[[caption-width-right:250:I wonder if it's a horror story?]]

->''The graves lay silently before me. The sleepers within the quiet earth did not rise up to speak to me, and I was grateful. This was my family now, and they made no demands I could not meet.''
-->'''The Bone Key'''

Mix Creator/MRJames, Creator/HPLovecraft, psycho-sexual themes, a heavy dose of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Statement_of_Randolph_Carter The Statement of Randolph Carter]], and what do you get? A series of short stories [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin chronicling the necromantic mysteries]] of one Kyle Murchison Booth. Taking place in an ambiguous [[WordOfGod between the wars]] setting in an equally ambiguous American city, this series by Creator/SarahMonette follows the adventures of Booth (just Booth. No one calls him ''Kyle''), as he relates his supernatural mishaps in anxious first person. Read along and watch the world fall apart all around him.

The series of shorts are all collected in ''The Bone Key'', with the exception of the most recent five, four of which have been collected into limited run for-charity chap-book called ''Unnatural Creatures''. The author has said that she intends to release another, larger anthology similar to that of ''The Bone Key'' when she has written enough short stories to properly fill it.
!! The Bone Key
# ''Bringing Helena Back''
# ''The Venebretti Necklace''
# ''The Bone Key''
# ''[[http://www.sarahmonette.com/wfm.html Wait For Me]]''
# ''Drowning Palmer''
# ''The Inheritance of Barnabas Wilcox''
# ''Elegy For A Demon Lover''
# ''The Wall of Clouds''
# ''The Green Glass Paperweight''
# ''Listening To Bone''

!! Unnatural Creatures
# ''[[http://www.sarahmonette.com/replacement.html The Replacement]]''
# ''The World Without Sleep''
# ''[[http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/monette_09_09/ White Charles]]''
# ''[[http://www.apex-magazine.com/the-yellow-dressing-gown/ The Yellow Dressing Gown]]''

!! Works not currently in a collection
# ''[[http://www.apex-magazine.com/to-die-for-moonlight/ To Die For Moonlight]]''
!!This series provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Guardians, in this case, but it's a given. This story is written by Creator/SarahMonette, after all. Compared to her [[Literature/DoctrineofLabyrinths other works]], Booth gets off light.
* AnachronismStew: Mostly avoided because of how nebulous the setting is, but one thing's for sure: [[http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#prefix=kyle&ms=false&exact=false Booth's a few decades too early to be named Kyle]].
* ArtifactOfDoom: So many.
* BackFromTheDead: What ''else'' do you think a horror story called ''Bringing Helena Back'' is going to be about?
* BlueBlood: Booth has "the sort of genealogy that passes in America for aristocratic," although he prefers not to think about his past and the Simmonses probably took all his money.
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: Brockstone. Booth seems to regard his old boarding school with more horror than ghosts, demons, and evil sorcerers.
* BrownNote: The driving force behind the plot of ''The Yellow Dressing Gown''.
* {{Buttmonkey}}: Booth.
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler: Helena]], although Booth isn't certain whether she's a DamagedSoul or really a MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil.
* CelibateHero: Light on the hero. Heavy on the celibate.
* CrapsackWorld
* CreepyBasement: Between their basement and the stacks, The Samuel Mather Parrington Museum has this in spades.
* DarkSkinnedRedhead: Miss Coburn. Playing to the trope, she's probably the most adventuresome person in the Parrington.
* DeadpanSnarker: Miss Coburn in spades.
* DeathByOriginStory: [[spoiler: Booth's parents.]]
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: [[spoiler: Booth's parents were apparently nice and loving people until they kicked it, and left him with a pair of abusive caretakers.]]
** [[spoiler: Booth's father was likely a kind, loving man, but Booth believes that his mother, Thekla, loved him only as a reminder of his father, as in ''The Bone Key.'' However, compared with his guardians, the Siddonses, Thekla is an angel.]]
* DysfunctionJunction: This trope[[spoiler:, consisting of DeathByOriginStory parents and abusive legal guardians,]] has left Booth unable to make lasting connections with other people, speak with any degree of confidence, or brave any kind of prolonged social interaction.
* DownerEnding: Most of them. [[spoiler: But none so much as ''Elegy for a Demon Lover''. By contrast,''The Wall of Clouds'' ends pretty well for most of the sympathetic characters, and ''White Charles'' is more bittersweet than downer-ish.]]
* EvilElevator: ''The Wall Of Clouds''
* EvilIsNotAToy
* EvilSorcerer: Booth could easily become one, if he doesn't watch himself. This is something of which he is eerily aware.
* EyelessFace: ''Wait For Me''.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Madeline Stanhope in ''The Venebretti Necklace''.
* GothicHorror: Influenced by rather than straight-up ''is'', but when taking major inspiration from Creator/MRJames, it's inevitable.
* HauntedFetter: [[MacGuffinTitle The Venebretti necklace]] is this to Madeline Stanhope's ghost.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Booth and Blaine. Kind of. Not really.
* HumanoidAbomination: [[spoiler: Helena from ''Bringing Helena Back'']] and Ivo from ''Elegy for a Demon Lover''.
* HornyDevils: Ivo is an incubus. If you've read the story's title-- "Elegy for a Demon Lover"-- you have a pretty good idea where this is going, but it's made more heartbreaking by the fact that [[spoiler: Ivo isn't coldly and deliberately stealing Booth's life force. In fact, part of his demonic instinct is an all-consuming love, and the only way to end his immortal parasitism is by essentially inflicting [[DeathByDespair fatal heartbreak]]]].
* IncompatibleOrientation: Poor Booth and Blaine.
* InhumanlyBeautifulRace: Incubi, judging by Ivo.
* InTheBlood: Family curses ''suck''.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Booth has literally no friends, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the occult.
* KidsAreCruel: ''Drowning Palmer''.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: The new introduction to the second edition of 'The Bone Key' includes a lengthy discussion covering each short story, written by the current senior archivist of Rare Books at the Parrington Museum, now that 'Dr Monette' has released the 'Kyle Murchison Booth Papers' to the public.
* LongTitle: ''The Necromantic Mysteries Of Kyle Murchison Booth''.
* LovecraftLite: Arguably.
* MacGuffinEscortMission: Booth goes on one in ''The World without Sleep''.
* MacGuffinTitle: ''The Bone Key'', ''The Venebretti Necklace'', ''The Green Glass Paperweight'', ''Listening to Bone'', and ''The Yellow Dressing Gown''.
* MagicIsEvil: It certainly hasn't made Booth's life any easier.
* MagneticMedium: Booth. Ghosts, ghouls, incubi, vampires, witches... you name it, Booth meets it.
* MementoMacGuffin: ''The Bone Key'' and ''The Green Glass Paperweight''.
* MineralMacGuffin: The titular Venebretti Necklace.
* {{Necromancer}}: Hmm, I wonder.
* NonMaliciousMonster: Ivo. [[spoiler: The child in ''Listening to Bone'' is just trying to get home. White Charles sinply wants to die. The vampires in ''The World Without Sleep'' are bloodthirsty only in the most literal sense.]]
* NothingIsScarier: The stacks.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: No touching at all, if Booth can help it. Notable exception in ''Elegy For A Demon Lover''.
* OurGhoulsAreCreepier: ''The Venebretti Necklace''.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: ''The World Without Sleep''.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: The ones in [[spoiler: ''To Die for Moonlight'']]. Their living conditions and attitudes seem more like thost stereotypically associated with hyper-repressed [[DysfunctionalFamily dysfunctional families]] than with a pack of instinct-driven wolves... most of the time.
* PlotArmor: Being the first person narrator, Booth will probably survive every story until the last one, the emotional trauma he incurs while doing so notwithstanding.
* SealedEvilInACan: Used several times, but ''The Green Glass Paperweight'' and ''The Venebretti Necklace'' stand out.
* SlidingScaleOfGenderInequality: Though one of the driving ambitions behind this series was an attempt to fix the myriad of problems (notably racism and sexism) found within Lovecraft, almost all of the female characters are ''still'' evil ghosts. With notable exceptions-- ''The Venebretti Necklace'' (sort of), ''The Replacement'' (which could be interpreted as specifically addressing the issue of having an endless string of female victim/ghost characters), and ''The World Without Sleep''-- the series tends to score between a 1 and a 4 on the scale, depending on the story in question.
* SupernaturalFiction: Well, duh.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: ''The Green Paperweight''.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: Booth bitterly regrets reading some of the books he has, and worries what will happen when [[GoMadFromTheRevelation his vow not to put that knowledge to use fails]].
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Where Booth got the knowledge [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow he so regrets having]]. In one case, it's apparently so bad that Booth refuses to reveal the name of the book ''to the reader''.
* UnexpectedInheritance: ''The Inheritance of Barnabas Willcox'' (duh) and ''The Bone Key''.
* UnreliableNarrator: Booth sure hates and is jealous of Helena, huh? Good thing she's definitely evil.
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler:''The Venebretti Necklace'', ''The Replacement''.]] Arguably inverted in ''White Charles''.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Booth certainly couldn't tell you. He feels it in ''Elegy for a Demon Lover''... but [[spoiler: contact with an incubus gives you amnesia, and he's forgotten the affair by ''The Wall of Clouds'']].
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Ivo's are "not merely vivid blue"; they are "intense, blazing, as if they were lit from within," "full of fire and darkness," and in possession of "opalescent brilliance."
* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost: You look like you've just ran up three flights of stairs to avoid seeing a ghost!