Narrated by Ulka Mohanty, Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest delivered a light mystery with paranormal and cozy vibes. This witty story was a solid start to The Booking Agents series. You’ll want to snag this one from the library.
by Cherie Priest
Series: The Booking Agents #1
Narrator: Ulka Mohanty
Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.25x
A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series.
Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, her life changes in ways she couldn’t have predicted.
After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack.
Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved. Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help the case several years before, but she's been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar's open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.
A different vibe from her previous novels like Boneshaker and Maplecroft, Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest shares the story of Leda Foley, sole proprietor of Foley’s Flights of Fancy, a travel agency in Seattle. This is a witty, cozy-vibed story with an two unsolved cases and perfect for a dreary Sunday afternoon.
Leda gets premonitions, often useless ones or bad feelings. When she gets a bad feeling, she impulsively re-booked Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight. At first Grady, a single Dad, is annoyed but when his previous flight bursts into flames, he’s intrigued.
Detective Grady shows up at the travel agency and wants to hire her off the books to help him with a cold case that has been bugging him. Leda doesn’t think her psychic abilities will help, but reluctantly agrees, hoping it might help solve her fiancé’s murder if she hones her skills.
The tale that unfolds pulled me in as they visited past crime scenes, re-interviewed suspects and witnesses hoping Leda will pick up some psychic clues. I enjoyed the banter and Leda’s inability to remain quiet as she tagged along. Oh, she tried, and much to Grady’s annoyance, her questions slowly helped the case, as did some unexpected paranormal woo-woo. Grady played the straight man in this comedic duo and I enjoyed their pairing.
Leda’s BFF Niki and the bar where Leda plays Psychic karaoke lightened the story and showcased some of Leda’s raw talent.
The story really picked up as the two began making connections and pinning down suspects. Discovering the motive was the key. We get some suspense and Leda finds herself in danger. The worry about the department discovering Grady is working with a civilian added some tension. I kept waiting for one of them to blow it.
While this wasn’t my favorite in the genre, the bones are there and I am exciting to try the next audiobook in the series. Especially after the ending that hinted of things to come. If you like shows like Monk, Moonlighting and the Mentalist, you’ll feel right at home.
Ulka Mohanty narrates and did a great job of capturing Leda’s doubts and inquisitive nature. She gave each character a unique voice and although I found Grady’s to be gruff; she captured accents and enhanced the overall story.
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