most at the end.

Would I read another book by this author: Yes!
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Just okay. I liked the first one better, but the format still didn't work for me. I have a hard time connecting with the characters, despite their close narratives. It feels too distant somehow. I appreciated some of the themes, but the plot and resolution were very bland to me. I probably won't read any subsequent books in the series.
Justin Robinson
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as the first one, but it does end very well. Should Priest ever continue the series, I'll be reading every single one.
Kelly McDonough
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is extremely well written. The horror is not so much from traditional "scary" elements, but from people themselves. The way some human beings treat others. Written, or at least published, (according to my copy) the year before our previous predicament of a president was elected. The racism and nationalism reflected in the book felt at times prescient of our current struggle. The horror part for me was realizing this has all been done before, and yet it is happening again. While reading ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 May 22, 2015 07:20AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ghost Ocean
  • Forest Ghost: A Novel of Horror and Suicide in America and Poland
  • Lost Girl
  • The Society of Blood (Obsidian Heart #2)
  • Sabella, or, The Bloodstone
  • House of Mystery, Volume 4: The Beauty of Decay
  • Boneyard (Deadlands, #3)
  • The Shadow of the Soul (The Dog-Faced Gods, #2)
  • Of Noble Family (Glamourist Histories, #5)
  • The Ammonite Violin & Others
  • The Great Game (The Bookman Histories, #3)
  • By the Blood of Heroes (The Great Undead War, #1)
  • The Havoc Machine (Clockwork Empire, #4)
  • Stone Mad (Karen Memory, #2)
  • What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre
  • Chimera (Parasitology, #3)
  • iZombie, Vol. 4: Repossession
  • Children of Lovecraft
See similar books…
CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the ...more

Other books in the series

The Borden Dispatches (2 books)
  • Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches, #1)
“Father, forgive me—for I know precisely what I’m doing.” 1 likes
“Besides, American ought to be a good thing, the kind of thing that brings everybody together instead of deciding who’s good enough to be one and who isn’t.” 0 likes
More quotes…