Author: Amanda Stevens
Publication: Mira; Original edition (April 24, 2012)
Description: My name is Amelia Gray.
I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.
In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.
Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.
My Thoughts: This third book in the Graveyard Queen series was filled with the same Gothic creepiness that infused the first two volumes. If you haven't read the first two books in the series, you might want to stop reading now and quickly find yourself copies of The Restorer and The Kingdom because this story begins shortly after the events of The Kingdom.
Amelia is back in Charleston. She quickly gets back involved in the life of John Devlin. John is a Charleston police detective that she met during The Restorer. They had started a romance but Amelia ended it because John was still being haunted by his dead wife and daughter. Losing Miriama and Shani left him feeling both grief and guilt. Seeing ghosts herself, Amelia had been raised by his father to never have anything to do with a haunted man.
Getting close to Devlin, allowed other ghosts to come to her too. In the mythology of this story, ghosts are like "parasites drawn to our energy, feeding off our warmth. If they know you can see them, they'll cling to you like blight. You'll never be rid of them. And your life will never again be your own." The most persistent and least ghostlike of the ghosts that haunt Amelia is Robert Fremont. He, Devlin, and Tom Gerrity all graduated from the police academy together. He and Devlin were rivals for the affection of Devlin's dead wife. He wants Amelia to find out who murdered him. Amelia is also haunted by and sympathetic to Shani who was Devlin's four-year-old daughter.
Her efforts to find Robert Fremont's muderer and find a way to send Shani to her rest lead Amelia to explore a lot of the ancient African beliefs of the Charleston area. She has to deal with spells, and potions, and magical visitors. She also manages to learn a lot about the relationships between Devlin, Fremont, Gerrity, and Ethan Shaw. Shaw is another forensic anthropologist and the son of a paranormal investigator who has been acting as a mentor to Amelia.
As Amelia untangles the twisted relationships between all the players and delves more into the magic around her, the creepy atmosphere gets even more intense. This was an excellent mystery with wonderful paranormal aspects. I recommend it to fans of ghost stories.
The night went deadly silent. Everything in the garden stilled except for that coil of mist. I watched, mesmerized, as it slithered toward me, twisting and writhing like a charmed cobra. The tension humming along my nerve endings was unbearable, as if the lightest touch could shatter me.I received this book from MIRA via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.