Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

March 21st, 2014 Kimberly Review 68 Comments

21st Mar
Waking the Dead by Heather Graham
Waking the Dead
by Heather Graham
Series: Cafferty and Quinn #2
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

They say a painting can have a life of its own… In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that's more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, "the year without a summer." That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art…. Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow. Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations. Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they've stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.

Waking the Dead is the second book in the Cafferty and Quinn mysteries by Heather Graham. We meet this duo in the first book, Let the Dead Sleep and I was excited to team up with them again. Set in New Orleans former police detective Michael Quinn and gifted shop owner Danielle Cafferty must uncover clues and protect the city from evil. Mini review: a thrilling mystery with a motley crew that drew me in and held me captive.

The summer of 1816, a Switzerland castle an exploration in horror . Artist Henry Sebastian Hubert paints his most famous piece surrounded by Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and others. Two hundred years later the painting arrives in New Orleans and strange, horrific deaths begin plague the city. Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn begin to connect current events to that summer in 1816. Can evil be stopped?

I am in love with the setting and set up for the overall plot arc of this series. Danielle a talented painter has inherited her father’s shop off Royal Street. She sells everything from baubles to antiques. After her father’s death, she discovered her father and former detective Michael Quinn often partnered in retrieving and destroying evil pieces of art. Now she works with Michael. The paranormal thread is a good one and when you mix in NO, a voodoo queen, a priest and a wolf it can only get interesting. Graham makes you believe in the supernatural and ratchets up the suspense.

In the summer of 1816, Hubert painted a vivid scene of a family and the colors draw you in but on closer inspection you quickly realize all is not what it seems. Eye witness reports in the city claim a fog appeared before leaving victims’ bludgeon to death, slashed with a sword and almost beheaded. Cafferty and Quinn need to stop a killer and that quest takes them to a creepy castle in Switzerland with a crypt. Graham did an excellent job of building the suspense as we learn more about the origin of the painting and that fateful summer. Together they must find the painting and track down the human who activated it. I love how Quinn and Cafferty interact, both are strong characters and we once again witness their relationship develop. Theirs is a slow-building romance, filled with trust, respect and tender moments of heat. The romance takes a back seat to the case at hand, keeping the swooning low but it has a genuine and realistic quality that is endearing. Quinn and Cafferty look to their friends to aid them, and Graham has created an interesting posse to surround them. Each plays an intricate part, and I loved learning more about them as Graham continues to develop these secondary characters.

Waking the Dead offered a fabulous mystery, and I enjoyed reading about this crime solving duo. Unlike her Krewe of Hunters series, the main couple is a constant in each novel. While each mystery can be read as a standalone, keep in mind the romantic thread is ongoing throughout the series.


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

68 Responses to “Waking the Dead by Heather Graham”

  1. Tyler H Jolley

    Waking the Dead is a bit out of my usual genre, but you have sparked my interest. I’m very excited to add this to my tbr. Thanks, Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoy her paranormal suspense, and the setting(s) and painting made this a keeper 🙂

  2. Pamela D

    This sounds like such a fun read. You know that I am a fan of the slow burn romance, and I do love a good mystery.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am really loving this series Pamela, and hope you give it a whirl 🙂

  3. Lark

    I’ve heard of Heather Graham, of course, but never read her. I have to say, this series sounds really intriguing! Kimba, you’ve got to stop reviewing all these great books – my TBR is too long as it is! (Just kidding, of course!)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am enjoying this series, and love her paranormal suspense trilogies/series

  4. Faye

    I have NEVER heard of this author and book before, so I am very happy that you reviewed it and brought it to my attention. I’m a sucker for premises like this (and switzerland? Suh-weet!), and mysteries are fun in general. Thanks for the review, love! Adding it to my TBR!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a fun series and I love the paranormal twists and mystery:) Hope you start the series Faye!

  5. Bea

    I haven’t read any of Graham’s book for a while but this one might tempt me back in. Nice review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Bea, I am really enjoying this series. I love the gang, the quirky store and New Orleans setting.

  6. Lindy

    Great Review Kim! You know I love a good mystery! I imagine the setting of Switzerland was breathtaking. I’m glad the the romance was slow building, and had bring the tender moments as well as the heat!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lindy I loved New Orleans and the trips to the castle!

  7. Kimberly

    I’ve only read one book by the author and that was a holiday novel which I didn’t care for overly much but had no idea she had a new series out. This one sounds pretty good. Looks like I need to start it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do not like her holiday books at all..which is sad really 🙂

  8. Ginny

    I am adding this series to my TBR list. I think my library has the first book on audio for download. 🙂 I really liked The Flynn Brother’s Trilogy by Heather Graham so I think I will enjoy this one too. Off to see if I can grab book one now.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet and you must look for her Bone Island trilogy I adore Bartholomew

  9. Berls

    This sounds like one I could really enjoy. I’m not a big mystery reader, but I do really enjoy a good mystery infused with fantasy elements. Absolutely love the setting and that the author uses it with elements like the voodoo queen. adding to my tbr, thanks for the great review 🙂

  10. Jeann

    Sounds like you are on a mystery kick lately Kimba! This one sounds intriguing, and there’s nothing better than a slow building romance. Thanks for the review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It had some great creepy moments and I quite enjoyed it:) thanks Jeann

  11. Giselle

    I feel like I fail for not having read a book by this author yet haha. I see her everywhere man she’s a busy gal! I like the sounds of this one though and especially how the romance is not center stage! I’ll have to give this author a try eventually! 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, this was creepy, I really think you would like the whole painting thing..and the motley crew 🙂

  12. Christy

    I keep saying it, but dammit, I need to read another Graham book soon!I will when I get in MY mystery and darkness mood. 😀

  13. Debbie Haupt

    Love the review and she’s a go to for me anyway, now if you could just make the clock stop for a while I’ll get these all read 🙂
    Have a Good Weekend Kimba, I’m thinking of you!

  14. Braine Talk Supe

    I’ve only read one Heather Graham novel and it was a contemporary series about psychics. Didn’t like that much. This one however fits my taste to a tee! Thanks for the rec, Kimba, I will most definitely add this to my list.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hmm, I am not sure I read that series. I do not like her holiday and standalones, especially older ones. I think we were visiting each other at the same time..freaky right 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!

  15. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I have a couple of books of hers on my tbr and haven’t gotten to them yet. It looks like I so need to add this one. You had me with painting, then you stole the show with paranormal and mystery. I also love that these can be read as standalones. No cliffies! 😀 Yep, gotta get…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, while the characters are the same and relationships grow, the mysteries all begin and end. Hope you get to read it 🙂

  16. Heidi

    You convinced me to try this author so I grabbed an ARC of this book, it is nice to know that it can be read as a stand alone since I haven’t read the first one. The setting and the romance both sound terrific. I think I have this scheduled in two weeks.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh so cool. The romance is slow building and began in book one. Enjoy Heidi!!

  17. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Oh geese, here I go again 😉 This sounds like an exciting series, one that I may have to look into more with its amazing setting of NO, Voodoo, and a wolf. Plus, you know I like romance on the side and I like the fact the couple is a constant…Wonderful review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, this is why I like romantic suspense with a little paranormal woo-woo..ha!

  18. Lorna

    I haven’t read this author in years but this sounds interesting-I may have to try her again-Thanks!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am not a fan of her standalone, well they are hit and miss but I love her paranormal romantic suspense/mystery series

  19. aurian

    I knew it was you who made me read some Heather Graham books lately! Also with ghosts, and I love them. Thanks Kimba! I am looking forward to diving into this series sometime soon as welll.

  20. Candace

    This sounds SO good! I love the setting and the plot of it all sounds great. I have been enjoying mysteries lately and the paranormal stuff has me curious!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed Candace I love NO setting and her store front.

  21. sherry fundin

    I love New Orleans and Heather Graham. I have read numerous books by her and will pick up anything I see. Thanks for the great review and have a fantastic weekend.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, I am glad you enjoy her too Sherry. I hope your weekend is wonderful too!

  22. Nick

    I love that this book is set in New Orleans. I don’t think I’ve read many books that are based there. Plus, I adore the sound of the romance being slow. I need to check out this series. Great review!

  23. Jenny

    Color me curious Kim, I really want to know what the deal with this painting is! I love that the romance is of the slow burn variety as well. I always crave a little romance in my books, but I like when it doesn’t overshadow the mystery and allows it to take center stage. I need to read this series for sure!

  24. kindlemom1

    I think I would be in love with the setting as well. I love how her books are almost always set in New Orleans.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She has a whole series there, then she did Massachusetts which was spooky and the Florida Keys, then Tennessee. Ooo and Texas too.

  25. Jenea

    I haven’t read anything by Graham in a while. This sounds good and I think I would certainly enjoy this one. Glad you did, great review.

  26. Kristin

    This sounds like THE perfect mystery series for those readers who like a dab of supernatural in their reads, no? See, you’re like my very own Reader Advisory for all the books I don’t have time to read 🙂 I really wish I had time to pick up this series b/c I kind of like the sound of their “posse” or “scooby gang” 🙂

  27. Melanie Simmons (

    Heather Graham is one of those authors that I’ve seen since I got into the genre, but never read. I have no idea why. I guess I’ve never had anyone recommend one of her books to me, so I always pick something else. This looks interesting though. I may have to give her a try. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Start with book one, and ooh I love her Bone Island trilogy

  28. Mary

    Yay for a motley crew! And Heather Graham writes good mystery so I think I’ll have to check this one out.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree her cases piece together well, and I loved the added paranormal woo-woo!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love that the romance has been building slowly throughout the series and feels genuine.

  29. Melliane

    oh the idea is really interesting! I confess I read 2 books by this author in French and thought they were a little long, I missed something and since then, I didn’t read any of the new writings. I though it was the same for all the others but I think with your review I was wrong and now I should go back and try something else. thanks!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do not like her standalone especially her holiday ones..LOL Try her Bone Island Trilogy it is my favorite 🙂