Welcome to the Girl at the Grave Blog Tour! This marks one of twenty-four stops on the Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC) blog tour hosting Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black, a historical mystery and thriller set in the pre-American Civil War era of the mid 1800s. Stick around to discover more about the book and author, read my review, enter a giveaway to win a Wonderland Book Beau, and visit other stops along the tour. Now, unearth some tragic history and mysteries!
About the Book
Girl at the Grave
by Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 7th 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.
After years of sidelong glances and vicious whispers of rumors, seventeen-year-old Valentine Deluca has made peace with her mother’s inescapable, dark legacy: the murder of Nigel Blackshaw. Bending under the weight of Isabella Barron Deluca’s crime and society’s opinions and expectations all while caring for and carving out a name for herself, Valentine haunts the graveyard where so many secrets rest and dreams of the day she can help others less fortunate than even she. But Valentine’s world is turned upside down when the Reverend Mr. Oliver reveals that, according to another witness present that fateful night, her mother may have been innocent.
Now, whoever confessed to the reverend is having second thoughts and cleaning up loose ends. There’s a killer on the prowl and all signs point to Valentine. To clear her mother’s and her own name and find justice for victims new and old, Valentine will have to investigate a series of decades-old crimes surrounding a mother she barely knew. To do so, she will need to rely on her mysterious benefactor, her best friend Sam Frye, and a new, unexpected ally Rowan Blackshaw, Nigel’s only son, among others.
Valentine must keep her wits about her as she navigates both past and present, puzzling through local gossip and piecing together fractured memories. She soon discovers that she must be willing to consider the least likely suspects, even when suspicion falls too close to home.
Black deftly creates a complex tale of deadly games, deception, and greed featuring a determined and resilient female lead so as to seize the reader’s attention until all secrets are laid bare. Valentine is real: a young girl with intellect, compassion, and aspirations to emulate a social reformist, Dorothea-Dix-type role model. And her limitations and weaknesses are painfully apparent. But what she lacks in skill and experience, Valentine makes up for with resourcefulness and allies, including her friends turned love interests–Sam and Rowan.
Black eloquently commands an era much like our own with writing and dialog that facilitate the story’s pace with ease. She describes a world where women struggle to find a voice and maintain an independence, a control over their lives (and property). A world where the mentally ill are mistreated and criminalized. Where the haves manipulate the have nots, the few concentrating and wielding power over the many. A world where youths are forced to suffer the burdens of their elders, and the innocent, too often, endure the punishment intended for the guilty.
Black crafts a convoluted plot filled with love, ambition, and murder that will intrigue readers for the very first page to the very last. Still, soft spots linger in what would otherwise be a pretty solid plot and its subplots. (Suffice it to say, weak motives spur the one murder the started it all, the chain of events that eventually threaten Valentine, her family, and her friends when the story begins. Motives not likely to inspire murder–by the culprit responsible anyway.) Black makes up for this by creating a somewhat unreliable protagonist and offering us three of the least-suspected culprits, mentioned since the beginning of the book but most likely overlooked, which help keep the secrets buried longer and the mysteries unraveling slowly.
Girl at the Grave is a captivating pre-American Civil War era mystery that will keep the reader guessing until the end.
I received a free advanced copy of Girl at the Grave as part of the FFBC Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.
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.
That Artsy Reader Girl –Welcome Post
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
Nay’s Pink Book Shelf – Review & Favorite Quotes
Absolute Bookishness – Review
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review
The Bibliophagist – Author Guest Post
Ramblings of a Book Nerd – Review
Ink of Blood – Review
Sweet Southern Home – Author Q&A
Journal of the Lost One – Review
Amy’s Booket List – Review & Favorite Quotes
Oh Hey! Books. – Review & Favorite Quotes
My Fangirl Chronicles – Review
A Court of Coffee and Books – Author Q&A
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophiles – Review
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