This is Book One in a series called The Graveyard Queen. It was impossible for me to not want to read this. I LOVE graveyards. I always have. Thanks to this book, I now know that I’m a Taphophile!
Release Date: 26th April, 2011
Released By: Harlequin, MIRA imprint.
My father’s rules.
I’ve never broken them…until now.
My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
Amanda Stevens writes very well. I was drawn into the story immediately. She has chosen to tell a tale that is genuinely spooky, without the blood or gore that one might find in other books like this. There is a little, but nothing over the top – she prefers to creep her readers out in other more subtle ways. The way she describes things, like when ghosts are near Amelia – reaching out for her, touching her – mean that you can almost feel those ghostly hands on your skin as well.
I love to be scared, and this is the first book in a long time that has spooked me. The first ghost story in a long while that I enjoyed so much. It was simply delicious.
Amelia Gray is a character I felt like I could instantly connect with. That might be because we share a love of graveyards, or it might be because the author has done such a good job of writing Amelia. Maybe it’s a blend of the two. In any event, Amelia is a character I can relate to. It was nice to see a unique profession making it’s way into a novel, and the details that were interwoven into the story were fascinating. I felt like I learned a lot about graveyards and restorations, which renewed my interest in them.
The other characters were interesting as well, all with tainted past, with secrets and connections to other characters that get revealed over time. Devlin, the hero, and Amelia’s love interest, was an interesting choice for that role – he is damaged goods, and not at all your typical alpha male. It was nice to see someone a bit more complex in the male lead.
I really appreciated that the romance wasn’t a major part of the storyline. While Amelia does lust after Devlin, I didn’t feel like it detracted from the story. In fact it was almost like her attraction to him mimicked the attraction that ghosts have to the living. It’s certainly an unresolved romance, with the promise that more might develop in the second novel in the series. And I can’t wait to get my hands on that. There are several questions still to be answered, deeper mysteries to be solved, and more graveyards to explore.
I throughly recommend this novel. It’s a real page-turner. I loved it and will be searching out some of her other titles while I wait for book two of The Graveyard Queen to come out in November.