Graveyard Queen, Book #1
By Amanda Stevens
Author’s Website: http://amandastevens.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Amelia Gray has lived with the reality of ghosts since she was nine years old. That’s when she saw one for the first time. Since then she has had to live by her father’s strict rules. Rules that will keep her safe. However, one of the rules was to never tell her mother about the ghosts. Keeping secrets from her mom all these years has put a wedge between them. The two get along fine, but they would be a lot closer if her mother knew her secrets.
Amelia is an adult now and works as a cemetery restorer. She takes run-down and neglected cemeteries and revitalizes them. Her job has taken her to Charleston, South Carolina currently where she is tasked with restoring one of the more sinister cemeteries she’s ever encountered, Oak Grove. And, shortly after starting to work there, bodies start showing up in the graves. Bodies that don’t belong to the graves where they’re found.
During the police investigation, Amelia meets Detective John Devlin. She feels a strong connection to him, but he’s haunted by ghosts of his wife and child and doesn’t even know it. Devlin is the first man that Amelia feels attracted to in recent memory, but to give in to her desires would mean breaking one of her father’s most important rules. Keep your distance from those that are haunted … they can’t be trusted.
Amelia knows she needs to stay away from Devlin, but she may be the only one that can decipher the clues that could lead them to a murderer. And, what happens when someone that has lived her life by following the rules, finally lets go?
I wasn’t sure if this book would be something I would actually like. It’s definitely off the beaten path and it’s nothing like anything else I’ve read before. And, that’s saying a lot considering how many books I’ve read over the years!
This book is from a paranormal romance imprint, MIRA. However, I don’t think there is near enough romance in this book to qualify for that genre. There is plenty of mystery and intrigue throughout to keep you guessing though. And, there is an abundance of paranormal aspects as well. I changed my mind on whom was behind the murders so many times I lost count, and I only suspected the real killer for a short moment!
I found the pace of the story to be a bit slow. It was easy enough to read, but was also too easy to put down. I wish it had held my interest more throughout. However, the last 50 pages, give or take, were definitely the best part of the book! They took the story from being a ho-hum easily forgotten about novel to a book that I didn’t want to put down. It also left me contemplating continuing the series, which I didn’t think I’d be considering when I was reading the earlier parts of the book. I liked this novel, but I didn’t love it. I think this could turn out to be an entertaining series, and maybe even have some romance later down the line. Only time will tell!