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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

The Groundskeeper Raking Up the Dead - Cedar Sanderson

The Groundskeeper: Raking Up the Dead
Sanderley Studios.
ASIN B08LR2NN39


I first encountered the works of Cedar in Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories, and after reading her piece there knew I had to track down and read something else from her pen. And this one came out just as I was looking to pick something of hers up to read. I was intrigued by this story from when I first heard it mentioned. Sanderson states:

“This book is dedicated to the Junior Mad Scientist, my pastel goth. May you find your happy place, dear heart.”

Written and dedicated to her own daughter the story is spun off from a chance real life event. The story is well written. It was a humorous read with a very dark twist. The story really grabs your attention and keeps you hooked. The book was released a week before Halloween, and it is a great story for that time of year. It is a quick read and leaves you desperate for more. 

The story follows Chloe as she is working at the Belleview Cemetery and Memorial Gardens. The job description was for a caretaker and to inquire within. Chloe was up for the job but soon found out that the description was a little nebulous and her responsibilities are constantly growing. She is determined to get the grounds in order. To clear the overgrowth, trim the verge, and clear the paths. What she had not expected was to be providing care for the residents. And her life has become a balancing act between the physical upkeep and the supernatural needs. And some of the residents are very needy. 

The story starts when Benny the resident ghoul comes looking for some help. He cannot sleep because one of the residents is crying all the time. And thus, begins our adventure. 

“The ghouls, wraiths, and ghosties had not been part of the job description. Or maybe they had, just not in so many words. The neatly printed sign next to the ornate gates had simply read: “Cemetery groundskeeper and caretaker needed. Inquire within.””

But back to Benny, he needs Chloe to help a lost crying green ghost. So he can rest a little more peacefully. And soon she is playing a Gothic Nancy Drew to help find out where the lost ghost belongs. After a trip to the library, a lesson on microfiche, an encounter with a ghost at the library and the resident animals there. Chloe seeks help from her boss Mr. Cruor. And his assistance proves more valuable than she could ever have imagined. But to find out how, you will need to read this excellent little novella.  

This story is well written. Great characters both alive and dead ones. Fun and yet with a serious edge. I really hope it is the beginning of a series because I want to know what else happens to Chloe and the residents we have encountered and those we have yet to meet at Belleview Cemetery. It is a place I hope we can return to in other stories again and again.

Books by Cedar Sanderson:
A Time To Die
Legion
Snow in Her Eyes
Warp Resonance
The Dwarf's Dryad
One-Eyed Dragon
Memories of the Abyss
Little Red-Hood and the Wolf-man
Stargazer
The Eternity Symbiote
Plant Life
Sugar Skull
Snow Angel
Inktail & Friends: A Coloring Book
The Twisted Breath of God
Voyageur's Cap
Fairy Little Sister
Milkweed
Mindflow

Pixie for Hire Series:
Pixie Noir
Trickster Noir 
Dragon Noir
Pixie for Hire: Omnibus Edition

Children of Myth Series:
Vulcan's Kittens 
The God’s Wolfling

The Tanager Series:
Jade Star
Tanager's Fledglings 

Witchward Series:
Possum Creek Massacre
… 

Illustrated by Cedar:
Something Wicked #15
Jormungandr's Venom (Fenris Unchained Book 3)
Hunted Behavior

Contributed to:
The Hearts' Enchantment
Calexit- The Anthology
Supernatural Streets
Something Wicked Anthology, Vol One
Something Wicked #15
Mythic Delirium Magazine Issue 0.4

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