Book Review: OF GRAVE CONCERN by Max McCoy

Publisher: Kensington

Published: July 02, 2013

Format: 304 pages

ISBN: 9780758281937  

Series:  Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mysteries

Origin: Publisher 

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

I saw a dead girl.  Okay, to a spiritualist medium it shouldn’t have been so shocking, but it was a moment for sure.   Most of the time, I pretend talking to dead people.  Easy, really.  After visiting the best graves, it’s easy to find the recent dearly departed with the most cash and the wealthy family who would be the easiest picking.  

Now, I’m not the self-satisfying type, so hold on and I’ll explain.  

Dr. Ophelia Wylde wants to give comfort to those who hurt not just enjoy their cash, and she wants to give the peace that she is denied when her heart aches.  

See the thief that stole from me wasn’t the same kind of thief that you might be thinking of me.  This man took more than cash in the most perverse way. Enough said about that.  You see I am a widow.  While both my husband and I shared love, happiness, and a belief in the spirits speaking, we made a promise—if  ever eternally separated, we would reconnect with a message.  While I believe that is somewhat still possible, I know that this is my last chance to have it happen.

In these years, since my beloved’s death, I moved down the wrong path.  However, the belief that the dead can speak was founded many years ago in New Orleans, and still follows me today at a strange place for sure, Dodge City.  If the sight of a dead girl didn’t cost me angst the animal smells and sunning hides would certainly have had the privilege.

In 1877, the locomotive is my mode of travel with my beloved pet, Eddie.  He is not a talking bird, for the record; he does something better.   Anyway, my desire to find this dead girl overtook me, and I wound my way to her.  Although, I did need to be brief before the train moved on without me. You see that just wouldn’t do.  I have an appointment to keep, and it is one that is dear to me.  

After arriving at the spot that held this woman, I knew my eyes deceived me.  I wasn’t a little one seeing a dead man in the mirror anymore, no.  This dead girl did not even exist.  

Feeling somewhat a fool, I made my way backward to the station and arrived with time to spare.  Although thanks to some idiot’s drivel, my leaving on this train becomes impossible, since a bounty hunter listens to someone’s babble and adds my non-traditional female mode of dress and sums up that I am someone else, entirely.  This person who is supposed to be me is a female serial killer.  

The sound of the cell door closing makes me positive that I will miss my appointment and just might be here . . . forever.

Finally, my bail was set by a man who’s grieving and needs my special, albeit fake, help. However, needing money to pay the lawyer, the hotel, and feed myself is the part that isn’t so selfless.  

Really, it’s not until I recognize the cowboy that I’d stepped over, when he was sauced, do I make the fatal slip-up.  

Fatal does not describe his problem, but it does describe my own.   

Meanwhile, I see the dead woman, again. This time, so does two cowboys, but even knowing there is more than meets my eye on this woman, my earthly time becomes limited due to my own mistakes.   

My Take:

OF GRAVE CONCERN by Max McCoy is an amazing story that blends the Western traditional genre with the paranormal genre of today to make a mystery that will bring you back in time and won’t let you go!

Dr. Ophelia Wylde is someone you’ll come to know as early trailblazer of today’s independent woman.  

Walking with baggage like anyone of us could, this character spins us into a world that exists beyond this one.  In her flawed but believable fashion, Ophelia shows that a woman wearing pants is not a recent fashion trend, and her independent streak is both a product of herself and her circumstances.   She’s a woman of 1877 who knows there are very few ways for a female to make money.   Choosing the way she can live with herself and bring happiness to others, she sees herself perpetrating a victimless crime of mercy, well except for when she becomes the next victim. 

Max McCoy produces a great historical read in OF GRAVE CONCERN with twists and turns that any mystery reader will love.  As the story unfolds, other mysteries emerge.  However, many of these mysteries are of the world and some aren’t.  I know that you that you will be entranced and won’t want to miss the next Dr. Ophelia Wylde mystery!


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