Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley
Narrator: Diana Blue
Series: Odessa Jones #1
Published by Tantor Audio on March 9, 2021
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 7 hours, 32 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook
In the first of a thrilling new series, one woman's extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sights...
Until now, Odessa Jones' inherited ability to read emotions and foretell danger has protected her. But second sight didn't warn her she would soon be a widow--and about to lose her home and the catering business she's worked so hard to build. The only things keeping Dessa going are her love for baking and her sometimes-mellow cat, Juniper. Unfortunately, putting her life back together means taking a gig at an all-kinds-of-shady real estate firm run by volatile owner Charlie Risko...
Until Charlie is brutally killed--and Dessa's bullied co-worker is arrested for murder. Dessa can't be sure who's guilty. But it doesn't take a psychic to discover that everyone from Charlie's much-abused staff to his long-suffering younger wife had multiple reasons to want him dead. And as Dessa follows a trail of lies through blackmail, dead-end clues, and corruption, she needs to see the truth fast--or a killer will bury her deep down with it.
An ultimatum to get a sale, unlikeable co-workers, and a murdered boss take things from bad to worse for a woman starting over in life with an unwanted psychic gift. When I spotted this new series of cozies with a paranormal twist, I was all in to try a new-to-me author and narrator.
Odessa Jones lost her husband the year before, and then their catering business and her feeling of direction made things financially precarious even as an unwanted family heritage in the form of a psychic gift package has shown up to complicate her life. I liked Dessa from the beginning. She’s vulnerable in some ways because she’s learning a new job as a realtor and also has to learn how the psychic gift works- like the glimmer auras or the strong scents that portent things or give her knowledge about a person’s emotions or character. As more about her gift came out, I felt she was more witch than psychic. She’s still working through her grief and loss, but she’s quietly going about business as she does it. Once the murder happens, Dessa doesn’t suddenly become a skilled amateur sleuth, but she doesn’t hesitate to try to learn her unwanted gift or try to help a co-worker accused of the murder. She is curious and is a noticing sort who doesn’t hesitate to ask why.
Besides Odessa, there are some solid secondary characters like quirky Aunt Phoenix and Aunt Celestine, her spoiled cat Juniper, and even an emerging love interest and aid to helping her with the mystery in a retired cop who runs a nearby BBQ restaurant. Dessa really starts coming into her own with her restart on life with all their help. And, lord love me, I was salivating when Dessa started cooking again- yes we have a recipe, too.
While Charlie her boss, was obnoxious and no surprise – he was killed, her coworkers, the wife, and a few others in his circle all had motive it seemed. I did like the way one could form a case against any of them and it wasn’t easy to figure out- which I didn’t, at least not until nearly the reveal anyway. Odessa does get someone nervous so there is some good suspense. Much of this book felt cozy and the mystery is still solid and plotted out well. I’m interested to see Odessa grow into her gifts and her talent for nosing out a mystery solution along with the other great characters along for the ride.
So, it was a good start to a series with an engaging lead character with a good backdrop, entertaining mystery, and splendid secondary characters. I think those who enjoy paranormal cozies will take to the Odessa Jones series.
Diana Blue had a good narration voice and it was easy to listen to her storytelling and I liked her as Odessa’s voice. She was more narrator than voice actor because she didn’t ‘act’ the scenes or make much distinction like for gender though that is not to say that she was flat. She let the story take precedence.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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