Genre: urban fantasy. I love the covers for this series.
As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead – an ability that comes at a cost. After her last few cases that cost is rising. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she's always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a lot more up close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, Agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.
But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won't have a life to remember at all...
Together Alex and her best friend Rianna McBride are starting a real detective agency with a real office this time: Tongues of the Dead. It is not much of an office yet, and needs a lot of work to make it presentable, but the best part is the rent: it is free, payment for a job done by Alex.
Alex’s eyesight is almost gone now, and she has not been able to help clients with raising shades for a while now, but every now and then she really needs to use her magic, or else the magic will find something to raise on its own, and that is never a good thing.
Alex and Rianna are on their way to meet Holly at the Eternal Bloom for lunch, when they are almost witnessing a suicide. The strange thing is, the ghost of the victim denies that he wanted to commit suicide, which gives Rianna the idea to give their brand new business card to the detective in charge to give to the widow. They will be able to investigate the case and find out if it is a murder or a suicide. Fae magic cannot make a person commit suicide, so why would the guy have jumped? Raising his shade will give the answer to that.
When the widow does appear in the office, Alex gets an unpleasant surprise: the woman is wearing cold iron, and belongs to Humans First Party. And she is highly pregnant, and being this upset is very bad for her health. She doesn’t really believe in Alex’ powers, but the police have ruled suicide, and she does not believe that.
When Alex raises the shade, they get a nasty surprise: the shade cannot remember anything from the last three days of his life, until the moment he died. And that is just not possible. So when everything is ruled out, there might just be a serial killer on the loose. Alex will need all the help she can get from Death and from Falin to figure it out, and to save the next victims. And possibly even Death himself …
I absolutely enjoyed this third book in the series. I enjoy the parts with Death, and how he wants to help Alex but can’t, and how Alex learns more and more about the soul catchers and their world. Very fascinating.
The mystery part was very good and original, and I just loved everything about it.
The Winter Queen does not stop trying to get Alex to join her court, she even makes Falin give her something to drink in Faery, to try to get a reaction. And when Alex does, she is really not happy with what happens to her. She can not use that in her daily life, especially when the Fae are not all that welcome among the humans anymore.
Tamara, Alex’ coroner friend feels left out, but Alex cannot tell her Holly’s secret and why they have to have lunch in the Eternal Bloom all the time. She won’t expose Tamara. But Tamara has secrets of her own, and she needs Alex and Holly to be with her.
Roy the ghost is a big help, even though he is pouting too much to my taste. I like the brownie, I would love to see more of her in the next book. And to find out more about the property Alex inherited in Faery.
With Grave Memory Kalayna Price has put herself firmly on my autobuy list, and I am looking forward to more books in this series, and others. I totally recommend this to all urban fantasy lovers. You will get something very original and attention grabbing.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian