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Grave Expectations

af Alice Bell

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1166237,969 (3.67)3
"Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English countryside: performing a seance for the family matriarch's 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered because Sophie has been haunting her ever since. Despite this traumatic past, Claire and Sophie are still unprepared for what they encounter when they arrive at the manor: a ghost, tragic and unrecognizable, and clearly the spirit of someone killed in a rage at the previous year's party. Given her obsession with crime shows-not to mention Sophie's ability to walk through walls-Claire decides they're the best people to solve the case. And with the help of the only obviously not-guilty members of their host family-sexy ex-policeman Sebastian and far-too-cool non-binary teen Alex-they launch an investigation into which of last year's guests never escaped the manor's grounds. What follows is somewhat irregular detective work involving stealing a priest's cassock, getting too drunk to remember to question your suspect, and of course, Chekhov's sparkly purple dildo. As Claire desperately tries to keep a lid on the shameful secret that would definitely alienate her new friends, the gang must race against their own incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them" --… (mere)
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Viser 4 af 4
“Grave Expectations” is funny, dark, and full of delightful characters (both living and dead) and the whole story feels like a queer, paranormal episode of “Midsommer Murders”. I know the tone, which is very dryly witty and slightly ridiculous, isn’t going to be for everyone but I really vibed with it. If you enjoyed “The Thursday Murder Club”, are a millennial who loves “Knives Out” or any sort of British mystery show, then I would recommend this one! ( )
1 stem deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
"‘Bit of séance,’” Claire muttered. “It’s not a sugar-free fizzy drink. You can’t do a . . . a fucking ‘séance lite.’ Christ, I hate rich people.”"

Claire can see dead people. She's hired to do a seance at an old English manor for a birthday party. And Claire's partner is her dead friend Sophie, who she can still see and talk to.

When they arrive to the manor they find a ghost that is a recent addition to the home - meaning the victim was killed at the last birthday party. Claire and Sophie decide to solve the case. The killer has to be one of the family.. and the victim probably is too.

This is a really fun locked room mystery with ghosts!

Thank you Vintage Anchor for giving me an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  mlipman | Jul 27, 2023 |
Mash together Knives Out and Midsomer Murders, add in some supernatural elements and some referential millennial humour and you've got Grave Expectations. Claire is a slightly crap medium—not because she's not actually psychic but because she's bad at making a living from it—who's invited to do a gig at the big crumbling country pile of a fairly frightful family of English toffs. Soon there's a death, and Claire finds herself determined to figure out what happened at the Cloisters, in the company of her dead best friend Sophie and toff family members Basher and Alex.

Alice Bell has a gift for creating fun characters who bounce off one another in interesting ways (Claire and Sophie; Sophie and Alex), and I generally enjoyed the tone/humour throughout—there were even a couple of spots where she startled an actual laugh out of me, which is rare. I will say that I think the humour is pitched at fairly specific audience of nerdy/online millennials, so if you're not in that cohort some of this may not work for you. If, however, you have some familiarity with meme references and enjoy Midsomer Murders for its campness, I think this may be right up your alley. There are parts of the middle section of the book which I found a bit lumpy, and this is a book to read more for the characters than for the mystery, but they're the kinds of issues that are fairly common-or-garden first-novel issues that should be easy to iron out in future books. I'd happily read a sequel to this and will definitely look out for more by Bell in future. ( )
1 stem siriaeve | May 23, 2023 |
I didn't quite know what to expect with this…a thirty-year-old medium, Claire, and her seventeen-year-old ghostly companion, Sophie, trying to solve a (maybe murder) mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. The dialogue between Claire and Sophie is wonderful, and there are some laugh-out-loud moments. It's entertaining and, quite simply, jolly good fun. It reminded me a bit of the TV comedy, Ghosts. In fact, I can quite easily see this on TV.

The only thing that irked me a little was the gender neutrality of one of characters. 'They' was thoroughly confusing; I really thought it referred to more than one person every time. And the gender of the character (which was obvious in any case) was mentioned in one slip-up. But, it was to the characters in the book to whom 'they' wanted to be gender neutral. I didn't think it was necessary for the reader (yes, yes, I know it's all very woke).

But…I loved the book, the story, and the premise. It's delightful, great fun, amusing and well-written.

More please, Ms Bell! ( )
  Librogirl | Apr 26, 2023 |
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"Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English countryside: performing a seance for the family matriarch's 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered because Sophie has been haunting her ever since. Despite this traumatic past, Claire and Sophie are still unprepared for what they encounter when they arrive at the manor: a ghost, tragic and unrecognizable, and clearly the spirit of someone killed in a rage at the previous year's party. Given her obsession with crime shows-not to mention Sophie's ability to walk through walls-Claire decides they're the best people to solve the case. And with the help of the only obviously not-guilty members of their host family-sexy ex-policeman Sebastian and far-too-cool non-binary teen Alex-they launch an investigation into which of last year's guests never escaped the manor's grounds. What follows is somewhat irregular detective work involving stealing a priest's cassock, getting too drunk to remember to question your suspect, and of course, Chekhov's sparkly purple dildo. As Claire desperately tries to keep a lid on the shameful secret that would definitely alienate her new friends, the gang must race against their own incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them" --

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