Review: The Whispering Dead by Darcy Coates

Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper’s cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect.

And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering.

The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time… and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target. Determined to help put the ghost to rest, Keira digs into the spirit’s past life with the help of unlikely new friends, and discovers a history of deception, ill-fated love, and murder.

But the past is not as simple as it seems, and Keira’s time is running out. Tangled in a dangerous web, she has to find a way to free the spirit… even if it means offering her own life in return.

The Whispering Dead by Darcy Coates. Book 1 in the Grave Keeper series. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, May 2021. 236 pages.

It is no secret how much I adore this author. She has not let me down so far. I was extremely excited when this book came out because it would be the first time catching one of her series from the beginning. The Whispering Dead had everything I had hoped for.

First we have plenty of mysteries to figure out. Who is Keira? Why is someone hunting her? Who are they? Why can Keira do the things she can do? So many delightful questions! Some reviews have complained that Keira didn’t seem to care about these pressing issues, and that it was just completely unrealistic. I don’t agree with this at all. To me, Keira seemed too afraid to look into these questions. She was afraid she had done something horrible. She didn’t want to know… at least not yet. It was too scary and too overwhelming for her. She seemed to use the mystery of Emma’s death as a form of escapism. So I didn’t find that unrealistic at all.

There were plenty of other mysteries too, once we start adding ghosts into the mix. What do they want? Who are they? And the biggest question, what can Keira do about it? The ghosts are described beautifully. Emma was the clearest and she had a pretty nasty look to her. Very cool. I can not wait to see more ghost actions in future books of the series.

I love the setting of Blighty. A very quaint little town. What secrets and mysteries does it hold? We are introduced to some of the locals. I gotta say, everyone was so likeable! You normally don’t have a book where all the characters are fun, but it’s true for this book. The main set of characters are delightfully quirky. I can’t wait to see more from them as well.

Something I really loved about this book is the set up. I loved how the set up was sprinkled throughout the book instead of all just crammed into the start of the book. I really love this method because it feels naturally balanced. When you have a story that sets up everything in the beginning, it can feel slowed down. Sometimes that can really drag and feel tedious. But in this book, nothing was rushed to be set up, it is spread through out the book and it never dragged. Pacing was just on point.

With mysteries at every corner, I never felt bored. There were engaging and constantly left me wanting more. That said, there are a LOT of unanswered questions. Some people may feel it was too many, and maybe I’m a little biased, but to me, it just makes me want book # 2 even more!

Very entertaining plot. The real gem in the novel are the awesome characters. You can’t help but fall for them. I really look forward to visiting this town again.

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