Jen Rasmussen is one of my two constant and fantastic critique partners. I read the first draft of Ghost in the Canteen and loved it even in its protean state.
That said, I am also a reviewer for Chapter 16, the literary website of the Tennessee Humanities Council. I read a lot of books for them and for myself and write about them.
I have read horror all my life, from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Wilkie Collins to Charlaine Harris and Stephen King. Jen’s novel and her heroine, Lydia Trinkett, hold their own in this genre. In terms of voice, which Jen calls “dark snark,” it raises the bar.
The plot is intricate, the demons satisfyingly evil, and the imbalance of baking cupcakes for PTA with one hand and fighting off biting baby spirits with the other is fabulous.
She ties the bundle off with a bow and best of all puts more books in the pipeline for our reading pleasure, unlike other series writers who shall remain loathed but unnamed.
So step aside, Sookie, there’s a new series in the netherworld. If you don’t believe me, check out the first pages on Amazon and that Newfoundland dog.
47. Ghost in the Canteen, Jen Rasmussen
46. Quiet, Susan Kain
43-45. Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem, Lauren Oliver
42. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
39-41. Mistborn, Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson
37. The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson
36. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler
35. Seraphina, Rachel Hartmann
34. Under Magnolia, Frances Mayes
33. A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
32. Old Filth, Jane Gardam
31. Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
30. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
29. Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
28. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
27. The Gift of Wings, Mary Henley Rubio
26. Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, Bohumil Hrabal
20-25. The Comfort of Muddy Saturdays, The Lost Art of Gratitude, The Charming Quirks of Others, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, Alexander McCall Smith
19. The Homesman, Glendon Swarthout
18. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
17. The Hollow Hills, Ransom Riggs
14-16. Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, Veronic Roth
8-13 44 Scotland Street, The Sunday Philosophy Club, Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, The Careful Use of Compliments, Alexander McCall Smith
7. The Blythes Are Quoted, L.M. Montgomery
6. Moonkind, Sarah Prineas
5. The Goldfinch, Donna Tart
4. The Golden Day, Ursala Dubosarsky
2-3. The Haunted Hotel, The Queen of Hearts, Wilkie Collins
1. The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
5. The Fellowship of the Ring, JRR Tolkein
1-4. Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Rilla of Ingleside, LM Montgomery