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Book Review: Kira Snyder’s Post Mortem (Parish Mail Series #2)

Post Mortem

Author: Kira Snyder

Book: Post Mortem (Parish Mail Series #2)

Website: http://www.kirasnyder.com/


Book Blurb

“Autumn in New Orleans means Homecoming, romance and murder. When a friend vanishes, Celia believes a letter about an unsolved Civil War-era murder holds the key to unraveling the mystery.

As she searches for answers, Celia enlists the help of quirky witch Tilly, and either all-American boy Donovan or, enigmatic Luc? You get to choose.

As the gang follows the missing girl’s trail, danger turns up on all fronts. A stranger threatens Celia’s family. Celia’s nightmares about a shadowy, ominous villain get worse. And a new ghost has appeared: beautiful Angelica, who shares a past with Luc.

It will take all of Celia’s will and wit, and the faith of her friends, to solve an unspeakable crime. No matter which path Celia takes, she will discover that sometimes the past can come back to haunt you.

In Post Mortem, readers decide which clues to follow to solve the mystery. But remember: Choose carefully, or else the killer might just get away.”


Review

With just as much romance and mystery as Dead Letter Office (read Amber’s Review), Post Mortem, book two of the Parish Mail Saga takes off only a couple of weeks after the first book ended, this time getting right to the middle of the action. The story begins with a simple phrase: “A ghost has me by the throat.” Immediately, I had to continue reading to discover why and from there the excitement and power to hook you into reading further never comes to a standstill.

Uncovering the clues continues to be fun in a teen Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries kind of way…

As much as I enjoyed Dead Letter Office, the mystery in book two is stronger overall with one that hits a lot closer to home than an unknown homeless man. When Celia suspects her new friend Kate is actually dead based on another parchment letter addressed to her, she will do anything with her friends to discover the truth. The connections between the past and the present are seamless with a more relevant, mythology based mystery that does, in fact, connect to the past and to the core characters. Uncovering the clues continues to be fun in a teen Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries kind of way (with the paranormal and Southern style) mixed with a Veronica Mars type of mystery.

As this novel comes from TV writer Kira Snyder (Moonlight, Eureka, and Alphas), the books read very similarly to an episode of a TV series. While the first installment reads more like a stand-alone mystery, book two reminds me of a mythology driven episode I’d see on television (which do always tend to be my favorite episodes for all my genre shows including the ones Snyder has worked on). Snyder’s experience with this kind of storytelling enhances the experience and works well to keep readers interested in not only the singular mystery of the book but the mysteries of the entire series. For instance, the parchment letters are secret in and of themselves (like where do they come from and how does that connect to the past), one I hope we get answers for in future installments (much like we would at the end of a season or end of a show). The elite school society, the Fleur-de-Lis Sisterhood that Celia joins has so much potential for more revelation and backstory (it even fondly reminds me of the TV Series Moonlight and Coraline’s connection to the “Fleur-de-Lis”) as well. Even more compelling as a continual mythology, is the mystery behind the evil green crowned man of Celia’s dreams. Who he is and what his plans are will clearly play out even more in future books.

The character development of the characters also goes into greater depth now that Snyder has gone past the introductions. And while Tilly and Celia continue to be enjoyable to read, Luc and Sloan are especially developed more than they were in book one. We acquire more information about Luc’s past and of Sloan’s vulnerabilities that make them both more viable romances for Celia. The tension builds more intensely between all of her love interests (including the son of a detective Donovan) that have all truly caught my interest. I don’t know whether to root for Luc (because I love that he is a ghost), Donovan who reminds me of Mike from the love triangle in the underrated and hilarious TV series Blood Ties, or Sloan that gets some Logan Echolls type moments to shine.  Furthermore, as an interactive novel, you get to make choices for Celia that directly affects the remainder of the novel (even more than the first) which is quite a unique experience and also a lot of fun. I even enjoyed going back and reading all the choices, particularly when it affected the romance of the novel.  I had to see how they all played out so I could decide what I liked best.

Kira Snyder also has a comfortable way with how she sets a scene and the setting. Her descriptions make it easy for me to visualize New Orleans, humid air and all. I can feel the mugginess of the city as well as transport my mind to the French Quarter even though I have never been. With Celia’s mother as a chef, the descriptions of mouth-watering food enrich my sense of taste even though I can’t taste it personally. I just left this book feeling hungry (especially thanks to all of the vegetarian yumminess).

Overall Impression

If you love a fun YA mystery with some paranormal romance thrown in for good measure, then this is a book not to miss! The suspense will leave you reading each page with delight, impatiently waiting to see what happens next. At times, Tilly, Celia, and the gang perhaps believe in the unknown too quickly and connect the dots sometimes without much effort in an exposition like way but nevertheless, Post Mortem never fails to entertain and draw you into Celia’s world. I know I for one can’t wait to read the next adventure about Celia’s gang.

Adaptation Recommendation

I agree wholeheartedly with Amber’s recommendation that this should be a TV series. Read her take Here.

Overall Rating

four and half rating border

“You had me at hello.”

Romance Rating

Five hearts border

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

 

Page Count: 703 pages

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Mystery, urban fantasy, interactive fiction

Publisher: Coliloquy, LLC

Buy at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Google Play

Kobo

ITUNES

 


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By on October 14th, 2013

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works as a YA Librarian.

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