Weldon Burge
Smart Rhino Publications (May 1, 2024)
Reviewed by Carson Buckingham

This author’s work is always worth anyone’s time, and Toxic Candy is no exception. It’s a highly diverse horror collection, bouncing from the end of the world, a hungry sea monster, to a fun take on The Lone Ranger, and so much more. Each is a little gem, deftly plotted, into which the reader voluntarily plunges to explore the engaging depths of storytelling at its finest.

Here are my favorites:

“A Less than Gratifying Vacation in Paris”—a story of bored rich women who take up unusual entertainment to pass the time.

“A Day at the Beach with the Gramthrottlemax Family”—Hilarious sci-fi—I loved it!

“Melvin and the Haunted Mansion”—an engaging story of a man who built his life around an amusement park. This one is my favorite.

“Hearing Mildred” is a darkly humorous take on whether sharp hearing is all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, silence is better…much better.

“The Conwright Trilogy”—I liked the three stories of this hitman so much that I’m hoping Mr. Burge will eventually write a full-length novel with Conwright as the main character.

Though these are my favorites, that doesn’t mean that the others aren’t terrific too. Burge’s writing reminds me of Bentley Little’s. Very casual and conversational and easy to dive into. His characters are so relatable and authentic that you’ve probably known people very like those he depicts.

This is a great way to spend a stormy night…or a sunny afternoon…or an early-morning blizzard. You can’t miss! And after you read this one, you’ll want to check out Harvester of Sorrow—his most excellent novel.

5 stars out of 5 stars.

About Carson Buckingham

Professionally, Carson Buckingham has made her way in life doing all manner of things, most of which involve arson. She is currently employed as a freelance writer on a work release program. In her spare time, she studies forensics, in hopes of applying her new knowledge to eluding the authorities more effectively the next time. She is originally from Connecticut, but now resides in Kentucky—and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her.