Cremains of the Day by Misty Simon #review
For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn't have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .
She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie's friend Gina's shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she's receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that's enough to cast a pall over anyone's day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess--before she finds herself in a grave situation
As someone who used to work in the service industry, the opening lines in this first book of Misty Simon's new Tallie Graver Series hooked me. "Aimed like blind elephants" is a perfect analogy, and it just gets better from there. The main character, Tallie, is recuperating from a marriage gone wrong, and finds herself humbled with her employment prospects and smack dab in a murder and financial mystery. Her reactions, feelings, and dialogue come across honest and authentic. Anyone who's ever ditched their friends for a romantic relationship and then realized the stupidity of their actions can totally, 100%, relate to Tallie. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Simon doesn't waste words or my limited attention span with elaborate details of mundane things like geographical location or minute physical characteristics. Without coming across rushed or lacking, Simon provides enough information for the reader to get an idea and paint their own picture--a master writing technique that I truly enjoyed. The tone and sass reminded me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, without the dreaded love triangle, and the only problem with this book is that it ended too quickly and I'm now suffering from a book hangover.
I would've liked more about the family funeral home; however, this is the first book in a series, and I suspect I'll be getting my wish in subsequent books. Since Simon developed a world with depth and fascinating secondary characters, she has many directions she can take this series and I'm excited to find out which way she goes.
One liners, witty dialogue and a complex protagonist many can relate too, make this Tallie Graver book a wonderful find that I highly recommend.
*I received an ARC*
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