Sunday 5 November 2023

My Ghoul - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 3

My Ghoul
The Groundskeeper Book 3
Sanderley Studios.

My Ghoul - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 3

This story released just before Halloween and I picked it up and began reading it immediately. It is an excellent story in a wonderful series. And a series that I hope will have many more volumes. 

What an excellent story. I have eagerly awaited other stories in this world since I read the first, Raking Up the Dead, the first story in this series was the first standalone work of Sanderson that I read. And not only did we get this volume but also The Hoodoo That You Do. Since then I have read stories in anthologies, novella’s and novels.  This is an amazing story! I love the characters, the world building, the concept and the execution.

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 to date I have not been disappointed in anything I have read from her. I was intrigued by this series from when I first heard it mentioned. The description of this volume states:

“Chloe Brandt got more than she bargained for when she took on the groundskeeper and caretaker position at the old cemetery of Belleview. Chloe is still learning just what her job duties at the big cemetery are, and how far they will take her. Just what mysteries are her responsibility? When the ghoul asks for help, she's willing to try...”

As soon as I finished this I put all three available in the series back in my ‘to be read’ pile, and plan to reread them back to back over my Christmas holidays.

In Raking Up the Dead, we follow Chloe as she is begins 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. In The Hoodoo That You Do part of her work role shifts to research and support. In this volume things take an all new twist. First Chloe brings a ghost home to the Cemetery with her to give him a place to rest. Second Benny the local ghoul sends an invite and Chloe and Mr. Cruor accept the invite, and the resulting investigation leads to more than a few surprises. When you add in a mysterious pile of clippings from a former teacher of Chloe’s and the research around them It all adds up to a more than a bit of excitement, and Chloe’s roles and training being expanded yet again. Mr. Cruor plans for physical training as well as book learning. I would love to know the titles of the books he pulled from his library to add to her further education. Even just a hint other than the one he asked about by name. 

I highlighted one passage while riding this book, that really made me think. 

““Ah.” Mr. Crour set his cup down, and leaned forward, looking into her eyes. “Once, a long time ago, it was accepted that alongside the physical harm a man can feel, there is also what was called a moral injury. The current science does not accept this as a mental illness, in the way they do post-traumatic stress, but the depth of a moral wound is no less shallow, Miss Brandt. In fact, a physical injury may be more readily overcome than one of the psyche alone.””

Those who have read the first story will recall she has a friend in the authorized section of the library, Mark. And a two cats that makes appearances from time to time. Esmerelda and Kung a monster black tomcat. We spend some time back there early in the story, but Chloe has a long list of questions for Mark the next time she sees him.

This story is masterfully written. The characters both alive and dead are great. It is a fun story and yet with a serious edge. And as the series progresses we learn more about Chloe, Mr. Cruor, and other of the residence at the cemetery, and the nearby surroundings. I really hope it is the continuation of what will become a long 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. Or who are brought in to cross their path. It is a place I hope we can return to in other stories again and again. Another amazing read from Sanderson’s pen. I highly recommend both the book and the whole The Groundskeeper Series!

Books by Cedar Sanderson:
A Time To Die
Snow in Her Eyes
Warp Resonance
The Dwarf's Dryad
One-Eyed Dragon
Memories of the Abyss
Little Red-Hood and the Wolf-man
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

The Groundskeeper Series:

Pixie for Hire Series:
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
The Haunted Library Anthology: Volume 1 
But Not Broken - Hope and Healing Book 2
Postcards From Mars - Postcard Stories Book 1
Space Cowboys - Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 4
Space Cowboys 2: Electric Rodeo - Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 5
Twisted Tropes
Steam-Powered Postcards - Postcard Stories Book 2
Space Marines - Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 6
Fanta-Fly Postcards: A Micro-Fiction Collection
Postcards from Foolz: A Micro-Fiction Collection
Falcons of Malta
Space Marines 2 - Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 9
Single Servings of Liberty - Postcard Stories Book 5
Tales From The Occupation: A Fae Wars Book 4

Books as Lilania Begley:
Slice of Pie

Sumire Series:

Bluehills Series:

Contributed to as Lilania Begley:
He Was Dead When I got There

Raking Up the Dead - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 1

The Hoodoo That You Do - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 2

My Ghoul - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 3

Raking Up the Dead - Cedar Sanderson - The Groundskeeper Book 1 Original Cover
(Original Cover)

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