Our Grave Reservations book review is a spoiler-free discussion of Cherie Priest’s cozy mystery that follows the story of Leda Foley as she comes into her own as a psychic.
There are a lot of cool psychic mysteries out there, and considering a lot of them deal with murder and ghosts, they can get pretty dark. If you want something a little lighter, I’d recommend picking up Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest.
The premise is funny in and of itself: Leda Foley owns her own business as a travel agent, but she also happens to have some psychic abilities. When she realizes one of her clients, Grady Merritt, is about to get on a plane destined to go down, she reroutes him and saves his life. But that’s just the beginning—it turns out Grady is a cop, and he’d like her help solving a case that’s been driving him crazy.
Leda is hesitant to accept for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is the fact that her abilities aren’t exactly reliable. She’s still getting the hang of them, and getting flashes of feelings is very different from solving a murder case.
But this whole situation gets very personal very quickly. Leda lost her fiancé Tod a few years ago, and she soon learns that Grady’s case might be connected to Tod’s death. Now, the two must work together to figure out the common denominator and bring a murderer to justice.
I liked Leda from the beginning because she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s a typical Millennial, who’s working on getting her business off the ground and trying to survive whatever life throws at her—all of which I can relate to. I appreciate her drive and understand her anxieties, and I love the way she and her best friend Niki solve their problems one glass of wine at a time.
There is an underlying current of grief to this story. Leda has lost her fiancé, and even though it’s been three years, some of those wounds are still healing, especially because his murder hasn’t been solved. But while there is certainly an emotional resonance to this tale, Leda is so much more than what she’s lost. We get to see her transitioning into a stage where she feels her pain but it no longer holds her back, and that’s beautiful to witness.
The real charm of this book, however, are the silly moments. It lightens the mood and makes this book a delight to read. One way Leda has come to understand how her abilities work is by singing karaoke at her local bar. When she touches an item brought to her by an audience member, a song pops into her head. She might not always know why it’s important or related to that person or object, but it does always make an impact.
Klairvoyant Karaoke might sound ridiculous on its surface (and okay, it kind of is), but it offers Leda a very real way to stretch a muscle most people don’t have. She embraces the silliness of it, and in the end, it ends up helping her tremendously. If this Grave Reservations book review does nothing else, I hope it emphasizes the fact that this book is great at interspersing lighthearted moments with those that are a bit more serious.
The end of the book is both satisfying and opens the door for a sequel. I can see Cherie Priest throwing different situations at this character for a long time to come. Leda has already learned so much in this first book, but she’s got a long way to go. As her business and her abilities grow, I hope she embraces both of them and has some adventures along the way.
‘Grave Reservations’ by Cherie Priest hit store shelves on October 26, 2021
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