Author: Kelly Coon
First published October 29, 2019
416 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780525647829 (ISBN10: 0525647821)
Frances Evesham, the bestselling author of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries, presents A Village Murder – the first book in an exciting new series. In the charming village of Lower Hembrow, nestled in the heart of Somerset, a sinister secret lurks in the shadows.
When Imogen Bishop’s estranged husband is found dead in her father’s hotel, she becomes the prime suspect. Retired police officer Adam Hennessey, who just wanted to run his country pub in peace, finds himself embroiled in the investigation.
Together with a stray dog named Harley, Imogen and Adam must unravel the web of lies and deceit to uncover the true killer. A perfect read for fans of cozy mysteries, including those by Betty Rowlands, Faith Martin, and M.C. Beaton.
About the Author
Kelly Coon is an accomplished young adult author, with two books already under her belt and more to come. But her talents don’t stop there.
She’s also an editor, a member of the Washington Post Talent Network, and a former high school English teacher. She even authored an ACT test prep book.
One thing that sets Coon’s writing apart is her dedication to empowering female characters. She loves to give them the opportunity to showcase their strength and intelligence, and her readers have responded positively.
When she’s not writing or editing, Coon can be found at home in Tampa, Florida with her family. She’s a proud mom of three sons, has a brilliant husband, and a rescue pup who’s always ready to steal a sandwich.
Kelly Coon’s debut novel, Gravemaidens, is a gripping tale that takes readers on a journey full of adventure, betrayal, and sacrifice. Set in a fantasy world inspired by ancient Egypt, the novel follows the story of Kammani, the main character who is a healer like her father.
Kammani lives in the impoverished and patriarchal society of Alu, where women are not allowed to hold any power or authority. To make matters worse, the tyrant ruler of the land, the Pharaoh, has taken Kammani’s rebellious younger sister, Nanaea, as one of his three consorts.
When Nanaea falls ill and is on the brink of death, the Pharaoh demands a ritual sacrifice of all the consorts to send them to the afterlife to be with him. Kammani is determined to save her sister’s life, but the only way to do this is to become a Gravemaiden and be sacrificed herself.
With the help of friends and allies, Kammani sets out on a dangerous quest to uncover the secrets that could save her sister’s life and change the fate of her society. Coon’s writing style is engaging and descriptive, immersing readers in an intricate and well-constructed world.
The characters are well-developed, with Kammani being the standout. She is a strong and courageous protagonist who must navigate a society that undervalues and restricts women.
Her determination to save her sister and challenge the oppressive system is the driving force of the plot, and readers will root for her every step of the way. The supporting cast is equally compelling; from Kammani’s loyal friend, Dagan, to the arrogant but charming Pharaoh.
The themes of sisterhood, sacrifice, and revolution are prevalent throughout the novel, making it a timely and thought-provoking read. Coon explores the societal norms that limit women’s choices and the ways in which they can challenge the status quo.
She also delves into the consequences of blind obedience and how questioning authority can bring about change. Gravemaidens has a few minor flaws, such as some plot twists feeling predictable, but these shortcomings do not detract from the overall strength of the narrative.
Overall, Gravemaidens is a well-written and absorbing novel with a strong female lead and a unique setting. It will appeal to fans of fantasy, adventure, and stories of resistance.
Coon’s debut is a promising start to what looks to be an exciting career. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.