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The Restorer: Graveyard Queen    by Amanda Stevens order for
by Amanda Stevens
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Amelia Gray first encountered ghosts at a young age, when she was more curious than afraid of the ethereal beings. However, she quickly learned to heed her father's dire warnings that she never acknowledge or associate with the dead, and never stray from hallowed ground. If she did even one of those things, the ghosts would haunt her in this life and into the next.

Now a grown woman, Amelia restores the cemeteries that had once been her playground as a child. When the body of a young woman is discovered in the old Charleston cemetery she's been contracted to work on, detective John Devlin asks for her help in deciphering clues that seem connected to headstone symbolism, and that only Amelia can interpret. The fact that Devlin is haunted by his dead wife and child is a danger to Amelia. It's clear that the wraiths are slowly leeching Devlin's energy, but to warn him would go against everything Amelia's father taught her and doom her as well.

Amanda Stevens honed her craft writing category romantic suspense for Harlequin and then a mainstream psychological thriller as well as two romantic suspense titles for their MIRA imprint. The Restorer, the first of her engagingly creepy Graveyard Queen trilogy, is told entirely through Amelia's first person point of view.

It's a beautifully written, chilling and unique tale as Amanda finds herself dealing with a set of circumstances that could well destroy her: tracking down a killer and trying to deny her magnetic attraction to a man whose unresolved past could prove even more dangerous. The ghosts Amelia sees and must diligently keep at bay are spooky and malevolent and are far from done with her - or with John Devlin. The connection that Stevens creates between the pair is intense and heartbreaking, and also far from over.

The Graveyard Queen series continues with The Kingdom, due out this Fall and The Prophet, (Devlin's story) in Spring 2012.

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