Cremains of the Day (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 293 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N4VUGWR
There’s no reverse on the hearse . . .
For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn’t have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .
She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie’s friend Gina’s shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she’s receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that’s enough to cast a pall over anyone’s day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess—before she finds herself in a grave situation.
The Graver family business is funerals, how appropriate, but Tallulah Graver wanted out so she married Waldo Phillips III. While staying married to him kept her in a nice lifestyle and away from dead people she could stand Waldo one more minute and left him with almost everything and moved into the apartment over her family’s funeral home. To survive on her own she works there part time and now cleans houses like the one she used to live in. That is until she finds one of her clients stabbed to death. Add to that she finds her ex tasered behind her friend Gina’s shop and there is a flower delivery man following her everywhere. Tallie has not had a good week. The bumbling police have her at the top of their suspect list for both Waldo’s attack and the murder. The only way to prove them wrong is sweep the clues together herself and hand them to the police on a silver platter or in an open casket, whichever works best.
Misty Simon has given readers a great mystery to start off this series. Tallulah Graver (Tallie) is a strong protagonist. She does her best to shake off her old life and get on with her new one. How she ever stayed with that jerk of a husband as long as she did is beyond me. He deserved to be tasered or worse. His actions put Tallie in a very precarious situation. A first class jackass! Yes, there is a bit of course language in the book and considering where Waldo was tasered an adult theme. It didn’t bother me a bit because the language fits the situations and the other added some timeless humor.
The primary and secondary characters were well written and there is plenty of room for growth in the main characters. The dialogue was realistic and engaging. The flower delivery man was such a clever twist to the story and I will not say more because I do not want to ruin the story for you. I really liked it.
The book sets a nice pace and the mystery unfolds very nicely with some exciting twists. There were several suspects and some very interesting discoveries. I was very entertained by the way it all played out.
For the first book in the series I was very impressed. I could easily picture the funeral home and Tallie’s apartment as well as the mansion where the murder took place. I hope to see more development in the setting, getting to know the town and more of its residents better in future installments. The ending left me very happy and looking forward to the next book in the series. Grounds of Remorse is “coming soon” according to the final page of my e-copy.
About the Author
Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”