The Vaginal Fantasy group over on Goodreads is doing a casual reread of their older books, and since I have no desire to read this month’s (for May) main and I’ve already read the alt I thought I’d read the re-read book instead. Grave Witch is that book and I liked it. I’m even interested enough to keep reading in the series. I mean, I have quibbles (of course) but overall it was a satisfying urban fantasy/paranormal romance read.
Alex Craft is a grave witch, meaning she can see into the afterlife when she activates her magic. She was born into a world where 70 years ago the fae decided to reveal themselves as real creatures and witches followed. This went about as well as expected, meaning that there is a Humans Only organization. Alex is a magical PI and one of her clients is frequently the city. It makes sense, she can talk to the dead and who is a better witness then the dead. There’s a murder or three and Alex is pulled into the investigation. There is no wheel re-inventing here; I could predict where the plot was going to go and who the love interests were going to be but that doesn’t’ mean the book wasn’t enjoyable. For all that it was a pretty standard, the writing was decent and there were multiple female characters including strong female friendships for Alex.
There was one moment where I nearly threw the book across the room in exasperation. Alex- who in the first chapter describes her casual outfit as low slung leather pants, a read bustier, and heels (essentially the outfit on the cover up there)- is getting ready for a part and rejects her friend’s “whore red lipstick” suggestion. First of all, it’s really judgey to say a lipstick color is whorey and secondly there is so much irony in making a judgement like that while wearing something that would be shorthand for ‘hooker’ in a movie. Plus there is a kind of double standard here in that the assumption we’re supposed to make is that what she wears is badass but what her friend wears (this IS her friend’s lipstick after all) is whorey? I got really annoyed and put the book down for a while. Honestly though, it’s pretty minor and considering some of the women hating crap that other UF/PNR books pull this was pretty light.
I was also a little grossed out by one of the potential love interests in the book. The character in question is Death, and while he is described as hunky (this is how you know he is a potential love interest, when the book spends any amount of page space reveling in his arms and black tee shirt) he is also someone Alex has known for years. The first time she ever saw him she threw her cereal at him, because she was FIVE. It’s not that he’s an immortal being; it’s that he knew her when she was FIVE and watched her grow up. So hopefully she sticks with the fairy lord.
Overall, I’m glad I read it and like I said I’m thinking about reading the second book.