Toni Windsor is trying to live a quiet life in the green and pleasant county of Staffordshire. She’d love to finally master the rules of croquet, acquire a decent boyfriend and make some commission as an estate agent.
All that might have to wait, though, because there are zombies rising from their graves, vampires sneaking out of their coffins and a murder to solve.
And it’s all made rather more complicated by the fact that she’s the one raising all the zombies. Oh, and she’s dating one of the vampires too. Really, what’s a girl meant to do?
Grave Secrets is one of those books that arrived just at the right moment. I was between books and casting around for something to read, stumbled across Runalongwomble’s excellent review and thought right, that sounds quite splendid.
Reader, I was not disappointed. It’s enormous fun, with a delightful sense of humour and a marvellous lead in Lavington Windsor, estate agent for the undead by day, necromancer by night. She is quite the busy bee, our Toni.
It’s also wonderful to read about zombies and vampires set in our countryside today, rather than a post-apocalyptic future, or 18th century France, for example. That said, it’s not *quite* our present, as vampires are out and about, and (largely) tolerated in the UK at least. Less so in America.
Being a story about zombies and vampires, there’s the requisite gallons of blood, but the gore is all tastefully handled, and we’re on with the adventure. And the adventure has everything! Murder, mystery, zombies, politics, work, relationships, how to get blood out of clothing, necromancy, stylish zombies, the works.
I loved Toni Windsor, and hope that Grave Secrets is just the first in a long-running series. Hugely enjoyable, and highly recommended.
Grave Secrets by Alice James is published by Solaris in September 2020. Many thanks to the publisher for the advance copy via NetGalley.