In his latest novel, Selzer (Play Me Backwards, 2014, etc.) brings together ghost tours, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the pitfalls of online dating in a darkly humorous collision.
Growing up above the family mortuary, white, 18-year-old Megan Henske finds it difficult to relate to anyone unacquainted with death. An undying love of the OED, a penchant for writing freaky Disney villain fan fiction, and an online girlfriend who won’t even send a photo don’t help matters. So when Cyn, a former babysitter, calls with a gig as a guide on a Chicago ghost bus tour, Megan seizes the chance for a change of pace. In no time, she is certain that she has finally found her people, admiring the older white girl for her originality and bonding with Ricardo, a history-loving Latino who is also bi like Megan. Although entranced by her new life as a murdermonger (“one who deals in murder, or in murder stories”), Megan hesitates to help Cyn with her plan to increase ghost sightings by euthanizing elderly volunteers at tour stops, and when a guide from a competing tour company is murdered, Megan has no idea whom she can trust as it becomes clear that she could be next. Selzer has outdone himself with a narrative brimming with delightfully macabre irreverence, mystery, and the growing pains of self-acceptance.
Fascinating history, witty Disney references, and a dash of homicide; what more could anyone want? (Fiction. 14 & up)