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Reviewed by Jenn Leisey

The Barrow women and their undertakers have always tended the graveyards – keeping the dead in the ground and protecting Claysville for centuries. For the sleepy little town of a steady four thousand inhabitants, the graveminder’s funeral prayer of “sleep well and stay where I put you” means the difference between harmony – and being eaten.

But that’s what happens when a town’s founding fathers make a deal with a man like Death, who for the record, prefers to be known as Charlie.

Byron Montgomery had only returned to Claysville a few months to follow his father’s career as the town’s undertaker, before Maylene Barrow is viciously murdered in her kitchen. And despite the chief of police’s attempt to sweep the incident under the rug, Byron is fearful for who – or what – is capable of killing in such a horrific manner. For Byron, the death also means an uncomfortable reunion with his lost love and Maylene’s granddaughter, Rebekkah, who has avoided Claysville for over a decade.

But with the strange appearance of a homeless teenage girl and more attacks being reported every day, Rebekkah and Byron are forced to work through their past relationship issues. They must also adjust to their new roles as graveminder and undertaker, as they struggle to get the answers they need to save the town from being overrun with the undead . . . who are very hungry and growing in numbers.

The uneasy dead need three things to be at peace: food, drink, and words. It’s a strange lesson that women in the Barrow family learn at a young age. You keep the dead in their graves with prayers, tea, whiskey, memories, love and letting go. Now Rebekkah must take the lessons that her grandmother Maylene subconsciously ingrained in her, or put herself and the entire town of Claysville in jeopardy.

Graveminder’s story is nothing short of infectious, and will have you enthralled until the very last page. As the book goes on, the only thing more interesting than the explanations offered are the little tidbits left as mysteries.

Rating: 5/5

Since graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Professional Writing, Jenn works as a freelance writer, poet, and blogger at south of sheridan. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, and loves baking, crafting, and anything that requires a hot glue gun.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.