Another murder mystery pick this week – but after a forgotten classic last week, this week it’s a new release – and a debut at that.
Grave Expectations’s “detective” is Claire Hendricks – thirty something, a true crime fan and a medium. Yes really, a medium. She can see ghosts and one ghost in particular who follows her around – her best friend Sophie who has been haunting her since she was murdered when they were teenagers. Claire’s been booked as the entertainment at a family birthday party for one of her uni friends’ grandmothers. Except that at the party they find an unquiet ghost and set out to discover what happened with the two least unbearable members of the family to help them (neither of them are Claire’s uni mate) despite some scepticism.
I have written before about how I can never quite put my finger on what makes something with paranormal or supernatural elements work for for me and what doesn’t, but from the fact that I’ve picked this you’ve probably worked out that this one worked! I had a couple of issues with it, but they were minor ones. But basically this is a fun and funny cozy crime novel with a clever set up and a heroine with issues, and who I wished was a little bit less messy. But if this is the start of a series (and I hope it is) they’re minor quibbles that can be ironed out in the sequel.
This is Alice Bell’s debut and it’s already been picked by the Radio 2 book club, so hopefully it’ll be easy to get hold of – it’s a bargainous 99p on on Kindle as I write this, although it’s a bit more expensive on Kobo. My copy came from NetGalley – and I finished it just ahead of its release last week so I’ll be looking for it in the shops in the coming weeks.