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Embrace the Grim Reaper (Grim Reaper Mystery #1)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Casey Maldonado’s life is over – at least as she knows it. In one brief moment of fire and wrenching metal, everything important was gone. The car manufacturer was generous with its settlement, but it can never be enough. Her family and friends – not to mention her lawyers – want her to go for more. More money. More publicity. More everything. But Casey is done. No financi ...more
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published March 30th 2009)
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Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesFourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesSecond Grave on the Left by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Supernatural Mystery
87th out of 100 books — 73 voters
First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesSecond Grave on the Left by Darynda JonesThird Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda JonesFourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesFifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
Grim Reaper themes
44th out of 105 books — 182 voters

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The book has a strong premise, but just doesn’t follow through. I kept skimming through all of Casey’s soul-searching to get to the meat of the plot; still not sure why Casey is running from the car manufacturer. I won’t be continuing on with this series.
Doris Ann
EMBRACE THE GRIM REAPER is something very different. Casey wishes her life was over. The auto manufacturer whose faulty design was responsible for the fiery crash that took her husband and young son, but which she, to her regret, survived. She gets a handsome settlement, but the car maker keeps trying to find her, thinking that she will bring a large and publicity grabbing law suit. She doesn't want that. She travels, sometimes sleeping rough and hitching rides with various and sometimes unsavor ...more
Eh. I noticed the author was an award winner so I chose this book at the library. I felt like vital details about the main character's life were lacking and because of that, I did not feel a strong connection. And I really hate books that read like a movie. Which this one did near the end of the book. It was quite a realistic book until the end. Then it was just too melodramatic. And how "convenient" that her unhidden talents throughout the whole book show up at the end to save herself and other ...more
The story of a young woman who lost her husband and son in a horrific car accident ends up travelling the roads of the US by hitching rides and walking. However, she is not alone. She has a travelling companion, who just happens to be Death. She begs Death to take her, but is continuously refused. I found the concept to quite intriguing. Granted this is Book 1 of a three-book series, I found the novel to lack depth when it came to the characters, especially Casey the heroine, and the actual stor ...more
I picked up this novel for a quick, easy read. I figured, it sure sounds pretty interesting. But I didn't expect that I would give this a 5 star rating. I expected to enjoy it, that it would be 'Meh', and move on to the next book on my list... but what I got was a pretty intense story, told in such a way, that I couldn't bear to put this book down for one second. Unfortunately, us humans must eat, sleep, work... But I still managed to gobble this novel up in a couple of day's time.

It was a pret
As the first book I've read by this author it was well written and interesting enough that I could not put it down.

The mystery that Cassey was drawn into investigating was thought out well as it built up gradually with no unnecessary information dump to give her quick answers. As we got to know the town so did Casey, learning more about the people and their involvement in Ellen's life before her death and the events surrounding the Home Centre. And small town mistrust of strangers followed Casey
Sonja Arlow
Well as an audio book experience this was good enough (as well as the fact that I only paid R20 for the book and Audio book as part of an Amazon special) however the actual story was very light in plot, character development and conclusion.

The only redeeming character was Death, who accompanied the main protagonist, but sadly he didn’t really feature too much in the story. Casey's irrational behaviour, constantly running away from the car manufacturer who's faulty car parts caused her husband a
Dec 19, 2014 Ithlilian marked it as did-not-finish
I think I missed the memo to read the jacket to figure out what was going on. We are thrown in the middle of a story with no background info, and while sometimes that is not a problem, here the plot isn't strong enough to make up for the lack of sympathy for the main character. It doesn't make much sense to me because it seems like that background story really would have helped draw the reader in. Instead, I'm supposed to care about a random small town and the strange Death character. I'm not wi ...more
Overall, I liked this book well enough to where I'll watch for the next audiobook. However at the same time, I'm not so eager to read the next volume to where I'd pick up the paperback book. I'm pretty aware that a good chunk of my enjoyment came from listening to Tavia Gilbert's excellent narration.

I do have to disclose that this isn't the type of cozy mystery that I usually like to read. Normally if I pick up series mysteries, I like the ones that are relatively wrapped up by the volume's end
Casey is a woman on the run. She's not running from the law or from an abusive relationship, but from her past. We learn that Casey's husband and son were killed in a car accident. She subsequently learns that their car had known mechanical problems and the manufacturer wants Casey to remain silent. Not really a problem since she doesn't want to discuss her husband and son with anyone, except possibly her travelling companion, Death or the Grim Reaper.

Casey hitches rides, first from motorcyclist
Molly Hall
Embrace the Grim Reaper by Judy Clemens is one of those books that happened to catch my eye as I was browsing through the library: A very moody cover, with lots of grays and greens, it prominently depicts a scythe leaning against a tombstone. Unable to resist that lure, I read the description on the front flap and decided to give it a try. And I'm happy to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Casey Maldonado should have died in the fiery car crash that killed her husband and infant son. But Death had othe
Mallory Heart
A Supernatural Urban Fantasy that quite took me by surprise; I expected a good book, and I found an excellent book. Much more there is than meets the surface eye in “Embrace the Grim Reaper,” first of a new series by author Judy Clemens. (Well, not too new-this book was published in 2009, the sequel in 2010).

Casey Maldonado lost her very infant son and her husband in an automotive event, a faulty fuel pump on a proclaimed line of “green” hybrids. Casey herself would have died in the explosion h
When I picked up Embrace the Grim Reaper, I expected it to be a little more... fantasy? urban fantasy? Something like this, from the description.

In actuality, it's pretty much a straightforward mystery, with the occasional appearance of Death (who may or may not be imaginary, although others being able to see him too implies he's not only in Casey's head) being the only supernatural element about it.

Fortunately for me, I like straightforward mysteries. And somehow Embrace the Grim Reaper won me
Cathy Cole
I am a long-time fan of Judy Clemens' other mystery series featuring tattooed dairy farmer Stella Crown, so I looked forward to reading this first in a new series. As I turned the pages, I enjoyed being immersed once more in Clemens' writing style, and I quickly warmed to her main character. Casey Maldonado is an extremely likeable-- and extremely sympathetic-- character. With such a tremendous tragedy in her life, you can't help but want things to turn the corner and start to go well for her. E ...more
Nichole ~Bookaholic~
So, I have had this book for a while, picked it up while it was free and then I forgot about it until I was playing with the whispersync match on amazon...the audio popped up at a really really good price and bonus, Tavia Gilbert was the was so good I could not just listen to the audio for my commute, I ended up going back and forth between the two.

It was a good read that sucked me in from the beginning. I was having a love/hate relationship throughout the story, I hated not "having
Casey Maldonado survived a flaming car crash. Now she's walking, with Death as her only companion. Yes, THAT Death. Were it not that a few other people -- mostly children -- can see and hear him too, I would have thought that Death was like Ian Rutledge's Hamish in the Charles Todd books - a figure who may or may not be in any sense "real." Death is not as helpful as Hamish, though; Casey really does her own investigating.

This is the first of a series, and there are still many unanswered questio
Description of this book on Goodreads explains the back story/history better than the book does. You eventually understand more as the books goes on, which is not bad. I don't mind learning slowly and in pieces.

This is a very thoughtful book. I really appreciate that, especially after all the cozy mysteries I have read. Cozies have their place, but they can be too simplistic and almost stupid at times. This is in no way simplistic or stupid at all.

Death, the Grim Reaper, is an interesting chara
Death follows Casey, the main character, around in this book because he thinks she's going to do interesting things. He has a minor place in this book - more as a shadow over the main character than a full character himself.

Casey has chosen to be a vagabond temporarily and Death manipulates her choices to put her in the situations he wants to see play out.

The author handles this premise well. It doesn't feel gimmicky and it's unique. Casey's character is a little thin but this is the first in
A little slow to get into, but good. You learn the back story of Casey as you go along, which I would hope is resolved into it's own story at some point. Personally would like to know what happens to certain characters after the book ends, but that's just my loving to close the circle on them.
Shelia Carter
Awesome story. The story gives you just enough info to keep you wondering who killed Ellen. I still hadn't figured it out by the end of the book so the ending was a surprise. The story kept my interest & I can't wait to read the other 3 books in the series.
Jan 14, 2014 Sue rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Casey Maldonado is trying to forget a past she’d rather not remember. She hitches a ride to Clymer, a small Ohio town hard hit by the recession and the recent suicide of single mother Ellen Schneider. Casey has a strange almost constant companion – Death. He convinces her to stay in Clymer and investigate Ellen’s demise. In the process Casey finds more trouble than she ever bargained for. The unusual premise, a fine mystery, and good characterization make this an excellent choice.
Casey Maldonado ends up in Clymer, Ohio, along with her constant companion, Death, the Grim Reaper. He has already taken all that is dear to her, her husband, Reuben and her infant son, Omar. Now Casey longs for Death to take her, but he just wants to do interesting things with Casey. Clymer has just experienced two serious blows: the imminent move of the biggest employer in town to Mexico and the suicide of one of the favorite people in town, or was it? Death wants Casey to investigate. Casey f ...more
Casey Maldonado lost her husband and baby boy in a car crash that only she survived. Now she hitch hikes across the country with Death as her unwanted traveling companion. When she arrives in Clymer, Ohio she is caught up in the mystery of a company shutting down and the alleged suicide of one of its employees.

I liked this well enough. The main mystery didn't really interest me, but I found Casey's background and her relationship with the Grim Reaper compelling. It was a pretty easy read, but I
OMG This main character might be crazy, and the cliffhanger type ending really pissed me off. Overall it was an ok book but it just rubbed me the wrong way, and I'm not sure I'll continue the series.
I enjoyed this but felt a little left in limbo. We didn't find out exactly what had happened to Casey's family, who she was and why the people from Pegasus were after her.
Perhaps more will be revealed in the next book.
This is yet another book series that I have managed to read out of order. However I am very happy about it as I believe if I had started with embrace the Grim Reaper I would have never moved on to the second one. Embrace the Grim Reaper is a very interesting book has great characters and it absolutely hilarious take on death. However this book feels to me as though it was a warm-up there was a little too much time spent getting into the head of the main character is a little too much explanation ...more
I loved the premise of this novel. The heroine suffers and unimaginable tragedy and gains Death as a companion...literally. The quirky small town characters combined with a mystery and a junk food eating, wise-crackin' Death (who in turn comforts and challenges the heroine) made for a fun but dark read. Overall, great stuff. So why just 3 stars? This is the first book in a series and it shows. Plot points are left unresolved, character development lacks and is at times very inconsistent, and I d ...more
Moon Stumpp
I enjoyed this book…it read very well for audio and it’s a different take. I wasn’t expecting this, it’s also a fabulous story. This is part 1 of a trilogy.
I liked this book almost all the way through, until the end, which felt very contrived, as if the author were working very hard to tie all ends together, and do so as fast as possible. Otherwise, it was a good story, although less supernatural than I expected. It is mostly a good mystery, that centers around a young woman who has suffered tragic losses, and who comes to a new town, as she tries to escape her past. As she becomes involved in the lives of people in the town, and in the towns' even ...more
It's really only 3.5 because the Death gimmick is just that -- a gimmick.
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Death 2 11 Mar 22, 2012 04:38AM  
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Judy Clemens is the author of LEAVE TOMORROW BEHIND, the newest book in the Anthony and Agatha-nominated Stella Crown mysteries. She also writes the Grim Reaper mysteries, and wrote LOST SONS, which is a stand-alone.

She lives in the beautiful state of Ohio with her family.
More about Judy Clemens...

Other Books in the Series

Grim Reaper Mystery (4 books)
  • The Grim Reaper's Dance (Grim Reaper Mystery, #2)
  • Flowers for Her Grave (Grim Reaper Mystery, #3)
  • Dying Echo (Grim Reaper Mystery, #4)
The Grim Reaper's Dance (Grim Reaper Mystery, #2) Flowers for Her Grave (Grim Reaper Mystery, #3) Till the Cows Come Home (Stella Crown Mystery, #1) Dying Echo (Grim Reaper Mystery, #4) Three Can Keep a Secret (Stella Crown Mystery, #2)

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