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New Release Tuesday: Solving a Murder from Beyond the Grave, “Delia’s Shadow” by Jaime Lee Moyer

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

untitled (38)Delia’s Shadow by Jaimee Lee Moyer

Published by Tor-Forge

Expected Publication:  September 17th, 2013


“Ever since I was a small child I’d caught glimpses of people my parents couldn’t see, or faces peering at me from corners in an otherwise empty room.”

This is our first glimpse into the mind of our heroine, Delia, as the book begins.  From the start when ghosts begin following the clairvoyant, but naïve girl Moyer does not slow down the rise of events that lead to the book’s ending.  While the story’s end comes predictably to a close the journey Moyer takes the reader on to get there is paced near perfectly and the two narrators add depth to the plot without muddling the mystery.  Through narrators Delia and Gabe Moyer has not only created a mystery that will keep you turning pages, but characters that feel real and emotional.  Unfortunately, Moyer’s strong character development does not carry over to the villain which leaves this otherwise impeccably crafted mystery falling flat and feeling hollow.

Delia is traveling back to her home town of San Francisco after a childhood sense of seeing ghosts has come back to her, stronger than ever.

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  She feels the time to return home and deal with her six sense is at hand and with the wedding of her best friend and death of her foster-mother on the horizon, the timing seems right.  What Delia doesn’t know is that friend Sadie’s fiancé and his partner Gabe are in the middle of a murder investigation. And Delia’s ghost is a key witness.  As the serial killer that’s been hunting for decades begins to escalate his threats Delia and Gabe join forces physical and paranormal to stop the killer before it’s too late.

The characters in this novel are all well rounded and that helps the plot to move along, I genuinely felt for Gabe and Delia as well as Sadie and her fiancé.  They alone make this a charming mystery, and the inevitable love side-story that develops between Gabe and Delia doesn’t feel as forced as it might otherwise.  Everything leading up to the mystery was done well and the plot arc left the author with plenty of rooms to throw a few curves and develop the killer.  Unfortunately, Moyer doesn’t take advantage. More time is spent setting the scene of San Francisco than developing the motives of a murderer.  Moyer set up plenty of possibilities from bringing in myths of Egyptian gods, to the mystery of what happened in the killer’s childhood, to the possibility of ghostly possession. But all these threads are left untied to the rest of the plot when the case finds its end.  Making the solving of this mystery a disappointment.

It does feel like Moyer is setting this book up to be part of a series, and maybe a later installment when answer some of these questions.  While this mystery ended on an empty note the writing and the characters would bring me back to Moyer should Gabe and Delia return.  While not the best mystery out there, I was pleased with the19th century San Francisco setting and the story moves along quickly enough it doesn’t get boring.  A good read for the fall, especially in the dark.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.

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