Of Grave Concern (An Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery #1) By Max McCoy
The Civil War is over, and many a young widow has turned to spiritualism to contact their husbands on “the other side.” But Ophelia Wylde won’t be fooled twice. After wasting her money on a phoney psychic, she decides if she can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. She leaves New Orleans and heads West, selling her services as a spiritual medium who speaks to the dead. By the time she reaches Dodge City, business is booming. Except for a handsome but skeptical bounty hunter named Jack Calder, no one suspects Ophelia of running a con game–until an unfortunate “reading” of a girl who’s still living exposes her to a townfull of angry customers. As punishment, the mob drags Ophelia to Boot Hill and buries her alive in a fresh grave overnight. That’s when the dead start speaking. To her. For real. And for dead people, they’ve got lots to say. ..
I like paranormal books, and recently I’ve been on a cozy mystery kick, so when I saw this was on sale I snatched it up.
First off this is an origin story more than it’s a cozy mystery. The “mystery” is mentioned at the beginning of the book but it’s not pursued until the halfway point. The main point of this book was to introduce you to Ophelia Wylde and get her started on her life of mystery solving.
As a character Ophelia was fully fleshed out and I could see her clearly but I didn’t really like her. For most of the book she was basically a grifter, taking advantage of people. When she was a child she’d had a gift but circumstances caused her to lose the ability. So she took her knowledge and manipulated people.
By the end of the book I liked her a little better. She was trying to be good, but what does it say about a character that they had to be almost killed to reach that point?
It was an interesting idea and I liked the paranormal western approach. Now that her origins are out of the way I’m interested to see what’s next.