The Haunted Pub is the newest release by Melanie Tushman, who is known for her GLBTQIA novels. The Haunted Pub is a bit of a departure from the majority of her novels, and it’s a nice little tale.
Fizz has just been tossed out of his house, has 20 pounds to his name, and nowhere to go. Fortunately his cousin Ginger works in a pub and happens to have a room for Fizz. It’s a room that he’ll have to himself. At least he’s the only human occupant of the room.
Fizz is struggling with some serious mental illness, and it seems to make him an easy target for the nasty, evil ghost inhabiting the top floor of The Queen Anne’s Revenge. The room Fizz ends up in. The ghost begins siphoning Fizz’s energy, gaining strength and losing patience.
We’re introduced to the other human occupants of the pub, Ginger, who happens to be Fizz’s cousin. Ryan, another denizen of the pub who has a roaring crush on Ginger. Matt, the resident cook, and Sammy, the angry twink. We also meet Ash, lead singer of a punk band that meets up in the bar.
As the entity takes more and more control of Fizz, the haunting in other places of the pub get worse, until Fizz is possessed. And that’s when all the horror comes to a head.
I can’t really go into much more detail of the plot without giving everything away, but I enjoyed The Haunted Pub. It was a fun, queer novel, and had some good characters. I wasn’t super keen on how Fizz was handled. In the beginning he was portrayed as being almost paralyzed by anxiety and fear, but after the encounter with the ghost, all his mental illness was gone. Life just doesn’t work that way, and mental illness can’t be flipped off like a switch. All the romances between everyone who lives in the pub was a little contrite, and completely unrealistic. It is a paranormal novel though, so I suppose in some other alt universe things like that could happen.
Anyway, I liked it, and I think that while it has a niche audience, it could be well received by that audience. Queer romance with ghost stories aren’t for everyone, but you really should give The Haunted Pub a shot.
The Haunted Pub
Publisher: Less Than Three Press; 2 edition (April 29, 2016)
Robin is a semi-coherent, almost sentient being. She has some strange ideas, and some even stranger friends. Disabled, queer, agnostic, accident-prone & other adjectives.
She loves music, and talks about new releases from bands frequently. She also enjoys going to shows to recap them, and listening to albums by bands that "mainstream" music isn't interested in, because they're often the best music out there.
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as @wyrdrobin to see what other things I have to say!