Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: Of Grave Concern by Max McCoy

Description (from cover):

'In the Old West, legends die hard--and so do witnesses. But that won't stop psychic-turned-detective Ophelia Wylde from finding fresh graves, digging up clues, and catching wanted criminals--with a little help from the dead...

Dead men tell no lies...

The Civil War is over, and many young widows have turned to spiritualism to contact their husbands on 'the other side.' But Ophelia Wylde won't be fooled twice. After wasting her money on a phoney psychic, she decides if she can't beat 'em, join 'em. She leaves New Orleans and heads West, selling her services as a spiritual medium who speaks to the dead.

By the time she reaches Dodge City, business is booming. Except for a handsome but skeptical bounty hunter named Jack Calder, no one suspects Ophelia of running a con game--until an unfortunate 'reading' of a girl who's still living exposes her to a town full of angry customers. As punishment, the mob drags Ophelia to Boot Hill and buries her alive in a fresh grave overnight. That's when the dead start speaking. To her. For real. And for dead people. they've got lots to say...'

My thoughts:

This one was a little strange. Part cozy mystery, part historical and some paranormal. One moment you go from historical mystery to strange paranormal activity featuring demons and werewolves. Up until three quarters of the way through, it was a good story with not a lot of mystery to classify this one as a mystery, but then towards the end there were demons and human eating werewolves and it just got weird. It was almost as if the author got bored with the storyline and through in something that didn't quite fit to just to make the story somewhat more interesting. I enjoyed it until that part. The ending was sloppy, confusing and just weird. 

I really liked Ophelia's character though. She is a sassy woman who is not the typical Southern belle in 19th century Kansas. She is a con woman who uses her acting skills to pretend to speak to the dead to comfort grieving families in their darkest times. She is smart and clever and she has a knack for getting herself into trouble even if she has the best of intentions. All of a sudden, Ophelia goes from somewhat meddling in the arts of the dead, to actually hearing the dead speaking around her. 

I know that I keep repeating that this book was odd. I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Would I read the next in this series? Yes. Simply because of Ophelia's character and the setting is outside of my norm, but I enjoyed it. Hopefully, it won't be focused on fighting demons and werewolves and will focus more on a murder mystery. Like I stated before, there wasn't a mystery in this one to even correctly classify this book as a mystery. I would have labelled this one as historical paranormal fiction. If you're into the whole werewolf-demon thing, then pick this one up. If you are looking for a story with a plot line that makes sense, then skip this one. A great character can only take a book so far.

Overall Rating: 1.5

Title:  Of Grave Concern
Author:  Max McCoy
Series:  Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery #1
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  July 2, 2013
Pages:  304
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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