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The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  7,591 ratings  ·  1,222 reviews
My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Mira (first published 2011)
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Like the sultry afternoon, the jasmine gently floating on the breeze, the cool sweat dripping from a glass. Just when sun bids farewell and the moon says hello, between day and night- twilight- a veil is lifted, the unrest sprits rise to roam the land of the living once more…

Amanda Stevens writes poetic and downright spooky novel in The Restorer, set in the old south city in Charleston. Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer, and can see ghosts, but unlike the ghost whisperer, Amelia has been rais
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
So beautiful and chilling.
The Restorer was recommended to me by someone I trust implicitly when it comes to books (that someone being my favorite author, Ann Aguirre) so it’s no wonder I didn’t hesitate to pick it up as soon as I found it in my mailbox. My intention was to read a chapter or two to get a feel of the story and then leave it for the night, but I ended up reading it all in one sitting. Let me tell you, reading this book at night, in a dark and silent house wasn’t the smartest move
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Can you say creepy?

Can you say wonderful?

If you love spooky, creepy, darn right oh-my-god-I-just-saw-something-in-the-corner-of-my-room scary type books, this is your book. If you want to be frustrated by a blossoming relationship between two main characters, this is also your book. Let me explain.

I love to be scared. While this book IS scary, it is not the blatant in your face, gory, axe murdering serial killer type of scary.

Instead, it is the hair rising, I cannot see him, but I knew he is be
6 stars

Well, I'm dazzled, stunned, shocked and yes haunted. This is an amazing book, the best I've read so far in 2011. I don't feel like picking another book right now, my mind's stuck there with Amelia, Devlin and their ghosts. And for a book that does not belong in the romance genre, the attraction between them was a very powerful and vivid thing.

Many people have described the plot, but I find it difficult to explain to someone who hasn't read the book. In short, there are some gruesome murde
Lisa Kay
Pictures of Oak Grove Cemetary, from Amanda Stevens’s website:

Book Quote:
An old live oak guarded the darkest corner of the garden, and a swing hung like a childhood memory from one of the gnarled branches.

★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Oh, this one is excellent! The first thrilling mystery in the Graveyard Queen series is narrated by the wonderful Khristine Hvam , who is perfect for this first person POV telling of a Southern gothic. She doesn’t miss a bea
Jul 16, 2011 Alisha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy fans who like a good ghost story
Shelves: ac-g, favorites
Rating: 4.5 (After some more thought: A five, really.)
Quick Take: Loved it. Loved. It. Steven's writing style is so easy to get into. To say that I look forward to more of this series is a serious understatement. Highly recommended to all of my ghost-story-friendly urban fantasy peeps. It might give you a fright, but it's well worth the thrill.

Freaking A, man. What an awesome book this is!
I must confess that, as a scaredy cat and ghost-story wimp, I was hesitant at first to read Amanda St
Jan 24, 2012 MISS VAIN rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Spooky Ghost Story Lovers with Romance
Recommended to MISS VAIN by: Cat Russell (Addicted2Heroines)
There was no mistaking her intent.
She knew I was there.
She knew I could see her.
And she was letting me know that she knew.

Lock your doors, check your windows, plug in your night lights, and prepare to be frightened!

This book chilled me to the bone, and I adored every minute of it. I stayed up all night to finish this not just because it was sooooo good (it was) but I was too much of a scardy cat to sleep. Amanda Stevens has made spooky graveyard stories my newest obsession. A woman's body
Sep 26, 2011 AH rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to AH by: Michelle r
4.5 stars

Eerie, haunting, and definitely spooky, The Restorer is unlike any ghost story I’ve read before. The Restorer is part ghost story, part murder mystery. There’s a touch of voodoo and witchcraft in it along with a mysterious secret order. Add in a pretty eccentric cast of characters and there you have it – a compelling read.

Amelia Gray sees dead people. She’s seen them for most of her life. Amelia follows a strict set of rules to help her cope with her ability so that no ghost will attach
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
I abandon most paranormal series because they're rather annoying. Most of the ones I've tried to read have contained vampires, werewolves, etc., and a variation of otherworldly politics and conspiracies, one would have to use a great deal of suspension of disbelief to really get into those stories. This series is believable, it's not too out there as far as paranormal activities go. One can be induced to believe that ghosts do exist, and aren't visible to everyone. This book sticks to ghosts, th ...more
Finally, a great ghost story ! I had good old fashioned goose bumps while reading this wonderful tale. It was scary with a subtle touch, slowly unraveling. I was enchanted, by the characters, the mystery, and the hint of a romance.
The Amelia Grey, a cemetery restorer, loves her job, repairing the forgotten treasures of our ancestors. She is a southern girl, her father a cemetery grounds keeper. She see’s her first ghost at nine years old. Her father warns her and gives her a set or rules sh
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Keep your distance from those who are haunted.

Long story short
Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who can see ghosts, is forced into a police investigation when a body is found in the cemetery she is restoring.

My thoughts
The first thing that made me check out The Restorer was the cover. I absolutely love that sad angel statue. It makes me think of an extremely gloomy story. Which is exactly what The Restorer is. Amanda Stevens nailed the cover, it's perfect for the story. The second thing that m
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Buddy Read with JaHy and Jenna!!

I think JaHy and I kept confusing each other with our guesses and how deep we would go with our theories!!

Confusing as shit....Ready to pull my hair out with all the names I had to keep track of....but HOLY SHIT!!

What an ending and I was WRONG...all my guess were dead WRONG!!

Worth the confusion in the long run and can't wait to start #2
Amelia Gray restores graveyards, having spent her whole life in cemeteries as her father is a caretaker of them. And, she sees ghosts and has since she was nine-years old. Her father sees them, too, and he's taught her the rules to follow to protect herself, one of them being to never let ghosts know she can see them. Amelia has also never told anyone else about her gift.

Amelia is on an assignment in Charleston, restoring an old cemetery associated with a university and gets embroiled in a murd
2,5 stars


Having already read the second one, I can definitely say that I won't be reading any other books of this series.
I've also removed a star, since on further consideration I've decided that this was just an okay reading.
Yes, there were some aspects that I liked, but in the end, the negative parts surpassed the positives.

Former Review:

It's impossible for me to say that I didn't "like" the book.

I did, it was completely different from what I've been rea
Amelia Gray
John Devlin

Several years ago I visited Charleston, South Carolina in the middle of summer. The weather was hot, the humidity was oppressive and the pace, well, people took their time. I signed up for a graveyard ghost tour, not my normal vacation time activity. But it was Charleston, and being a Southern history fan, I couldn’t resist. This was the center of antebellum South, where the cruelty of slavery and the genteel manners of Southern folks co-existed. I loved my tour and I loved
Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams
Nov 02, 2014 Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams by: Jahy :)
WOW!!! That was a fantastically, awesome, incredible book! I can't wait to read the rest of this series!
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Apr 27, 2012 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paranormal Mystery Fans
Recommended to Anna (Bobs Her Hair) by: Erika Ann
Grade: B or 4 stars

A gratifying novel with a compelling heroine, solid mystery, refreshing spin on ghosts, and an intriguing detective. The story had a couple of lulls then it would quickly pick up its pace.

I'm invested in this heroine and her potential love interest. Amelia Gray stable, lonely, self-possessed, educated, and interesting. Detective John Devlin is a haunted character. His character hides much under his grim mask. I look forward to his character's issues reaching its climax. He's
3.5 Stars

Amelia Grey restores cemeteries, has a blog about graveyards, and is a "taphophile" (I learned that word from this book-its a person who enjoys cemeteries) which is how she got the nickname "The Graveyard Queen." She also sees ghosts . Amelia is hired by a college to restore the cemetery on its grounds. When a girl is found murdered in the cemetery, detective John Devlin allows Amelia to help in solving the case.

I really like the creepiness of The Restorer. It was definitely a great gh
Ann Aguirre
This is absolutely amazing. The writing is evocative, lyrical, the epitome of elegant restraint. Ms. Stevens' grasp of setting as character is nothing short of sublime. Her Charleston is a fascinating place, every bit as vivid and enthralling as her lead characters, Amelia Grey and John Devlin. This book is a must-read for those who enjoy Gothic-touched mystery threaded through diamond-bright with sexual tension and forbidden longing. Why are you still here? Go get this book, and then read it im ...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
It's always a treat when you end up liking a book more than you expect to. And this was definitely the case here for me...

Amelia can see ghosts. But she has known from a young age that she should never acknowledge them. She must live on holy ground and avoid people who are haunted. Her father's rules have served her well. But now, she finds herself in circumstances where the rules have gone out the window.

Amelia restores old cemeteries for a living. She is working on one in Charleston, when the
This is a ghost-story about a cemetery restorer who's inherited the ability to see ghosts. When a dead body is found she gets involved in a murder mystery and things get complicated. Stevens is no doubt a talented writer. She uses paranormal elements without overdoing it. I liked the gothic influences. Brontë obviously worked as a great inspiration, I guess, and was mentioned several times in the book, and the writing is mostly rather good, though some of the characters were hard to get to know. ...more
Never acknowledge the dead
Never stray far from hallowed ground
Never associate with those who are haunted
Never, ever tempt fate

My father's rules. I've never broken them...until now.

The Storyline
Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who is also able to see ghosts and has lived her life following the rules her father gave her which have kept her safe from the ghosts for years. After a body is discovered at the cemetery she is currently restoring she becomes involved in the case and the detective in
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Amanda Stevens delivers an eerie thriller in The Restorer. Beautifully written, the prose is poetic, almost lyrical as it flows from the pages, conjuring not only the surreal images but also the seductive, almost other-worldly ambiance of the ole South found in and around areas like Charleston. Outsiders (anyone not born & raised here) will feel like they've stepped into another world. I found myself hypnotized from the start, drawn like a moth to a flame. This haunting story unfolds as Amel ...more
The Restorer
4.5 Stars

Narration: Khristine Hvam's soft southern accent is perfect for conveying the haunting atmosphere of the story.

The characters, both primary and secondary, are well developed and interesting. Amelia is intelligent and inquisitive but lonely and somewhat emotionally and socially inept due to her "gift" and her upbringing. It is endearing to see her experience new things and slowly come out of her shell with Devlin, who is oh-so sexy and honorable but also dark, haunted and tor
Ever since the day she saw her first ghost at the age of nine, Amelia has lived by a very strict set of rules. Never look at them, stay away from the haunted, the list goes on. However all her rules and walls come crashing down when she crosses paths with the sexy police detective Devlin, as he is one of the haunted. He needs her help to solve a case about bodies turning up in the cemetery she was hired to restore. She wants to warn him of the ghosts that are leeching away his life, but to do so ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
What better way to start off an early English summer than by reading a ghostly adult thriller. No? That's what I thought, but the novel quickly draws you in to its captivating story. Think: Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps #1) by R.L. Stine for adults. I had originally thought that this would be a young adult paranormal novel, as that's what it is shelved as on Goodreads, but it became clear early on that it was a mistake. This lead me to completely suspend my judgement about the book and take ...more
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
"A quiet life, a quiet death. Sleep now, Beloved. Our secret is safe."

The Restorer was such a creepy tale! I loved it! Amanda Stevens, where have you been all my life?

I started this book close to midnight after everyone else was sleeping soundly. Before I reached page 175 I was wide-eyed and listening intently to every strange noise, convinced it was a ghost waiting to suck the life right out of me.

I had no idea that I would find cemetery restoration so interesting. Amelia's career choice was i
Amelia Gray sees dead people, which is all well and good since she makes her living restoring old and neglected cemetaries. Seeing the dearly departed however comes with a cost, one that was imparted to her at the tender age of nine by her father, who also shares her odd ability. It seems there are certain hard and fast rules about the dead but it mainly boils down to pretending they're not there. Abiding by the rules makes for a somewhat lonely and isolated life but, like any true southern bell ...more
Carolyn F.
I've been reading a lot of good reviews for this book and one of my Goodfriends recommended it to me. I'm so glad. You should read the #.05, nothing huge as to this book where you'll miss stuff, just a little back story on Amelia and the graveyard she's working on in this book. The Abandoned.

Amelia is hired to restore a graveyard at Emerson College. She also can see ghosts although she can't acknowledge them because if she did, they like lob on to you and suck your warmth/energy. Her father can
Jennifer at BookShelfery
"I was nine when I saw my first ghost."

It's rare that an opening line grabs me as this one did. In that one sentence, I was sucked in for the rest of the book. It's also not often that I love a book so much I want to shove it into the hands of the first (possibly unwilling) pair of hands I see and yell, "read this read this READ THIS!" The Passage by Justin Cronin was one of them, The Fever Series by Karen Moning another. It was that good. It kept me up at night, turning pages. I was distracted
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Amanda Stevens was born and raised in the foothills of the Ozarks, an area known for its folklore and superstition. She learned from an early age to fear black cats, ladders, and broken mirrors. A risk taker, she now resides with all three. She is also the mother of twins, a wannabe taphophile, and a collector of all things Alfred Hitchcock. When she’s not writing from her home in Houston, she lik ...more
More about Amanda Stevens...

Other Books in the Series

Graveyard Queen (4 books)
  • The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2)
  • The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3)
  • The Visitor (Graveyard Queen #4)
The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2) The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3) The Abandoned (Graveyard Queen #0.5) The Devil's Footprints The Whispering Room

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“There was something so primal and hungry about the way he stared down at her..the way their bodies unconsciously strained toward one another as if nothing - not even time, not distance, not even death- could ever keep them apart.” 20 likes
“There are a lot of things in this world to be afraid of, but a dead body isn't one of them.” 18 likes
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