Move Over, Sookie

A Reader's Respite is more than a little smitten with Amelia Gray, the heroine of her new mystery-slash-paranormal novel, The Restorer.  Amelia, you see, isn't your normal run-of-the-mill cemetery restorer, although this isn't for lack of trying.  Amelia sees dead people.  She can't help it.  Every time she looks around there are the dead people who, for various odd reasons, find themselves stuck in this world unable to move on.

You can't help but feel sorry for Amelia.  After all, she didn't ask for annoying ability.  What she does have, though, are the rules her father gave her when she first discovered this odd ability as a child:

  1. Never acknowledge the dead. If you do, they'll feed off your energy like parasites, slowly draining your life away.
  2. Never stray too far from hallowed ground, you're safe there.
  3. Keep your distance from people who are haunted.  They are a terrible threat and can't be trusted.
  4. Never, ever tempt fate.
Simple rules, really.  But for Amelia those rules have prevented her from having any kind of a normal life.  Still, she finds happiness in her job as a respected cemetery restorer and has made a happy, if isolated, life for herself.

But when a murder occurs in a cemetery Amelia is working on, she meets Detective John Devlin, a man haunted by the deaths of his wife and child, the rules go out the window and Amelia is faced with the consequences.  Big consequences.

This novel, the first of a new series called The Graveyard Queen, is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous paranormal teeny-bopper craze that's permeated bookstores everywhere since the Twilight Series hit town.  This is a novel for grown-ups.  And while we wouldn't call it dark, it does have shades of gray.  Amelia is a strikingly honest character, a young woman who has shouldered an awkward burden - this isn't a trait that encourages a personal life, after all.

The murder mystery Amelia finds herself drawn into is no less compelling than Amelia's relationship with the haunted, broody and mysterious Detective Devlin.  The choices she must make are difficult ones and her happiness - perhaps even her very life - is at stake.

So yay for a new series that has such a promising start!  Move over Sookie Stackhouse, there's a new game in town.


Fire away!