December 2011, Berkley UK
344 pages, Paperback
Themes: magic, charms, wards, human suspicion on other humans, open use of magic, pursuit, family discord/secrets/ties, erratic income affecting daily life, mysteries, landing in trouble a lot, investigations, true friendships, lots of action, occasional gore, occasional strong language, a little adult romance (one very strong scene) tissues needed
Summary from Penguin
Just because Grave Witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, doesn't mean she has to like what they have to say...
As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she's on good terms with Death himself, nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high-profile murder when she's attacked by the ghost she is raising which should be impossible. Then, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, thwarted only by Death's intervention. You know you're having a bad day when Death is saving your life...
To solve this case, Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Faith Andrews. Andrews seems to be hiding something, although it's certainly not his dislike of Alex. Despite all that, Alex is going to need his help to navigate the tangled webs of real-world and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex not just her life, but also her soul...
Alex had me laughing even when she was in deeeep trouble, which was all of the novel. I loved how her talents as a grave witch were used and how they connected her to death, who (death is a person) helps her deal with the maelstrom of magical mojo that trips her at every step. She is far from invincible but her unique powers save others and occasionally herself. This is one of several awesome books I'll keep reading, getting 9.9/10 because two pages had me rather confused, even re-reading them I couldn't make sense of what happened (I have to note the I'm constantly tired so sometimes don't plot threads out if they are subtle messages).
Definitely check out Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk which is equally awesome.