In Girl at the Grave, debut author Teri Bailey Black unearths the long-buried secrets of a small 1850s New England town in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder, guilt, redemption, and finding love where least expected.
A mother hanged for murder.
A daughter left to pick up the pieces of their crumbling estate.
Can she clear her family’s name if it means facing her own dark past?
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.
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Debut author Black adroitly fashions a believable historical thriller, carefully unfolding layers of generational deceit and heartbreak, and creating well-rounded characters and a believable 19th-century New England town. Valentine Deluca, 18, has always lived in the shadow of her infamous mother, who was hanged for the murder of Nigel Blackshaw when Valentine was six years old. Now finishing her final year at the exclusive Drake Academy, Valentine finds that her past has come back to haunt her. After the church rector, Mr. Oliver, informs her that her mother was innocent, Valentine's long-buried memories of the night when Nigel died begin to resurface. Then Mr. Oliver is poisoned and killed, and Valentine's father and friend Birdy go missing. With the help of Nigel's son, Valentine begins to piece together the twisted history of her family and the Blackshaws. By allowing readers to understand the various motivations for some of the characters' bad behaviors, Black offers a story interested in empathy and a search for the truth. Ages 13 up.
I couldn’t guess the killer!
The general plot of this book really intrigued me, as I love a good murder mystery. Valentine, the main character, lives her life in the shadow of her mother's crime of murder over a decade ago. When new murders begin, she is of course the prime suspect. Oh, and let's not forget the love triangle, which is making her life even more difficult! The historical setting, in the late 1800s, really interested me, because it played a part in how the story progressed and its characters reacted. I was also thoroughly impressed by the fact that I had no idea who the killer was! Not to mention the feminist themes that were thrown in. I really did enjoy this book. The only reason I wouldn't give it five stars, is because of the readability. I felt like the book was going to wrap up, and then some other big event would happen. It seemed like some of the events could have been cut out, and the book would have been just as good. It was like there was just too much going on in the later part of the book, and I started to wonder if it would ever end. Overall, I enjoyed the story, and the happy ending was a pleasure.
Girl At The Grave
Congratulations to Teri Bailey Black on her first young adult move. It’s a real page turner. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to find the answers to the multifaceted mystery. The author was skilled at describing the locations as well as creating a detailed portrait of each character. I can’t wait for the authors next book.