Girl At the Grave
by Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Young Adult – Historical Fiction, Mystery
Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.
Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.
Valentine Deluca life is not an easy one. Eleven years ago, when she was six years old her mother was hanged for murder. The town of Feavers Crossing never let Valentine forget what her mother had done. Thanks to an unknown benefactor, Valentine was able to join a prestigious school, but she had no friends there other than Sam, who worked in the kitchen. One day in passing, the town reverend, Mr. Oliver let slip a really big secret concerning Valentine’s mother and the murder that occured years ago. This sets off a chain reaction leading to another murder with Valentine being in the center of it all. Valentine needs to find out the truth and she will stop at nothing to find out what happened now and all those years ago. But, there is a killer in the mist ready to silence Valentine once and for all. Will the truth ever come out in time to save Valentine?
When I first started this story I had every intention of reading the first fifty or so pages before I went to bed. Before you know it I surpassed what I wanted to read as I just could NOT put this book down at all. Right from the first page I was sucked in to Valentine’s story and found myself really feeling such compassion for this seventeen year old girl who grew up without a mother and forced to live in her legacy with the townspeople almost shunning her. Even eleven years later, the gossip is still alive and whispered throughout her community.
Valentine is such an easy character to love, she has a lot of heart and treats people with kindness, even Birdy, a local girl who people called simple minded. Valentine believes the best in people even though she treats herself harshly, blending into the background because she is afraid of what people think about her. Valentine’s only friend is Sam, whom she new since she was a child. Little did she know is that another boy in her school, Rowan, is interested in her as well. Rowan comes from an influential family, plus Valentine’s mother hanged for killing Rowan’s father. So Valentine could not see why Rowan would befriend her or show any interest. Stuck between both Sam and Rowen’s affection is such a strong dynamic for much of this story. I was pulled either way from Sam and Rowan as both were decent boys.
As I submersed myself deeper into the story there are a lot of loose ends and different subplots surrounding the murder mystery and I had a tough time figuring out who the killer might be. I can honestly say that Teri Bailey Black did such a wonderful job at keeping me guessing. She weaved such a wonderful tail pulling from different angles which wrapped up nice and neat at the end. I will also mention that I never guessed who the real culprit was right up until the final reveal.
Valentine really grew as a person from the start of this story right up until the satisfying end and in all honesty the ending could not have been any more perfect for me. In a way, Valentine learned a lot about herself and wanted the truth to come out even if it meant something bad for her. She was tired of hiding behind lies and just wanted her life back.
Girl at the Grave is a captivating and gothic murder mystery that takes us deep into a labyrinth of secrets and lies, a budding romance, and a girl who will stop at nothing to expose the truth. You will not be able to put this book down! I loved every minute of it and found myself sad that the story ended. One of my favorite gothic mysteries of the year!
Follow the Tour Schedule here: http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/09/tour-schedule-girl-at-grave-by-teri.html
Prize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)
About the Author:
Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.