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Grave Reservations

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“Delightful.” —The New York Times Book Review A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series. Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsiv “Delightful.” —The New York Times Book Review A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series. Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, her life changes in ways she couldn’t have predicted. After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack. Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved. Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help the case several years before, but she’s been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.


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“Delightful.” —The New York Times Book Review A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series. Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsiv “Delightful.” —The New York Times Book Review A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series. Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, her life changes in ways she couldn’t have predicted. After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack. Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved. Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help the case several years before, but she’s been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.

30 review for Grave Reservations

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Before I read this book, I’d never heard of Cherie Priest, so I went into this with no particular expectations. All I knew is the blurb about a quirky psychic travel agent teaming up to solve a mystery with the detective she saved from an ill-fated flight sounded like good, possibly ridiculous, fun, and why the heck not? Besides … that adorably fun cover totally suckered me in. They get me every time. I can definitively say that the story was as adorably fun as the cover. I’ve always loved my TV Before I read this book, I’d never heard of Cherie Priest, so I went into this with no particular expectations. All I knew is the blurb about a quirky psychic travel agent teaming up to solve a mystery with the detective she saved from an ill-fated flight sounded like good, possibly ridiculous, fun, and why the heck not? Besides … that adorably fun cover totally suckered me in. They get me every time. I can definitively say that the story was as adorably fun as the cover. I’ve always loved my TV mystery shows, just like I loved my Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown books back in the day. Moonlighting was my jam in the 80’s, Murder She Wrote in the 90’s, Monk in the early 2000’s, The Mentalist right after that. (What’s up with all those ‘M’s?? Seriously … I have a type). If someone told me this book was going to be made into a TV series, I would be a happy girl. Is it brilliant or earth-shattering? No. Is it good, solid, silly, happy fun? A resounding YES. It was just what I needed after my last bummer read. Leda Foley, the struggling owner/travel agent at Foley’s Flights of Fancy, and part-time performer of a one-woman show, Klairvoyant Karaoke, is an often booze-infused psychic trying to get her business off the ground and get over the murder three years prior of her fiance, Tod. Along for the ride, is her even bigger hot mess of a best friend, Niki Nelson, who has absolutely no filter on her words or actions. I loved these two, in the same way I loved Finlay Donovan and Vero, or as mentioned in the book, Lucy and Ethel - they’re just a great pair. Playing the straight man to this comical pair is Grady Merritt, the Seattle detective who Leda saves from a doomed flight when she senses trouble. When Grady asks Leda to offer her psychic insights into a cold case he hasn’t been able to solve, their worlds collide in ways she wasn’t expecting. The story is engaging as she tries to make sense of her increasing abilities and the ways they manifest in each situation. I haven’t read a proper cozy mystery, but I suspect this would largely qualify. There’s humor and a fun cast of characters, but there’s also a decent mystery and lots of potential suspects to keep you guessing. The mystery itself isn’t the most dynamic one ever, but the characters more than made up for any plot weakness. The blurb compares this book to Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series. I can’t speak to that having never read either of those, but if they’re anything like this one, I’d probably like them. I can only hope this book will be the start of a series too, because I would LOVE more adventures with Leda, Niki and Grady! I found out, after the fact, that Cherie Priest has mostly written horror, fantasy, sci-fi and steampunk up to this point. I’d have never guessed that from this book, but kudos to her for being able to switch gears so successfully. For the fun story behind this book, here’s a link to her blog describing how the story came to be: https://www.cheriepriest.com/blog ★★★★ ½ (rounded up to 5 for getting me out of a reading funk) Thanks to Atria Books, NetGalley and author Cherie Priest for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. It’s due for publication on October 26, 2021. This and my other reviews can also be found at: https://acuriouskatreads.blogspot.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Grave Reservations (The Booking Agents #1) by Cherie Priest Struggling travel agent and inconsistent psychic, that's Leda Foley. At one point in the story, as she recounts in her mind all her past job failures, it's obvious this woman is Lucy and Ethel, all rolled into one body. Yes, Leda is extremely quirky but so are most of her friends. And when she saves a customer's life by making sure he doesn't get on a plane that she had a bad feeling about, she ends up getting to add Seattle PD detectiv Grave Reservations (The Booking Agents #1) by Cherie Priest Struggling travel agent and inconsistent psychic, that's Leda Foley. At one point in the story, as she recounts in her mind all her past job failures, it's obvious this woman is Lucy and Ethel, all rolled into one body. Yes, Leda is extremely quirky but so are most of her friends. And when she saves a customer's life by making sure he doesn't get on a plane that she had a bad feeling about, she ends up getting to add Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt to her quirky friends list. Why do I call straight laced, nice guy, Detective Grady, quirky? Because he's so awed and grateful that Leda saved him from a plane with a bad ending that he hires her to help him with a cold case. All off the books of course because hiring her would not be in keeping with department procedures. But Grady seems to obliterate the line between keeping civilians out of official police business and civilians tromping all over official police business. So you just have to accept the over the top-ness of the story but then you should have known that when you picked up a book about an inconsistent psychic. Leda and company are a goofy, fun loving group. Grady's cold case and the death of Leda's fiancé might be intertwined. To investigate, Grady embraces the art of making up job descriptions to fit whatever situation merits meddling in interviews or crime scenes by an inconsistent psychic. Despite death being a main ingredient of this story, it's mostly played for laughs. I think I was really beginning to warm up the the concept towards the end of the book although I had trouble taking off my curmudgeon hat for much of the shenanigans. Published October 26th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Audio 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    Did I have reservations about reading this mystery? Yes I did. Did I need to? No I did not. Grave Reservations is the debut book in a new contemporary-cozy mystery (concozery???) series by Cherie Priest, an author previously known for her sci-fi and steampunk novels. The blurb compares it to Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files, and I would have to agree. It’s also got Finlay Donovan vibes - and dare I say - I enjoyed this more than the second Finlay book. Readers follow a 30-something psychic travel a Did I have reservations about reading this mystery? Yes I did. Did I need to? No I did not. Grave Reservations is the debut book in a new contemporary-cozy mystery (concozery???) series by Cherie Priest, an author previously known for her sci-fi and steampunk novels. The blurb compares it to Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files, and I would have to agree. It’s also got Finlay Donovan vibes - and dare I say - I enjoyed this more than the second Finlay book. Readers follow a 30-something psychic travel agent from Seattle named Leda as she helps a police detective try to solve a cold murder case. She also sings Klairivoyant Karaoke at a local bar a few nights a week to try to hone her unique abilities. She’s pretty chipper and fairly funny, and I enjoyed spending time in her company. She’s got an unfiltered BFF called Niki who’s a hoot too… the Ethel to her Lucy. I was surprised how pleasantly readable this book is, and I turned many of the pages with a smile on my face. Is everything about it believable? No. Did I appreciate that Leda and the detective (Grady) had a platonic relationship? You betcha. Will I read the next book in the series to see if it stays that way? Yes, without reservation. My thanks to the author and Atria Books for providing an advance copy to review via NetGalley. Grave Reservations is out now! Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    Fun, quirky, and topsy-turvy! Leda Foley is a travel agent blessed with a special gift. She can see into the future. Which came in rather handy, having saved the life of a certain Seattle detective, ensuring he misses a doomed flight. She also moonlights doing clairvoyant karaoke (who knew there was such a thing!) at her favorite watering hole. You’ll want to read this book to fully understand! lol! I would definitely go to watch her perform!🙋🏻‍♀️ Grady Merritt (the Seattle Detective with nine l Fun, quirky, and topsy-turvy! Leda Foley is a travel agent blessed with a special gift. She can see into the future. Which came in rather handy, having saved the life of a certain Seattle detective, ensuring he misses a doomed flight. She also moonlights doing clairvoyant karaoke (who knew there was such a thing!) at her favorite watering hole. You’ll want to read this book to fully understand! lol! I would definitely go to watch her perform!🙋🏻‍♀️ Grady Merritt (the Seattle Detective with nine lives) wonders if he could use Leda’s unique gift to help solve a murder long hanging over him for years. Only no one else can know she is helping the police…not even his fellow detectives. This book was most definitely an entertaining read. Up to and including several laugh-out-loud moments. Leda is super cute with all her antics. I’m hopeful for a lot more from her as the series progresses. I can see this being the beginning of a great new series that I will definitely be following. A fun and fast buddy read with Susanne. Thank you to Megan Rudloff at Atria Books and NetGalley for the arc

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    Leda Foley is a mediocre psychic whose power is slowly growing stronger, mainly through Klairvoyant Karaoke at her favorite bar - holding an object of a participating audience member and then singing whatever song comes to mind. She’s also the owner of a travel agency with a terrible name, and has only had two clients. Leda has a bad feeling about her second client’s flight. She re-books Seattle detective Grady Merritt on a different flight...just before the plane he was originally supposed to b Leda Foley is a mediocre psychic whose power is slowly growing stronger, mainly through Klairvoyant Karaoke at her favorite bar - holding an object of a participating audience member and then singing whatever song comes to mind. She’s also the owner of a travel agency with a terrible name, and has only had two clients. Leda has a bad feeling about her second client’s flight. She re-books Seattle detective Grady Merritt on a different flight...just before the plane he was originally supposed to be on blows up on the runway. Grady is a believer, and decides to use Leda and her skills to help with a murder case that’s grown cold...one that he’s always thinking about. Before she knows it, Leda uncovers things that may also tie into the murder of her fiance. She just has to summon the clues and help solve the investigation...without getting her or her friends killed. This is a super fast, quirky mystery that entertained me enough. I wanted something a bit lighter and fun, and that’s what I got. However, it might have been a bit too cozy for this reader. I also found it to be very dialogue-heavy in places it didn’t need to be. Some of the conversations are a bit awkward. The case itself that Leda’s assisting with isn’t really that compelling. The charm comes through in her interactions with the eccentric cast of characters...from detective Grady, to her best friend Niki, as well as a unique mix of bar patrons and workers. Overall, I found this to be an amusing story with a likable cast, but not much depth or sense of foreboding. You’ll have to suspend disbelief to appreciate how much the detective shares with “regular” folks. Seasonal readers might enjoy reading this one around Halloween. While I wasn’t absolutely blown away, I’m also relieved that it wasn’t a grave mistake to read this one. This is the first book I’ve read by Cherie Priest, and I’d be down to read another one. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 10/26/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a mix between a Mystery and a Cozy Mystery, and this is the first book in the Booking Agents series. I really loved this book, and I did not want to stop reading it. The Amateur Sleuth/Main Character of this book is a psychic travel agent because she save a cops life with her psychic she starts helping him. I really loved the twists and turns in this book, and I really love the ending. The characters where so great, and I hope there will be a second book with these characters. The storyl This is a mix between a Mystery and a Cozy Mystery, and this is the first book in the Booking Agents series. I really loved this book, and I did not want to stop reading it. The Amateur Sleuth/Main Character of this book is a psychic travel agent because she save a cops life with her psychic she starts helping him. I really loved the twists and turns in this book, and I really love the ending. The characters where so great, and I hope there will be a second book with these characters. The storyline built up through out this book which was so great. I also loved the psychic parts of this book. There was funny/fun parts, suspenseful parts, and weird parts which put all together may a really fun mystery with great characters. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Atria Books) or author (Cherie Priest) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I’m welcoming a brand new Cherie Priest series with open hands which introduces us her new quirky, talented, struggling travel agent, badass klairvoyant karaoke-r, inconsistent psych: ladies and gentlemen, please make some noise for Leda Foley! She deserves a few more claps because she’s unique, original, sad but resilient , powerful heroine you easily resonate with! Leda starts her travel agency with a few clients which barely covers her expanses, struggling with grief of her fiancé’s murder, I’m welcoming a brand new Cherie Priest series with open hands which introduces us her new quirky, talented, struggling travel agent, badass klairvoyant karaoke-r, inconsistent psych: ladies and gentlemen, please make some noise for Leda Foley! She deserves a few more claps because she’s unique, original, sad but resilient , powerful heroine you easily resonate with! Leda starts her travel agency with a few clients which barely covers her expanses, struggling with grief of her fiancé’s murder, hanging out with confidante, all times bestie Niki at local bar where Niki’s boyfriend works, sharpening her clairvoyance skills at the stage by picking up meaningful songs for people to determine their faiths or help to find a meaningful answer about their lives as she procrastinating everything about her unresolved issues! When she accidentally uses her power to save detective Grady Merritt’s life by changing his flight details without asking him( because she felt something ominous would happen at his flight which really happened!) she finds herself help the detective to work on a unsolved cold case. After she meets with him at the hotel where the crime occurred by touching the objects she gives important clues to Grady but when they finish their job and shake their hands, Leda sees the image of her dead fiancée Tod by touching Grady’s hand! There would be three explanations: Grady might be involved in her fiancée’s death! He can also be one of the officers who were present at the crime scene or the cold case they start to investigate might be tied with her fiancée’s death. With Niki’s insistence, Leda decides to confront Grady to learn the truth which means she has to dig deeper and get herself in more dangerous situation by involving in dangerous criminals’ world! This was fast, entertaining, smart beginning of the series! It was easy to finish in one sit. Both of the characters were lovely! Grady is also suffering from losing his wife, living with his noisy, clever 17 years old daughter and their cat. Niki was lovely, straightforward, entertaining character. It was fun to be introduced with them. Overall: it’s easy, riveting page turner and I’m looking forward to read more Leda Foley adventures sooner! Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    Review posted to blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... A highly entertaining, quirky mystery! Leda Foley is a clairvoyant. She is also a travel agent who loves karaoke. The day that Leda re-books a client’s flight to a different flight after a “bad feeling” - she saves his life. That client is Seattle detective Grady Merritt and Leda just turned him into a believer. Once that happens, he asks Leda if she’d be willing to help him try and solve a cold case, one that’s been bugging him for Review posted to blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... A highly entertaining, quirky mystery! Leda Foley is a clairvoyant. She is also a travel agent who loves karaoke. The day that Leda re-books a client’s flight to a different flight after a “bad feeling” - she saves his life. That client is Seattle detective Grady Merritt and Leda just turned him into a believer. Once that happens, he asks Leda if she’d be willing to help him try and solve a cold case, one that’s been bugging him for years. As it turns out, Leda could use Grady’s help as well, as she needs to know who murdered her fiance. While the mystery leads a bit to be desired, the best part of this novel is the interaction between the characters and specifically Leda and her best friend Niki. Detective Merritt adds to the fun as well. Although suspending belief is required, I enjoyed this novel and liked the supernatural element. 3.5 Stars A fun buddy read with Kaceey! Thank you to Megan Rudloff at Atria Books and NetGalley for the arc.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    I could totally see this as a hit TV drama. The quirky psychic and erstwhile detective. Out and about in Seattle solving crimes together. It has a bit of a "Monk" feel to it. Instead of the OCD of Monk you have Leda Foley struggling to understand her psychic flashes and how they can be used most efficiently. Her Klairvoyant Karaoke (not, Psychic Psongstress, please) gig was a fun window into her abilities and would also make great television. Grady Merritt is such a lovable sidekick -- or would I could totally see this as a hit TV drama. The quirky psychic and erstwhile detective. Out and about in Seattle solving crimes together. It has a bit of a "Monk" feel to it. Instead of the OCD of Monk you have Leda Foley struggling to understand her psychic flashes and how they can be used most efficiently. Her Klairvoyant Karaoke (not, Psychic Psongstress, please) gig was a fun window into her abilities and would also make great television. Grady Merritt is such a lovable sidekick -- or would that be Leda? Hmmm. There are also some great supporting characters like best friend Niki and the crew at Castaways (the neighborhood bar). Needless to say this unlikely pair does find success and some closure for Leda as well. I have not read any of Cherie Priests other books, but this new series (I hope) is in my wheelhouse. And I have to say that the cover really sells the story inside. Thank you to Atria Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    “I don’t know exactly. It’s just a feeling I had. A very strong feeling.” Grave Reservations is a cozy mystery introducing amateur sleuth Leda Foley. She is a newbie travel agent by day and psychic honing her emerging skills through karaoke by night. Niki is Leda’s best friend and voice of reason. Drama, disorder, and alcohol seem to follow in their wake. Grady Merritt is a Seattle police officer who persuades Leda to review evidence in a cold case of his. He is desperate for any leads he can ge “I don’t know exactly. It’s just a feeling I had. A very strong feeling.” Grave Reservations is a cozy mystery introducing amateur sleuth Leda Foley. She is a newbie travel agent by day and psychic honing her emerging skills through karaoke by night. Niki is Leda’s best friend and voice of reason. Drama, disorder, and alcohol seem to follow in their wake. Grady Merritt is a Seattle police officer who persuades Leda to review evidence in a cold case of his. He is desperate for any leads he can get even if unconventional. Grady became a believer in Leda’s abilities after she saved him from being on a plane that crashed. Leda reluctantly assists Grady with his case. She has a personal stake herself. Her fiancée’s murder is a cold case too. Leda and Niki, surrounded by friends from their karaoke hangout, team up with Grady to solve the cases. I had trouble becoming invested in Leda. Her actions were brainless at times. She blamed herself for what seemed like everything. Calling her a hot mess (as reviewer’s have) is an apt description. Judging by the book’s cover and title, I expected wry humor and more confidence. It turned out to be a slapstick comedy with a female lead that acted far younger than her years. Grady’s disregard for police procedure is something I struggled with the most. It is understandable that Leda would make blunders. Grady’s actions were another story. He is a detective who allowed Leda and Niki to accompany him while interviewing suspects, and he brought Leda to an active crime scene. This crossed into absurdity for me and was not without consequence. The plot is plausible and fitting for a cozy mystery. I figured out the culprit early, but I was still curious about how things were connected. This ended up being mediocre for me with the diverse and charming side characters from the karaoke bar being the book’s strength. Fans looking for light, kooky characters sans graphic violence (or intimate scenes), may find this book entertaining.

  11. 4 out of 5

    JaymeO

    Travel agent ✅ Karaoke enthusiast ✅ Amateur psychic ✅ Newbie crime solver? When Leda Foley saves her client, PD detective Grady Merritt from boarding a plane that later blows up on the runway, she gains a new gig. Impressed with her psychic abilities, Merritt enlists her help on a cold case. Little does he know, the cold case is connected to the recent murder of Leda’s boyfriend. Will Leda solve the case? Does she have a future in assisting law enforcement? I read several early reviews of Grave Re Travel agent ✅ Karaoke enthusiast ✅ Amateur psychic ✅ Newbie crime solver? When Leda Foley saves her client, PD detective Grady Merritt from boarding a plane that later blows up on the runway, she gains a new gig. Impressed with her psychic abilities, Merritt enlists her help on a cold case. Little does he know, the cold case is connected to the recent murder of Leda’s boyfriend. Will Leda solve the case? Does she have a future in assisting law enforcement? I read several early reviews of Grave Reservations that compared it to the Finlay Donovan series by Elle Cosimano. If you haven’t read this series, then what are you waiting for? It’s the. best. fun. ever. So…I added to TBR, requested, downloaded, and read ASAP! I found the comparison between the two book series to be fairly accurate. Both main characters are amateur detectives whose friends serve as their wacky sidekicks. However, while I was initially intrigued with the plot, I started to lose interest after the first third of the book. One of the main reasons for this is that the writing comes off as a little cheesy instead of being humorous. While both of these series require the reader to suspend belief, this book just felt more middle of the road to me. Priest doesn’t go far enough into the realm of ridiculous, so the adventure is not quite as fun as it could have been. I really enjoyed the scenes with sidekick Niki, but again, I found myself wanting more from her character. I also didn’t find the actual mystery that compelling. This book has more of a cozy mystery type vibe, which I am now learning may not be my jam. Grave Reservations is #1 in the Booking Agents series, so we are guaranteed another adventure. This is quite obviously set up in the last chapter. However, I’m not sure if I’m interested enough in going along for another ride. If I hadn’t read Finlay Donovan, maybe I would have felt differently. 3/5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    I won this one in a GR giveaway that I had forgotten about by the time the book arrived (yes, even though they notified me that I'd won). My memory is the stuff of legends. So it was a pleasant surprise, is what I'm saying. I've liked many of Priest's previous books, though I'm still a bit upset that she abandoned my favorite series in-progress. This one is very much present world with a little supernatural thrown in because Foley gets premonitions about stuff. The story starts with her saving th I won this one in a GR giveaway that I had forgotten about by the time the book arrived (yes, even though they notified me that I'd won). My memory is the stuff of legends. So it was a pleasant surprise, is what I'm saying. I've liked many of Priest's previous books, though I'm still a bit upset that she abandoned my favorite series in-progress. This one is very much present world with a little supernatural thrown in because Foley gets premonitions about stuff. The story starts with her saving the life of a cop who, unlike 99% of other psychic stories with cops in them, decides to roll with it and maybe see if he can leverage her gift in the service of justice. And yeah, that's going to be all of my jam. A discouraged paladin type looking for help to fight injustice and solve crimes? With a quirky, but willing and completely unlikely partner who needs his support to find her own justice? Yeah, I'm all over that. Plus, Priest doesn't stint on the side characters. I loved Grady's daughter more than a little, and her friends at the bar she sometimes does stage readings for are all kinds of fun. And I don't have much else to say. This is 4½ stars that I'll round up because it all held together very well. I'm not sure if there's enough to sustain a series because the main plot wrapped up quite satisfactorily and it'll take some care to craft follow-ons with anything like that kind of depth. Still, if anyone is going to attempt it, Priest is one who might succeed. A note about publishing: I seriously don't understand publishers. I received this book five months before it's slated for release. This is a polished work with a lovely cover and a lower-than-normal error count (like, I notice about half what I normally do with a mainstream-published book). So what exactly are they doing with this book for five whole months?!? Oh, right. Publishing other people's books. Or something? I dunno, it just seems like such a waste when you could get started on pulling in the big bucks already... A note about Chaste: There's no hint of romance in this story. Which is good because Foley is still in grief for her murdered fiancé and not really in a place where a relationship would make much sense. If you were going to setup Grady and Foley, you could with a bit of care and a really slow burn. There's a bit of an age gap with Grady mid-forties and Foley 32. So they're within the squick formula*, but only just. I don't know if Priest plans on something like that or not. They'd make an outstanding couple because I feel like their personalities would be complimentary. But there's literally zero hint of anything like that developing. So that means very chaste with not even any kissing or anything. * The squick formula: I really should save this explanation off because it comes up every now and then. It's essentially [older person age] / 2 + 7 = [minimum non-squick age for partner]. So for Grady and Foley, if it should happen, their formula would be 46ish divided by 2 = 23. Then add seven and you have thirty. So it's close, but not terribly close...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    This book had a bit of a quirky vibe to it which made it a fun read. While the story revolves around some murder cases, I felt more invested in the main characters rather than the mystery. Sure, I had some issues as it wasn't a perfect read, but I'm excited that there's potential here if the author wants to continue with a series. Leda Foley is struggling to make ends meet as a travel agent. But she has one very thankful customer, local police detective, Grady Merritt. You see, Leda has some psy This book had a bit of a quirky vibe to it which made it a fun read. While the story revolves around some murder cases, I felt more invested in the main characters rather than the mystery. Sure, I had some issues as it wasn't a perfect read, but I'm excited that there's potential here if the author wants to continue with a series. Leda Foley is struggling to make ends meet as a travel agent. But she has one very thankful customer, local police detective, Grady Merritt. You see, Leda has some psychic abilities although she is still learning and doesn't have quite a handle on them yet. She had a feeling she should rebook Grady's flight so she did, and thus saved him from getting on the original flight which went up in flames. Grady is so impressed he asks Leda to use her gift to help him solve a cold case. Leda agrees to provide assistance but she has ulterior motives. She is hoping it will jump start further investigation into her fiancé's murder. Leda is basically figuring out the whole psychic thing as she goes and I liked seeing that development. I loved the karaoke scenes as I thought it was a unique idea by the author. When it comes to Grady, it felt like we just got to know him a smidge. With this book it's almost as if you are left wanting more, and in some ways that is a good thing if we get more character development in future books. However, if it remains a standalone novel, I wouldn't say it is the most satisfying read in terms of having fully fleshed out characters. The mystery itself is okay but I was way more invested in Leda and Grady's interactions rather than trying to crack the case. Part of the problem is it relies heavily on Leda and her visions rather than just solid police work. Some of the fun in reading a mystery is getting to play amateur detective and I don't think this particular mystery allows you to do that very well. Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    This review originally appeared at https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/gr... - thank you to the site and the publisher for the advanced copy. As usual my opinions are my own! When Leda Foley, travel agent and self-described inconsequential psychic, rebooks her client’s flight because of a bad feeling, he’s shocked – right up until the plane he should have been aboard catches fire. When he shows up at her agency with a cold case he just can’t solve, Leda sees a chance to find the answers she’s been This review originally appeared at https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/gr... - thank you to the site and the publisher for the advanced copy. As usual my opinions are my own! When Leda Foley, travel agent and self-described inconsequential psychic, rebooks her client’s flight because of a bad feeling, he’s shocked – right up until the plane he should have been aboard catches fire. When he shows up at her agency with a cold case he just can’t solve, Leda sees a chance to find the answers she’s been searching for too. Grave Reservations was possibly one of my favourite books of the year. Cherie Priest’s work has previously tended much more towards the serious; the comedic notes she hits here are all the more delightful for being a surprise. Leda and her best friend, Niki, play beautifully off straight-man Detective Grady Merritt as they investigate, and they do so against a beautifully woven background of characters and places. There’s more than just a murder mystery at play here, and around the central thread of the story flourishes a much larger overall cast of Leda’s friends and colleagues. Her side-hustle as the psychic psongstress (name still subject to debate) is a stroke of genius, and the team at the Castaways bar make up a support network that functions more as an extended family. Even those we don’t spend much time with are endearing and refreshingly individual, without ever feeling quirky for the sake of quirk. Seattle itself makes for a fantastic setting, her coffee shops and eleven-story glass libraries providing the kind of backdrop that such a diverse range of characters deserves. Levity and karaoke might sound like odd matches for a murder investigation, but it works – the more sombre moments are kept buoyant by the levity, even as they lend depth and dimension to both the story and the characters. The stakes feel real; but it doesn’t keep the book from being a very real antidote to dealing with the real world. Grave Reservations is still an escape for the reader, but one that doesn’t attempt to gloss over the realities of life; one that will call them out and offer you something better for a while. Grave Reservations is full of the little touches that take a book from good to great. Readers are in for an absolute treat, whether they’re existing fans or new, in this mystery as endearing as it is intriguing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Leda is running a less-than-successful travel agency in Seattle, and has an unpredictable psychic gift. When she has a flash of insight and re-books a police officer's flight which subsequently catches fire, he takes her on as a psychic consultant for an older case that remains unsolved. Since her fiance was murdered and no one was ever charged, she agrees to help with the case. She's also got a second unpaid career as the "Psychic Psongstress," where bar patrons give her an object, and she sing Leda is running a less-than-successful travel agency in Seattle, and has an unpredictable psychic gift. When she has a flash of insight and re-books a police officer's flight which subsequently catches fire, he takes her on as a psychic consultant for an older case that remains unsolved. Since her fiance was murdered and no one was ever charged, she agrees to help with the case. She's also got a second unpaid career as the "Psychic Psongstress," where bar patrons give her an object, and she sings a song based on the vibe she gets. If you are looking for a mystery with humor and likable characters, Grave Reservations would be a good choice. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Hutchinson

    Positively delightful!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    3.5 stars Leda Foley is a struggling travel agent …and a sort-of psychic. She rarely predicts anything worth noting but she has a feeling about a flight she’s put her client (and Seattle PD detective) Grady Merritt on and makes the decision to change his flight. Grady is seriously annoyed …until the plane he was originally scheduled to be on erupts in flames. When Grady realizes Leda has some psychic talent, he asks if she’ll help him with a cold case; one that’s been bothering him for over a year 3.5 stars Leda Foley is a struggling travel agent …and a sort-of psychic. She rarely predicts anything worth noting but she has a feeling about a flight she’s put her client (and Seattle PD detective) Grady Merritt on and makes the decision to change his flight. Grady is seriously annoyed …until the plane he was originally scheduled to be on erupts in flames. When Grady realizes Leda has some psychic talent, he asks if she’ll help him with a cold case; one that’s been bothering him for over a year that he’s working in his spare time. Leda has zero confidence in her abilities because it feels so random but she’s willing to try because she has her own cold case: the murder of her fiancee years before. Honing her skills by performing “Klairvoyant Karaoke” at her favorite downtown bar, Leda and Grady are getting close to answers —and their cases may just collide in surprising ways. This is a quirky contemporary cozy mystery with far too many coincidences (she saves the life of a detective who needs help on a case and her case just so happens to overlap) that required a lot of suspension of disbelief (like, this detective just lets a sort-of psychic and her sassy BFF come along to interviews and crime scenes) and yet it worked for me. The characters charmed me and were the highlight of the entertainment for me because the mystery itself wasn’t exactly suspenseful - of course, that’s usually the case with a cozy. Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Grave Reservations was released on October 26. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pooja

    Leda is a travel agent with a side hustle in 'klairvoyant karaoke,' but she thinks divining songs are the extent of her power's usefulness. That is, until she saves a policeman from an exploding airplane and ends up tangled up in solving a cold case. This book made me laugh a lot. The characters are lovable, and I enjoyed the friendships between them- the long-established camaraderie of Leda and Niki and the burgeoning friendship between Leda and Grady. Though the mystery was not particularly eng Leda is a travel agent with a side hustle in 'klairvoyant karaoke,' but she thinks divining songs are the extent of her power's usefulness. That is, until she saves a policeman from an exploding airplane and ends up tangled up in solving a cold case. This book made me laugh a lot. The characters are lovable, and I enjoyed the friendships between them- the long-established camaraderie of Leda and Niki and the burgeoning friendship between Leda and Grady. Though the mystery was not particularly engaging, there are some sequences in its solving, particularly the climax, that were extremely well-written and consequently satisfying to read. The author balances emotional weight well with the humor. Occasionally, though, the writing got a little too zany for my taste - the chapter gathering all the characters for Leda's explaining the case comes to mind. Dialogue sometimes felt stilted as well, particularly toward the beginning of the book. Overall, this was a fun and well-written cozy mystery that I would recommend for those who enjoyed The Maid. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    4.5/5 I didn't know until I finished that Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest is the start of a series and I couldn't be happier about it. This had some Finlay Donovan Is Killing It vibes, and I loved the mix of mystery and humor. This was a very unique type of mystery, and I couldn't have liked Leda more. There are a lot of very special and quirky characters in the book, including Leda's bestie Niki, and I can't wait until I can revisit them in the next book. The story is told from 2 viewpoints, 4.5/5 I didn't know until I finished that Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest is the start of a series and I couldn't be happier about it. This had some Finlay Donovan Is Killing It vibes, and I loved the mix of mystery and humor. This was a very unique type of mystery, and I couldn't have liked Leda more. There are a lot of very special and quirky characters in the book, including Leda's bestie Niki, and I can't wait until I can revisit them in the next book. The story is told from 2 viewpoints, Leda and detective Grady, and there is a bit of a detective fiction/police procedural feel as well which I enjoyed. It honestly felt a little bit like a cozy mystery thanks to the humor and Leda's psychic tendencies, and since that is a genre I love, I was pleasantly surprised. This isn't a gory or overly disturbing read either which gives it a lighter feel than some of the other mysteries and thrillers out there. I knew right from the dedication that I was going to be a fan of Priest's writing, and that definitely held through all the way to the end. I did notice a couple of words that got repeated quite a bit (like white), but other than that I loved every second and found both the storyline and writing very engaging. I haven't heard of any of Priest's other books, but I intend to check them out now as well as being very excited to see where this series is going to go. I listened to the last little bit on audio and was also very happy with the narrator Ulka Mohanty. If they keep her for further books of the series, I will most likely listen to them, but it was a very quick read as well and would be good any way you want to read it! Grave Reservations was both entertaining and interesting, and I even learned some new things too. If you want a lighter mystery with a cozy feel I would definitely recommend checking this out, and if you have the same sense of humor as me you will also find yourself laughing a bit too! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Lawrence

    4.5 stars Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest, is such a fun, witty, clever cozy mystery and the beginning of a new series. It features a part-time psychic with a day job as a travel agent in Seattle. She hones her special skills by singing “Klairvoyant Karaoke” at a local bar and it seems to be working! The story begins with our main character, Leda, saving a cop’s life with one of her premonitions. Out of desperation, the detective requests her help to solve a cold case he can’t seem to break a 4.5 stars Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest, is such a fun, witty, clever cozy mystery and the beginning of a new series. It features a part-time psychic with a day job as a travel agent in Seattle. She hones her special skills by singing “Klairvoyant Karaoke” at a local bar and it seems to be working! The story begins with our main character, Leda, saving a cop’s life with one of her premonitions. Out of desperation, the detective requests her help to solve a cold case he can’t seem to break and the two team up. This story is humorous, without being silly, quirky, and an absolute pleasure to read. The characters are all delightful and the plot is complex enough to make it intriguing. I eagerly look forward to the next in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    The premise sounded cute, but I alternated between disappointment and boredom while reading this book. I had to force myself to finish. I didn't particularly care about the murder mystery elements, and the psychic abilities bit was messy and all over the place (just like the main character herself). The book seems to be trying for funny and quirky, but the attempt falls flat. The premise sounded cute, but I alternated between disappointment and boredom while reading this book. I had to force myself to finish. I didn't particularly care about the murder mystery elements, and the psychic abilities bit was messy and all over the place (just like the main character herself). The book seems to be trying for funny and quirky, but the attempt falls flat.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/10/25/... Grave Reservations was very different from anything I’ve read from Cherie Priest in the past, but I loved it! A mix of mystery and the supernatural and with a great healthy dose of humor, the story introduces readers to Leda Foley, just your average struggling travel agent doing her best to get her clients from one point to another. But Leda also has a secret, one she wants to keep on the down low lest people think she’s c 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/10/25/... Grave Reservations was very different from anything I’ve read from Cherie Priest in the past, but I loved it! A mix of mystery and the supernatural and with a great healthy dose of humor, the story introduces readers to Leda Foley, just your average struggling travel agent doing her best to get her clients from one point to another. But Leda also has a secret, one she wants to keep on the down low lest people think she’s crazy. After all, how can she explain the way she can tell the future, based on the hunches she sometimes gets? Of course, it doesn’t help that her talent comes and goes, and her accuracy is wildly inconsistent. Better just to keep it to herself, and so the only other person who knows about her psychic powers is her bestie Niki. But then one day, Leda gets one of those feelings and abruptly cancels the flight of one her clients, booking him on another. The client, Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt, is annoyed at first, but then as his original plane bursts into flame on the tarmac, he realizes that Leda may have very well saved his life. But what prompted her to change his flight in the first place? After making it back to Seattle safely, Grady goes to meet his mysterious travel agent to find out more about her. Leda is left with no choice but to confess her abilities, but rather than react badly, Grady instead sees an opportunity to put her premonitions to good use and offers her a side job. For the past few years, he has been working on a case that he just can’t seem to crack, and if Leda is the real deal as he suspects, she might be able to help him shake loose a few clues. I had so much fun with Grave Reservations, and it was the perfect book to lighten up the mood after a string of darker, more oppressive reads. The story shares some characteristics with the cozy mystery genre, but it also has some elements of an urban fantasy. Whatever it is though, it is undeniably light and humorous, and unlike a lot of the author’s previous work, this one doesn’t take itself too seriously, overall making it an easy breezy read. That said, the premise is solid and it’s clearly well thought out. Priest uses the buddy cop trope to great effect, giving her two protagonists very different backgrounds and personalities, which often leads to moments of hilarious conflict and dialogue whenever they are together on the case. There are also a few quirky twists on the characters to make the dynamic more unique, most of which relate to Leda’s powers. For spoilerish reasons I won’t elaborate on here, she begins this novel with a lack of confidence in her psychic abilities, but wants to develop them further in order to help others. One way she does this is also one of my favorite aspects of the book, where Leda and her friends hold “Klairvoyant Karaoke” sessions at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights. Here’s how that works: after handling a personal item belonging to an audience member, our protagonist would choose a song based on the vibes she gets from the object, and then gauge her success by the reaction she gets from the person. Pretty cool, right? I just thought it was such an offbeat yet brilliant idea which gave rise to some of the best scenes in the story, not to mention it made Leda more sympathetic and lent the novel a certain charm. Of course, Leda’s involvement also comes with a ton of baggage. Her fiancé was murdered a couple years, and later we find out that it may have some connection to Grady’s cold case. The whos, hows, whys and whens are revealed in due course, and in the meantime, we get to follow along with our investigate duo as they doggedly chase down the answers. The result is the satisfaction of getting a novel where nothing is as simple as it seems, and ultimately readers might be surprised by the complexity of the plot’s murder mystery that belies its lighter, more comedic themes. Bottom line, Grave Reservations is admittedly a rather unexpected shift in direction coming from Cherie Priest, and it definitely will not be for everyone. However, it does manage to show off a lighter, funnier side of the author, and you know what? I like it. I like it a lot. The entertainment value certainly can’t be beat, and I am hoping with all heart that this will be the beginning of a series because I’m loving these characters and clearly there’s so much more to explore! Also brava to narrator Ulka Mohanty for bring the audiobook version of Grave Reservations to life. It’s my first experience with her as a reader, but I would not hesitate to listen to more of her performances, and should we be fortunate enough to see this one become a series, I would be extremely happy to see her return for the role.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kay Oliver

    Thank you Netflix, Atria Books, and Author Cherie Priest for this ARC. The blurb hooked me, but the story bored me. I thought was an intriguing idea for a story and was excited to read it, however, not only was the story boring, but the writing was all over the place in the POV department which totally through me off. There wasn't many clues or even psychic solving. The mystery didn't even get going until the book was nearly over. Thank you Netflix, Atria Books, and Author Cherie Priest for this ARC. The blurb hooked me, but the story bored me. I thought was an intriguing idea for a story and was excited to read it, however, not only was the story boring, but the writing was all over the place in the POV department which totally through me off. There wasn't many clues or even psychic solving. The mystery didn't even get going until the book was nearly over.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    3.5 stars Promising start to a new series from Cherie Priest. This one takes place in current-day Seattle and features a somewhat ditzy psychic, Leda Foley. Leda doesn't quite have a firm control over her talent, but she's working on it. She's also working on being a travel agent (the latest in a long string of jobs), and she's working (semi-successfully) on recovering from the (unsolved) murder of her fiance, which occurred several years ago. I admit that I had a few problems with Leda--she often 3.5 stars Promising start to a new series from Cherie Priest. This one takes place in current-day Seattle and features a somewhat ditzy psychic, Leda Foley. Leda doesn't quite have a firm control over her talent, but she's working on it. She's also working on being a travel agent (the latest in a long string of jobs), and she's working (semi-successfully) on recovering from the (unsolved) murder of her fiance, which occurred several years ago. I admit that I had a few problems with Leda--she often acted years younger than her age. She 'pouted' and 'sulked' when cop Grady Merritt didn't have the answer she wanted or when he put limits on her participation in the murder investigation. Sheesh, Leda, grow up! Grady, however, was a sweetie. I really liked him. I also liked Leda's found family from Castaways, the karaoke bar where she sometimes performed. I also liked Leda's BFF Niki. The murder mystery that lead Grady to seek Leda's unofficial help is quite twisty. I was not surprised when it proved to tie into the murder of Leda's fiance. All is solved by the end, of course, and the book ends on an upbeat note. I will definitely read the next one. The author has a nice comic touch without sliding over into slap-stick or farce. I want to see more from Grady and I'm hoping that Leda has grown out of most of her adolescent behaviors.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    This is not exactly cozy, but it is a comedy (or, at least, it has a light tone) so it all comes down to whether the humor works for you. I liked some parts but not others so it wasn't a total win for me. I did really like the concept, Leda as a psychic who isn't quite sure how her powers work. She improves a little too quickly for me, but it's a solid enough premise for a series. At the end of the day, it was the dialogue that didn't work for me. Leda and her best friend Niki have this back and This is not exactly cozy, but it is a comedy (or, at least, it has a light tone) so it all comes down to whether the humor works for you. I liked some parts but not others so it wasn't a total win for me. I did really like the concept, Leda as a psychic who isn't quite sure how her powers work. She improves a little too quickly for me, but it's a solid enough premise for a series. At the end of the day, it was the dialogue that didn't work for me. Leda and her best friend Niki have this back and forth routine and it was always so much, it didn't open up the story for me but felt like something I often had to muddle through. This could have been less of a big deal if we got more character development, but there isn't much. We know very little about Leda, really, and assuming this is a series that's something that will develop over time, but it makes it hard for me to connect. The mystery itself is solid enough. A cop is a major character. This is basically a procedural, lots of witness interviews and a murder board (obvi).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    A cozy mystery that lost me about 2/3 of the way through.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jodie (Geauxgetlit)

    “Did you flash on something” I found this to be more of a cozy mystery. The beginning I really enjoyed. Especially with a wavering psychic on board who never believed her abilities until she was able to “save” someone unintentionally. It did lose its spark after and I did have a tough time being able to concentrate on it. Causing me to have to read the same thing over and over. The quote was used rather extensively as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    BON ☆

    Thanks for the advanced copy Netgalley! Unfortunately, this was not my jam. Okay, I conceded and DNFed this at 12%. I'd like to think I don't have a terrible sense of humor, but silly humor is not my thing, as opposed to cleverly funny. But the biggest gripe I have is the "don't forget, this is set in Seattle!" moments. And there are MANY. I thought I'd enjoy this and that maybe the locale namedropping wouldn't be as annoying as in many Seattle-set media, but nope. Someone works at amazon and so Thanks for the advanced copy Netgalley! Unfortunately, this was not my jam. Okay, I conceded and DNFed this at 12%. I'd like to think I don't have a terrible sense of humor, but silly humor is not my thing, as opposed to cleverly funny. But the biggest gripe I have is the "don't forget, this is set in Seattle!" moments. And there are MANY. I thought I'd enjoy this and that maybe the locale namedropping wouldn't be as annoying as in many Seattle-set media, but nope. Someone works at amazon and someone works at Starbucks and someone lives in Ballard on a single detective income, wow. Then the psychic wonders why she doesn't get business when "I'm in the phone book" haha! Good luck with business that way in urban Seattle. In another scene she says declaring her clairvoyancy will get her run out of Puget Sound. The thing is, there's a huge witchcraft and metaphysical community here, of which I am a member, and I was honestly offended at the assumption that psychic abilities would get you "laughed out of Puget Sound." It's like this person doesn't live here, or hasn't for long. I find namedrops and local innaccuracies like all of that extremely grating. I guess the only accurate thing was how terrible the Seattle police are, and that we all name our cars here. Then...it's just not funny. Our protagonist psychic starts banging her head on the table bemoaning the terrible choice of taking the case that is the book's plot - AS her detective client is in front of her, not when he's gone. I guess I found a lot of this unprofessional as opposed to humorous? I'm sure the humor and locale stuff would work for someone else, just not me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Leda Foley is a psychic newbie who uses her powers to do psychic karaoke and also to help her travel agent clients get on the right flights. She is sucked into the psychic detective world after helping a detective get on the right flight, in which he then asks her to join him on solving a cold case. I thought the psychic karaoke was cute. I did not think there were enough psychic detective moments throughout the book. It seems like she doesn't start cracking the case with her psychic powers unti Leda Foley is a psychic newbie who uses her powers to do psychic karaoke and also to help her travel agent clients get on the right flights. She is sucked into the psychic detective world after helping a detective get on the right flight, in which he then asks her to join him on solving a cold case. I thought the psychic karaoke was cute. I did not think there were enough psychic detective moments throughout the book. It seems like she doesn't start cracking the case with her psychic powers until 80% into the book. It seemed like she just woke up one day and solved the entire case instead of building up to it with more psychic moments and clues leading up to the killer. I wasn't intrigued by the mystery of it all. I also did not enjoy reading her conversations with her snarky friend Niki, which took up a lot of the book. I was bored for most of the book and did not like the characters. I am not a huge fan of this book, and I do not think it was that good of a mystery. It seems other people really like it, so ignore my opinion! Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for this e ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    Cherie Priest’s GRAVE RESERVATIONS is a perfectly charming paranormal mystery that features a slightly flaky but quite personable protagonist. There's nothing that says self-deprecating like a travel agent who calls herself "ninety-nine percent worthless as a psychic." Leda Foley runs Foley's Far-Fetched Flights of Fancy. In the first chapter, she changes a client's connecting flight without letting him know in advance. When he calls her as he's rushing to get to the original gate, she tells him Cherie Priest’s GRAVE RESERVATIONS is a perfectly charming paranormal mystery that features a slightly flaky but quite personable protagonist. There's nothing that says self-deprecating like a travel agent who calls herself "ninety-nine percent worthless as a psychic." Leda Foley runs Foley's Far-Fetched Flights of Fancy. In the first chapter, she changes a client's connecting flight without letting him know in advance. When he calls her as he's rushing to get to the original gate, she tells him that if he wants to get home that evening, he must take the rebooked flight. Priest explains that Leda "didn't know why she'd changed his flight. It'd been a feeling, hard as a fist in her stomach." After being sorry in the past when she ignored those feelings, she doesn't ignore them now. And when that first flight explodes, he's thankful for her feelings. In fact, Detective Grady Merritt of the Seattle Police Department decides that Leda's psychic abilities might be just what he needs to get a break on an old case that has him stumped. A father and son were murdered at a hotel months ago, and the police have no leads. Merritt approaches Leda to see if she will work with him "off the books." He doesn't tell anyone that she is "consulting" with him, and during his free time, he takes her to reinterview those involved. For her part, Leda isn't very busy at her travel agency and isn't sure how much longer she will be able to keep it together. She spends some of her free time doing what her best friend, Niki, calls Klairvoyant Karaoke. Customers at Niki's boyfriend's bar give Leda an item that has meaning to them. She picks out a song that she feels connects to that item and then sings it. After some convincing, Leda agrees to help Grady, and Niki insists on being part of the group. What Leda doesn't tell Grady is that she has her own reasons for saying yes. Her fiancée, Tod, was killed three years earlier in what appeared to be a random shooting. Another woman, shot with the same gun, was found nearby. Tod's assailant was never tracked down, and Leda has not gotten over his death. She feels that there needs to be justice for whoever killed him, and she's hoping that if she assists Grady on his case, he might agree to help her. As it turns out, the two just might be connected. Solving a murder is a slow process, and while interviewing the people involved, some of them start dying. Or are attacked. And it's obviously related to the original crimes. Leda is frustrated by her inability to find the killer, and Priest's writing is truly lovely as she shares her feelings of inadequacy: "Truly, she was the most inconsequential of psychics. A Cassandra doomed to know gnarly details about the truth --- but only if they're no good to anybody, anywhere, at all. Ever." You will read late into the night for two reasons. You must find out which of the quirky characters is the murderer. And you will want to learn more about Grady and his sassy daughter, as well as Leda and her trusty sidekick, Niki. This combination makes the whole experience just too much fun to stop. You will want to keep reading Priest's marvelous metaphors and delightful dialogue to the last drop --- or rather to the last page. There are hints at the end that we haven’t heard the last of Leda Foley and Grady Merritt, and Priest has confirmed that at least one more installment is planned. Once you've devoured GRAVE RESERVATIONS, you'll be on the waitlist for the next book. No psychic abilities needed. Reviewed by Pamela Kramer

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