THE VISITOR by Amanda Stevens

The Visitor (Graveyard Queen, #4)
THE VISITOR by Amanda Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With this book, I’m happy to say that the Graveyard Queen series is back on track with me. The previous book was ho-hum, but THE VISITOR captures the intrigue and creepy goodness of the first two books in the series. Yay!

This time around, Amelia is hired to restore the puzzling Kroll Cemetery. Hidden away on private property for decades, the dilapidated old graveyard is full of headstones with strange inscriptions. What do they mean, and how do they relate to the tragic history of those buried there?

Amelia is honing her special gifts in this book and learning more about her family history, thanks to a new ghostly presence who’s haunting her. Alas, Devlin (Amelia’s love interest) continued to annoy me, but he didn’t have as big of a presence in this book. Clearly, he has issues that run deep. What is he hiding?

THE VISITOR is an enjoyable Southern Gothic/spooky mystery. Looking forward to the next book!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Mountain Story
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was surprised by this book. I was expecting a survival story, action/adventure, but it was so much more. Deeper, moving, and heartrending. The writing was lovely. Definitely a tale that sticks with you.

The book is written as a letter from Wolf to his son Daniel, as he prepares to leave for college. It’s been twenty years since Wolf was lost on the mountain with three other people, and not everyone returned home. Wolf feels that Daniel is old enough now to know the truth.

The Mountain Story isn’t just about surviving the harsh elements of nature, no shelter, going days with very little food or water, it’s about Wolf managing to survive his entire difficult life.

Compelling blend of coming of age, friendship, sacrifice, loss, suspense, and of course, survival. I was quite surprised at the big twist at the end!!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele
JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reader, I murdered him. With a tagline like that, how could I resist? I absolutely loved this book! JANE STEELE is a dark retelling of the Brontë classic, JANE EYRE. Granted, the original was already pretty dark, but JANE STEELE takes it to a whole new level.

Like me, Jane Steele is a huge fan of Jane Eyre, and in many ways her life mirrors that of her favorite character. Only, Miss Steele is a wee bit of a sociopath (hence the tagline), but in the best way possible! When she sees an injustice, she handles it in her own vigilante way.

The story follows Jane from her childhood days at Highgate House, to a dismal boarding school, to the rough streets of Victorian London, and eventually to her return to Highgate House, where Jane has come back to collect her due. Did I mention the body count along the way?

JANE STEELE is a beautifully written book, clever and captivating, with a nice blend of mystery, historical fiction, Gothic romance, suspense, and adventure. Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Death of a Pumpkin Carver (Hayley Powell Mystery)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a light, fun, and kinda silly Halloween-themed cozy mystery, the 8th book in the Haley Powell series. The author did a great job making this book feel stand-alone. I’m new to this series and felt like Haley was an old friend right away. She’s very funny and likable.

Haley writes a food column for the local newspaper, and she’s a divorced mom of two teenagers. When her deadbeat ex-husband Danny comes back to town, he brings trouble with him. His very odd uncle is found murdered in the cemetery, and Danny is the prime suspect.

While Haley and the other characters were a delight getting to know, the mystery itself was just okay. It took a third of the book before the crime took place, and afterwards there wasn’t much in the way of finding clues and figuring things out. In the end, I was surprised at who the murderer was though.

I enjoyed the Halloween fun going on throughout the book. Haley shares lots of pumpkin-based recipes in her newspaper column too. {Borrowed from the library.}

THE PROPHET by Amanda Stevens

The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3)
THE PROPHET by Amanda Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

THE PROPHET is the third installment in the spooky Graveyard Queen series. This time around, Amelia is back in Charleston and haunted by the ghost of a murdered police officer. He needs answers, and Amelia won’t find any peace until he gets his way. The mystery was good, though the pacing dragged a bit in places.

The second book in this series, THE KINGDOM, was my absolute favorite, and THE PROPHET had a hard time measuring up. I’m kinda done with Amelia pining over John Devlin. He needs to go, so she can get back to restoring cemeteries (the coolest job!) and developing her unique abilities. She needs her confidence back! While I did enjoy the surprising twists revealed at the end, overall I thought this one was just okay.

♦ Check out my thoughts on Book #0.5 >> THE ABANDONED

♣ Check out my thoughts on Book #1 >> THE RESTORER

♠ Check out my thoughts on Book #2 >> THE KINGDOM