ISBN #: 978-0061826870
Page Count: 336
Copyright: May 17, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow
(Taken from dustjacket flap)
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker - in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past - can set things right once the dead begin to walk.
Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility - to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.
This is one of those instances where I was walking through my local major-chain bookstore's clearance section and saw this book. The cover drew me in, but what really got me hooked was the tagline on the front cover: "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." The implications of that sentence sparked my imagination right away. Even though I had never heard of Melissa Marr before, I decided to give this novel a chance.
I'm not going to rehash the summary for you. I will tell you that this is truly an original story idea ... and I loved it. Okay, maybe not loved, but I liked it a lot! The play on words and double-meanings are genius: Graveminder, Undertaker, Walking Dead, and Hungry Dead. There was some romantic tension in the novel, but it mostly focused on the Graveminder's and Undertaker's roles and duties. The romanticism was sort of a back-burner storyline, which I appreciated.
I did have one question, though, and this may spoil a little bit of the story for you: If the Graveminder couldn't leave Claysville, whatever happened to all of Rebekkah's stuff in San Diego?
Please take my advice and pick up a copy of this novel, especially if you're looking for a quick Halloween read.