**I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. **
Title: Girl at the Grave
Author: Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: August 7th, 2018
Genre: historical fiction, teen, gothic, mystery
Page count: 336
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
My thoughts: This book was Teri Bailey Black’s debut novel, taking place in a gothic 19th century setting. Black’s writing and story telling was my favorite part of this book. Her writing style was so beautifully descriptive, I feel as though it played out like a movie in my head. I could see all the characters, scenes, and places as clear as day. It really made for an easy read with a great flow.
The plot of this book was compelling. The pace wasn’t all action all of the time (which I prefer) but slowed in some places. Normally I do not like slow places in books, but these pauses helped the world building, character development, and helped me as the reader to reflect on the well information I’d just received.
The reveal of the mystery helped drive this story forward. The author was smart about how much information to give out and when and kept me wanting more. I thought it was really well balanced and all the moving parts of the mystery came full circle in the end and wrapped up nicely.
The characters were well written and interesting. I really don’t have any complaints about their actions or how they were written. Everyone was suspicious for one reason or another throughout the whole story and it seemed as though everyone in the town had motive. I really liked the fact that the culprit could’ve been anyone in town and ended up not being the obvious choice which was a nice surprise.
Overall this was a great debut and solid 4 stars in my opinion. I highly enjoyed this book and recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a dark, gothic mystery to read this fall/Halloween. I will definitely be watching for more from Teri Bailey Black.