On an island that’s no more than a sandbar situated in the Gulf of Mexico stands a hotel with one bad rep. Over the years, the Jacaranda Hotel had been the epicenter of several gruesome deaths, starting with its original owners and eventually claiming both occupants and staff alike. The hotel’s skittish manager Sarah and long-term guest (and Irish nun) Sister Eileen are desperate for any help in stopping these grisly deaths.
The local authorities turn a blind eye. The former Republic (and now reluctant state) of Texas also ignores their repeated requests to send a Ranger to investigate. Padre Juan Miguel Quintero Rios, a former gunman turned man of God, however, receives Sister Eileen’s cry for help and makes his way to the Jacaranda.
Unsettling and creepy, Jacaranda, Cherie Priest’s latest novella in the Clockwork Century series, is a classic take upon a horror staple. This work is an outlier in her established universe of alt-hist steampunk zombie Civil War adventures, but fulfills its promise as a quick, chilling read.