J.J. Graves has seen a lot of dead bodies in her line of work... She's not only in the mortuary business, but she's also the coroner for King George County, Virginia. When a grisly murder is discovered in the small town of Bloody Mary, it's up to J.J. and her best friend, Detective Jack Lawson, to bring the victim justice. The murders are piling up... The residents of Bloody Mary are dropping like flies, and when a popular mystery writer shows up on J.J.'s doorstep with plans of writing his new book about the Bloody Mary Serial Killer, J.J. suspects the writer might be going above and beyond the call of duty to create the spine-tinglers he's so well known for.
It only clouds the issue and puts her reputation on the line when the attraction between them spirals out of control. And passions are rising... J.J. and Jack are in a race against time. They discover each victim had a shocking secret, and the very foundation of J.J.'s life is in danger of crumbling when it turns out she's harboring secrets of her own-secrets that make her the perfect victim in a deadly game.
©2011 Liliana Hart (P)2013 Liliana Hart
The Dragon Mother
This was a nice little suspense mystery told from the coroner, J. J. Graves, point of view. I did enjoy the build-up of suspense as the body count rose and the different little clues that pointed in different directions for our coroner and detective to follow.
This book hit on one of my mystery pet peeves. One of the things that I enjoy about a good mystery is being able to follow along with the lead person and try to figure out what is going on right along with them. Sometimes I can figure it out and sometimes I can’t, but I enjoy the attempt. My pet peeve is when absolutely no clues lead to the person doing the crime or when a previously unknown character comes into the story at the end and reveals all. Although the person doing the crimes in this book is mentioned in the story, absolutely nothing points his way until the big reveal. So at the end of the story is a nicely wrapped up conclusion given to you by the killer when he tells why he did everything … not the mystery being solved by the detective or the coroner.
This book is the first book in the J. J. Graves Mystery series. Even though this book is part of a series, it could definitely be read as a stand-alone book. No cliffhangers, thank you Ms. Hart!
The Narration Review
This audiobook was narrated by Laura Faye Smith. This was the first narration I heard from Ms. Smith and I really enjoyed it. She had good voices and a crisp clean sound to her narration. She was a good choice for this mystery detective read.
Wow...what a great start to this series. This book was incredible. I started out listening to it on audio and then couldn't stand the time to wait to listen to the last 20% of the book and switched to the Kindle version...love that whispersync option!
This is the first book in the J.J. Graves mystery series. J.J. is a doctor who had to come home to run her parent's funeral home after they suddenly died in a car crash. Because of budget cuts, she's also the county's coroner which often puts her working with her best friend, Jack, who's the sheriff. Bloody Mary is a small town mysterious deaths aren't a common occurrence...until this book begins.
I love J.J. and how real she feels. She's unhappy with her situation, but is stuck. ..she even fantasizes about completely disappearing from her life, but her friendship with Jack is the one thing keeping her anchored. Their relationship was awesome. I love how they truly are best friends. He knows it's been 4 years since she had sex. She knows about every one of his many, many sexual exploits. They are close....so close...and that friendship and camaraderie made this book such a good read. I especially loved how jealous he got of Brody...hmm, interesting, wasn't it?
I'll admit, this book kept me guessing until the very end. I knew it could go one of two ways and it went one of them which is so heartbreaking for J.J. It will be interesting to see how the twists and turns at the end of the book play out for the series. Lots of things that were hinted at that are still unresolved that I can see will play out probably over several books here. I can't wait to find out and immediately went and downloaded both audio and kindle versions of book #2 as soon as I finished this one. I can't wait to start it today!
I really got into this, and it was the first time I listened to this kind of murder mystery with romance - I'm hooked! I thought the narrator was awesome and I would hope she would do all of Liliana Hart's books! Both author and speaker were fabulous. I can't wait to read and listen to more of Liliana Hart's books!!
🎀 Often, late at night, I'm lost in my own Imagination; ❧ from amazing stories ❧ from amazing authors! 🎀
Having no freakin' clue who the actual killer was! I thought I knew and was completely blown away when all was revealed!
The relationship between JJ and Jack! It's exactly how a woman with a guy best friend acts when their are no ( friend benefits) lol. And I'm so glad there isn't because their friendship seems that much more beautiful!
Hmmm...there were a few and I'll have to go back and reread but JJ personality is awesome! And some of her personal thoughts are the exact thoughts I had when I turned 30. All that made her character seem so real.
I've said it before, I'm not normally on board with female narrators when it's action romance but this particular narrator does a fabulous job!!! Her performance is truly a 10 and she's the only female narrator that I like listening too!!!
A pathologist knows, murders need evidence! So I was disappointed she fell into the role of damsel in distress. I mean, if you know you're going to die, then dang girl, scratch, bite, kick, throw furniture...hell, throwing the dang on phone in his face would have been better than what she did. Brutal marks need to be left on the face, body, and environment, so anyone who finds you know you left evidence of your murder and murderer! That was a disappointing and un-satisfying scene!!!!!! Didn't ruin the story though.
Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!
This is a really interesting book and a nice start to the series. There are several issues in the plot, but it still manages to be engaging and dynamic. I was definitely drawn into the story and enjoyed the read on the whole
JJ Graves is a really great character, even though she has some issues. She is a modern girl and has no problem going after what she wants. What she wants is some smexy lovin from a mystery writer who is visiting. I have no problem with them hopping into the sack pretty much right after meeting. What I did take issue with was the claims of love, that wasn't something I believed on either part. Sure. there was lust and liking, but not love.
The character's had a great playful banter both JJ and her author and her BFF sheriff Jack. The story is all from JJ's POV, so it is difficult to really get a bead on what others are thinking. She is a great narrative, snarky and intelligent.
The smexy action is all closed bedroom door. They get it on and talk about it after but you have to fill in the details for yourself.
The mystery was sort of unsolvable, I hate that!! It was a total Scooby Do moment when the bad guy was revealed. Totally left fiend in my opinion. I usually like to have some sort of idea who done it, but this one was left field. It was an intriguing and dynamic suspense for most of the read. I am just disappointed I did not have the right puzzle pieces to put everything together.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Laura Faye Smith, who has a terrific voice. She has a really swift read, something I enjoy. It really helps move the story along, she adds energy into her voice at all the right times. There is a lot of rapid fire dialogue and quick punches in the narrative. It really helps add to the thrilling sense of movement the story has.
Overall, I really liked the book. Even when it had plot holes and lacked connection for the characters, I was enjoying the read. The book has the kind of charm that many of my favorite mystery series contain. I love the town, the people are those typical small town busybodies who you can't help but adore. I am definitely looking forward to the next book, this series can easily become an addiction!
This ebook is usually a freebie on Amazon, then you can get the Audible for $1.99. That is a pretty sweet deal and virtually risk free to give it a try!
This book for me is similar to a pilot for a tv series - the characters and the plot are just getting settled into their roles and there are moments where they don't feel "firm". There are a couple of times where I felt something was off with the characters, but by the second book the author had the flow and characters down pat.
This book is a short one at just over 5 hours. It might come across as a bit rushed for some so I give that warning, but I feel it's a good start to the series and I liked it enough to purchase the second book.
I will say there are no clues as to who the murderer is throughout the story. *cheeky grin* But you do meet him early on in the story. This is something a little different for me as most mysteries I listen to have clues and I can guess them with accuracy pretty early on. So it was a refreshing change.
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