The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki
The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. This subject contains information from the Expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. Cruelty is a short story by American author C. J. Henderson and the first in the Arkham Detective Agency series.


Private Detective Frank Nardi is called by one of his clients, the world-renowned Miskatonic University, to resolve a situation involving a mysterious and dangerous stranger who has gained unauthorised access to their Exhibit Museum's new Egyptian display. Despite a horrific encounter which leaves Nardi's partner dead, he manages to secure the safety of the University.


  • Frank Nardi, a private investigator specialising in supernatural cases.
  • Harold Clemmens, the president of Miskatonic University.
  • Tony Balnco, one of Frank's partners in the Arkham Detective Agency.
  • The Stranger, a magically-powerful interloper with unclear goals.
  • The Hacker, a man who gains access to the University's security network.

Behind the Mythos[]

Cruelty was written by C. J. Henderson shortly before his death in 2014. It was first published in the compilation Arkham Detective Agency in 2017, and has since also received an ebook release.

Mythos References[]

  • The story is set in Miskatonic University, Arkham, an institution created by H. P. Lovecraft himself.
  • Frank Nardi makes reference to "the enclaves of fishfolk all up and down the Massachusetts coast," a clear nod to the Deep Ones featured in "The Shadow Over Innsmouth."
  • Although never explicitly stated, the Stranger is heavily implied to be Nyarlathotep; a man of apparently Middle-Eastern descent, after Nardi calls him "one goat-sucking son'va bitch," the Stranger replies with "Now I suppose I have a thousand and one names."