My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have definitely been in the mood for ghost stories, and Midnight in the Graveyard, the first anthology from Silver Shamrock Publishing, delivers the ghostly goods! This anthology was edited by Kenneth W. Cain and it arrived in the first monthly book box offered from the publisher. So happy I subscribed!
“Devil’s Dip” by Shannon Felton is a devilishly delightful start to a book full of hauntings both familiar and unfamiliar. “Tug O’ War” by Chad Lutzke chilled me to the bone with its shocking cautionary ending. Sometimes characters in these stories confront and survive their guilt and worst fears, but other times, they are pulled into the dark forever for their sins. Occasionally, I worried the stories were becoming too familiar and too rote, but the next one always surprised me with the unexpected. “The Glimmer Girls” by Kenneth McKinley is a revealing fictionalization of a real post-World War I labor crime I turned to Wikipedia immediately after I finished to learn more about. “The Putpocket” by Lee Mountford fully immerses the reader in 1850s and 1860s London. “The Cemetery Man“ by John Everson is disturbingly sexy about why you shouldn’t have sex in a graveyard. “Last Call at the Sudden Death Saloon” by Allan Laverone threatens one horror, and reveals an even more disturbing one. “Join My Club” by Somer Canon is very short and very affecting. I would have enjoyed more of the weirdness and play with form that Kenneth W. Cain brings to “Dog Days,” but the one-two punch of “Haunted World” by Robert McCammon and “Ghost Blood” by Kelli Owen is alone worth the price of admission. Several stories made me cry and the crisp coldness of “Portrait” by Kealan Patrick Burke which ends the anthology will linger in my mind for a long time.
Next up: reading several novels published by Silver Shamrock Publishing in 2019, including novels by some of the authors included in Midnight in the Graveyard. I’m also looking forward to the next anthology in the series: Midnight in the Pentagram. Yikes!