A Grave Death (Independent Necromancer’s Bureau #1) by Victoria DeLuis
Read: 29th September – 1st October 2019
Publication Date: 25th June 2019
Quote from A Grave Death
Dylan ignored my grumbling and turned to Brandon, who’d taken the stool next to mine.
“You are lucky to have caught me. I once discovered Cassie attempt to make an omelette of her own. Scromlette, I believe is the more appropriate term for the mess that ensued.”
“It might not have looked good, but it tasted delicious, and that’s all that counts,” I said before turning to Brandon. “I’m honestly not that bad of a cook, he’s exaggerating”
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
A Grave Death is the first full novel (approx 206 pages) in a new cozy urban fantasy series – Independent Necromancer’s Bureau – that blends our modern ideas about zombies, ghosts and raising the dead with Welsh mythology. A Grave Death is a story set in modern day Wales, Cardiff to be exact, featuring our leading lady, Cassie Dune, who just happens to be the most powerful necromancer in the UK and works in the Cardiff branch of the Independent Necromancer’s Bureau (INB); an international organisation tasked with policing the supernatural world of ghosts and necromancy.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I write about how the story was told rather than the plot itself, which means that my reviews don’t contain spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Ghosts. Zombies. Magical Artefacts and Rogue Necromancers wreaking havoc…
… Just an average work day.
As an agent for the Independent Necromancers’ Bureau, it’s Cassie’s job to deal with zombies, catch and remove unwanted ghosts, and track down rogue necromancers. Operating out of Cardiff, one of the most magical cities in the Northern Hemisphere, she sure has her work cut out for her.
When Cassie’s lifelong friend and mentor is murdered, and his spirit severed from his body to prevent anyone talking to him, she vows to catch his killer.
With the body count rising, there’s no doubt dark deeds are at play, and with the dark deeds comes dark magic. Who or what is behind that magic?
Cassie’s the most powerful agent in the U.K. But will that be enough? And who can she trust to help?
Death is on her mind… Is it in her future?
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was given a digital version of this book for free from the author as a thank you for my pre-publication Beta Reading services.
This does not affect my review; these are my words, I’m giving you my honest opinion here.
I am already a fan of Victoria DeLuis’ books. I love her writing style; it’s intelligent and the prose she uses makes her stories very easy to read. I find her plots well crafted and planned out and like the way they develop throughout the story; gradually being revealed to the reader at a believable pace. The settings she creates are described in such a way that you are transported directly into the scenes but without weighing us down with overly-long descriptions and are a wonderful mix of fantasy and reality.
I enjoy a story more when the female protagonist is intelligent, resilient and has a good sense of humour; I wasn’t disappointed here. Cassie Dune was all of these and more. Cassie is already self-reliant and demonstrates her kind and loving heart when we first meet her, there is a little bit of character growth for our heroine in this story, however, I feel that Cassie’s journey through the whole series will see her insecurities about her necromancy power tackled and brought to heel.
As this is an urban fantasy about zombies – umm, sorry reanimated – there were a lot of scenes that had me scrunching my nose in disgust as well as holding my breath in fear but I felt a lot of other emotions too; there were a couple of scenes that brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye – fear not, avid readers, this is no romantic weepy – there’s plenty of humour that made me smile plus some well written banter that’s giggle-worthy too.
I enjoyed the twists and turns that Ms DeLuis took us on, I wasn’t ever sure how things were going to pan out but I couldn’t help turning the page to find out. As a first in series, I was bracing myself for the inevitable cliffhanger, but I am happy to confirm that the murder case that Cassie and the INB are working on in this story is concluded within these pages. Woop!Woop! (‘cause you all know how I feel a about cliffhangers). I found myself involved in this story from the first page – the way Ms DeLuis crafted it, sparked my interest and I think I’m going to enjoy this new series.
Nope. I enjoyed every single page.
I really loved this book. It had everything that I look for in a story; mystery, action, humour and even a sprinkling of romance.
I would recommend this book to those who love a mystery to solve, enjoy fantasy and adventure themes and don’t mind a bit of romance thrown in. There are no explicit or graphic violent or sexual scenes and so I feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone who likes reading paranormal mysteries that are on the cozy side of the genre.
So, has my review of A GRAVE DEATH (INDEPENDENT NECROMANCER’S BUREAU #1) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope it has. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.
(I am part of Amazon , The Book Depository, Foyles Book Shop and Waterstones affiliate programmes, which means when you use those links to buy a copy of this book, I will get a (very) small % from the sale.)
I am a short story author and novelist, who loves reading – everything – and writing urban fantasy, mystery stories, paranormal romantic suspense, and even the occasional sci-fi.
I was born and raised in South Wales, which offers me a rich heritage and mythology to use in my stories.
After the birth of my fabulous daughter, Jennifer, I decided to abandon the corporate life, return to education, and pursue my lifelong passion for writing. So, I studied creative writing and gained a first class honours degree. After which, I put on a brave face and headed out into the big scary world of publishing.
I am now busy, busy, busy: Being a mum, writing (and doing all the additional tasks that come with publishing), and running my small book promotion site – magicbookdeals.com. I have also just completed my Master’s Degree in Novel Writing.
If you would like to get in touch, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter – although, I must warn you, I am rubbish at social media – you can also contact me via email at victoria @ victoriadeluis.com
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review. I hope I’ve caused you to add yet another book to your ever growing TBR piles. 😉