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The Dead #1

Debriefing the Dead

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The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by demons, leaving her young nephew Geordi to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a recapture a powerful rock the demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.

So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?

332 pages, ebook

First published May 7, 2018

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About the author

Kerry Blaisdell

9 books428 followers
Kerry Blaisdell is the bestselling and award-winning author of the acclaimed Dead Series, including DEBRIEFING THE DEAD and its sequels, which InD’tale Magazine recommends for “fans of shows like ‘Constantine’ or ‘Supernatural.’” She also writes award-winning Romantic Suspense (PUBLISH OR PERISH, a Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize Quarterfinalist) and Historical Mystery. She has a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Comparative Literature (French/Medieval English), and a Master’s in Teaching English and Advanced Mathematics from University of Portland. Kerry lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her family, assorted animals, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume. To connect with Kerry online, join her Facebook Reader Group (http://facebook.com/groups/kerryskin), or subscribe to her Very Occasional Mailing List (https://rebrand.ly/vomlgr) and get TWO free downloads!

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5 stars
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30 (24%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 67 reviews
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,828 followers
June 25, 2018
Hyacinth should’ve listened to her instincts when the two men offered her a boatload of money for her friend’s last excavation, currently taking up space in her storage locker. But with a sister and nephew on the run from the Sicilian Mob, she needs the money to get them away from her ex-brother-in-law, Nick. If only she listened…

She wouldn’t have died, she wouldn't begged to be reborn and she wouldn’t now be on the hunt for a humming rock of St. Michael’s. Yes, the archangel Michael. She grabs her neighbor, Jason, to help protect her nephew, Geordi, from the mob family, demons and all sorts of ghosts wandering around. Just as they’re about to flee, a freshly deceased man with a gun-shot hole piercing his chest cavity named Eric comes along. Is he demon or a friendly, sexy ghost?

It’s almost too much for Hyacinth to take. I mean, what’s a woman to do when she starts having feelings for both men? Just as she discovers where the humming rock is hiding, she’s captured by the demons. Will she escape, or will Satan finally get revenge for Michael’s actions a millennium ago?

To say I loved this book is such an understatement, it’s not even funny. I freaking LOVED it! It’s got adventure, archeology, paranormal, action, spirituality (Heaven/Hell/archangels/demons/Satan/death/afterlife), a touch of romance, history, travel and so much more.

For it being Kerry Blaisdell’s debut, it’s incredibly written without a flaw in the plot. The characters are so well-conceived and fleshed out, they appeared to come to life. Hyacinth goes through a lot in Debriefing the Dead yet her reactions are realistic which gave credence to the story. The slight romantic triangle was well done and I kept hemming and hawing about which man I wanted for Hyacinth.

Like the blurb says, this is a cross between Indiana Jones and Stephanie Plum. There’s plenty of action, a hunt for the truth and retrieving an artifact all while trying to dodge the bad guys.

The best parts for me were the setting in Turkey. Blaisdell’s descriptive narration is so rich, so tangible, I swear I closed my eyes and smelled aromas of Turkey and surrounding areas. She weaves historical aspects among the landscape of the area. It made me yearn to travel there just to experience what Hyacinth experienced.

Highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for an adventurous romance!

Disclaimer: I received a copy via Netgalley from The Wild Rose Press in the hopes I’d review it.

My Rating: 5 stars

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/si...
Profile Image for Kerrelyn Sparks.
Author 56 books5,612 followers
March 16, 2020
I really enjoyed this book! If you're looking for a paranormal that's a little different, then this is it!
Profile Image for Christine Grabowski.
Author 1 book788 followers
June 15, 2019
This was such a fun read. Within pages Hyancinth’s quirky, witty voice pulled me in and made me laugh. Hyancinth was not your typical protagonist. She lived a bit of a shady life as an antique dealer, working with even shadier characters, selling stolen items and sometimes robbing ancient graves herself. However, deep down she was a good person at heart and would do anything to protect her seven-year-old nephew from his mafia family. When she found herself dead, she worked out a deal with archangel St. Michael to return to Earth to steal some powerful rock before their new owners could give it to Satan. If she was successful, she would be allowed to remain undead on Earth as long as it took to find a good home for her newly orphaned nephew. It’s a crazy plot with a crazy cast, but Kerry Blaisdell makes it work. Loved the southern France and Turkey setting too. Looking forward to the next book of the series.
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 23 books46 followers
January 14, 2020
What a hoot! I loved this book. Is it great literature? Nope. But it is fun and with a snarky heroine who strikes up a deal with an archangel for the sake of her nephew. And now that she’s “not dead”, she can talk to the ones who are, including a hunky cop. This was an entertaining read with great imagery (okay, I was forced to look up the places in Turkey that she mentioned, but wow. Thanks for that research! The places are beautiful!). I also liked the whole “I hear the rocks” vibe that got her involved in everything in the first place.

What I liked: Hyacinth is snarky, unapologetic, sometimes skirts the law… willing to do what’s necessary to get the job done, no matter what that job might be. I liked Jason, her neighbor, though he has some deep secrets we don’t find out until the end. I loved the dead cop! And the imagery – she made me go look the places up and wow. That’s some setting she put them in.

What I didn’t like: Really, very little. Though some people might have an issue with the way Archangel Michael is portrayed, I thought it was an interesting change. One thing I will note: I was expecting a romance, and this is not a romance—but it was a very good book. Yes, there is connection between Hyacinth and the two men (Jason and the dead cop), but no romance. So don’t expect that. And that’s fine. It’s not necessary. Not for this type of book.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for action, adventure, a snarky heroine ala Indiana Jones, pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to the author for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for KathyNV.
296 reviews5 followers
September 9, 2020
OMG this was so fun! So for the cliff notes...Hyacinth is a somewhat shady art dealer who finds herself dead at the feet of Michael (yep the archangel guy) and lets him know in no uncertain terms she has to go back! The plot weaves through murders, rocks and artifacts, sugary slugs (I love them too!), a sweet nephew Geordi, the customary bad guys, demons, her “how did she miss it” smart, hunky neighbor Jason and of course Michael pops in and out to check on her. Oh there’s a few ghosts who haven’t passed over yet too! The characters are wonderful and the plot was so fun! I could not put this one down! I can hardly wait to read the next book in this series!
863 reviews17 followers
August 30, 2020
Very unusual and interesting book! Wonderful complex characters and story. Hyacinth must protect her nephew Geordi after he sister's death and goes on a perilous journey to recapture a powerful rock that Archangel Michael has enlisted her to do while she is limbo between life and death. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series! A must read!
Profile Image for Sharon Buchbinder.
Author 32 books2,170 followers
January 21, 2019
Hyacinth is an art and antiquities dealer whose merchandise has dubious provenance. When her partner dies and leaves her a truckload of art, she examines the haul to see what is marketable--and a a rock sings to her. The rock, indistinguishable from any rock-garden variety rock, is such a siren she cannot resist touching it. And it knocks her off her feet and into a series of extraordinary events.

Add a sister who was literally married to the mob, a hot handsome neighbor, an equally hot and handsome dead guy, Archangel Michael in battle gear, and a nephew who needs to be rescued from the clutches of demonic beings and you have a cast of characters ready to go into action.

This debut novel is well-researched, well-written, and a fast-paced page turner. Hint: Keep your eye on that rock . I give this book 5 Angelic Stars and highly recommend this supernatural story.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews213 followers
October 28, 2018
Reviewed by Robin
Book provided by Kerry Blaisdell
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

For this debut author, she wrote a well written book that was I found very interesting, funny, fast paced and a little bit of quirkiness around the edges. Within the story there was a lot going on; with introductions of many different characters. Ms. Blaisdell threw at us everything from: Humans to ghosts…Demons and angels well archangels…ghosts and screaming/humming rocks. This made for an interesting story that was never dull.

Hyacinth is a fence but wasn’t always one: she used to rob graves. She loves her job but to her family is more important. Her sister Lily is the ex-wife of a Sicilian Mobster…Nick who will stop at nothing to get Lily and their seven year old son Geordi back. Hyacinth needs lots of money to get them away from the situation and protect them.

Hyacinth ex-partner died. But before his death he left her a shipment. She went through it and nothing of interest was in the shipment, nothing that is but a screaming /humming rock. Thus the adventure begins.

Fate steps in and Hyacinth is in Heaven with Archangel Michael…Michael wants the rock so Hyacinth ends up back on earth looking for the rock along with her neighbor Jason, a ghost named Eric and her nephew Geordi. Secrets by all along with a little love triangle. I loved that Geordi adds the antics of an adorable seven year old. Ms. Blaisdell added a bit of warmth to the story line with Geordi. I simply loved him. The love triangle was fun. I never would have thought that trying to decide between a human male and a hot male ghost would ever be a problem.

As the three adults and one child head to Turkey to look for the rock I found that Turkey is very beautiful and a place that might need to be added to my bucket list. The descriptions were so realistic I could see the beauty, the people, the smells and all that is Turkey. The historic value of the country came to life for me. I was able to see that Ms. Blaisdell did a lot of research.

For me I found a new author and cannot wait for the next story in this series. Great summer read. Great adventure with Hyacinth, Geordi, Jason and Eric…
485 reviews17 followers
November 10, 2019
I think this was a very solid beginning to what looks to be an interesting series. Blending paranormal, archeological, and historical elements. There's also plenty of intrigue to go around.

The author did a good job of conveying the locations (almost entirely in the present day, real world) including elements of climate, topography, and culture. The pacing was excellent in this novel, and was not in the least hampered by descriptive passages.

The character-building was also very well executed. Owing to the focus of the story, some characters received less detail than I might have liked, but enough was present for this narrative to make sense. I also would anticipate that some of the less well-defined characters are likely to reappear later in the series.

I found the paranormal elements were generally well-done, and blended seamlessly with the more realistic elements of the narrative. Again, there were some components that I wish had been more detailed, but I anticipate these will likely play a role in future novels.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel and would definitely be interested in following the series.

I received a copy of this novel through Voracious Readers Only.
Profile Image for Christine Grabowski.
Author 1 book788 followers
March 7, 2019
This was such a fun read. Within pages Hyancinth’s quirky, witty voice pulled me in and made me laugh. Hyancinth was not your typical protagonist. She lived a bit of a shady life as an antique dealer, working with even shadier characters, selling stolen items and sometimes robbing ancient graves herself. However, deep down she was a good person at heart and would do anything to protect her seven-year-old nephew from his mafia family. When she found herself dead, she worked out a deal with archangel St. Michael to return to Earth to steal some powerful rock before their new owners could give it to Satan. If she was successful, she would be allowed to remain undead on Earth as long as it took to find a good home for her newly orphaned nephew. It’s a crazy plot with a crazy cast, but Kerry Blaisdell makes it work. Loved the southern France and Turkey setting too. Looking forward to the next book of the series.
4 reviews
February 17, 2019
I'm so happy to have found a new author! I spent much of last year catching up on my favorite authors, which felt disappointing after a while when the characters and plots became somewhat "stale." Debriefing the Dead's protagonist, Hyacinth, is smart, funny, and likable. She has some crazy stuff thrown at her but handles it all with style. She's not perfect but that makes her all the more real. The author's description of Turkey, both some history and present-day, make me want to go there! Also, if you see this in the romance category but don't like romance books give it a try. I am not a romance fan but read this on a friend's recommendation and don't consider it romance (although there is some great chemistry between Hyacinth and her companions in the book). I hope the second book comes out soon.
Profile Image for D.V. Stone.
Author 12 books242 followers
November 1, 2019
Can't wait to read the next book. Love the action and adventure. Mixed with history, archaeology, ghosts and sort of ghosts. Debriefing the Dead grabbed me from the beginning to end. Highly recommended
Profile Image for Meghan.
38 reviews13 followers
January 2, 2022
I really enjoyed this book. It had elements from most the genes I like to read. Character development was good and plot solid. Had some good suspense.
Cant wait to read the second book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
10.1k reviews112 followers
August 23, 2020
Loved this first book from a new author for me. Intriguing and loved the characters. Plenty of action.
32 reviews3 followers
May 13, 2020
This is one of those rare books that I could not stop reading until I finished it! Just an amazing book with wonderful characters and an absolutely unique experience. Exotic locations and impossible tasks only enhance this fabulous book!
October 18, 2018
Kept me entertained and reading into the wee hours. I laughed out loud...I really did. Fun read!
1 review
February 10, 2019
I was on edge the entire book and left hanging and begging for more at the end. I can't imagine what trouble Hyacinth could get into next and what awaits around every corner of her intertwining worlds!
Profile Image for Nancy Timmerman.
160 reviews18 followers
January 25, 2020
“Debriefing the Dead” by Kerry Blaisdell was a book full of fun, excitement, with some paranormal occurrences to add to the spin of the story. This venturesome first-person book was a page turner from page one.

I was introduced to Kerry through “The Authors Show Podcast” giveaway. I was drawn into the podcast with her awesome “storytelling voice” when she read an excerpt from her book. Those last four words to answer for the giveaway “and then... I died” had me intrigued!

The character, Hyacinth, loves artifacts but recovers them, should I say, one way or another. But with unfortunate circumstances she meets the Archangel Michael. But, Hyacinth needs to stay Earthbound to help her nephew be safe and find a good home for him. A bargain is made with the Archangel but challenges to get the deed done are close to impossible.

This book was a new twist for me as I normally read historical fiction, thriller and mysteries. The book was so entertaining and the writing by Kerry Blaisdell is top-notch. I am definitely a new fan of her books and highly recommend everyone to sit back, enjoy the twist and turns that this author has written for you.

~This e-book was given to me in a giveaway by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.~
79 reviews3 followers
October 9, 2019
A great book about a woman's quest to save her nephew from being brought up in a family of gangsters, even though it means she is tasked to steal from demons. It is good against evil. An adventure where a human has to fight demons. I received this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only.
Profile Image for Rhonda Gilmour.
163 reviews3 followers
September 30, 2019
What a ride! This author shows real depth in her knowledge of archeology, religious lore, and history. Think a sexy female Indiana Jones who’s racing a ticking clock to save her beloved nephew before she gets sent back to the afterlife. No spoiler there—our heroine is murdered early in the story, along with her sister, leaving her nephew at the mercy of his Sicilian Mob relatives. Hyacinth, our heroine, was a not-so-scrupulous antiquities dealer who dabbled in theft. Her deceased partner’s questionable dealings left her with a lump of rock that a band of demons are killing to get their hands on. Off she goes to Turkey, accompanied by her dreamy neighbor and a sexy ghost guy only she can see. An ancient necropolis will be the battleground. Can she save her little nephew? Can she stick around with one, or both, of her heroic helpers?
Blaisdell wraps up this episode with a very satisfying bang, but leaves several plot threads to fuel the next episode, Waking the Dead, which I look forward to reading.
Profile Image for JenReadsRomance.
295 reviews1,485 followers
May 11, 2019
Our heroine is named Hyacinth. She's a fence for stolen artifacts in Marseilles. At the beginning of the story, 2 unsavory fellows have shown up and want a particular shipment and will pay her a lot of money for it. She agrees to sell a mystical rock bc she is trying to help her sister & nephew escape the sister's evil ex and his Sicilian mobster family. Hyacinth, her sister and the ex are killed by the bad guys, but she comes back as a ghost after making a deal with Archangel Michael to retrieve the rock. It's a lot.

I don't know who the hero is yet, and now you know the biggest reason I DNFd. There's a neighbor, Jason, but he seems to just be a sidekick. So far, there is not a hint of actual romance in this book. Attraction kinda? Romance? None.

Here's reason 2 I DNF'd, and I know nothing about anything religious, but this just...did not seem right. This is Archangel Michael explaining his job to Hyacinth, which is to collect the dead and usher them to the afterlife. He says it's his job to take Christians, Jews, and Muslims through the doors marked heaven and hell. This is not a metaphor. Michael greets you, evaluates your life, and you go through one of two doors: literal Heaven or actual Hell with Satan. Do Jewish and Muslim people believe that they go to Heaven or Hell after they die?

The blurb mentions the "brutal Sicilian Mob", "Archangel Michael" and that "the hardest part won't be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs."

Verdict: If there's a romance here, I don't know where. Lots of stuff that made me feel icky. DNF

Copied & Pasted from Twitter as part of a project where I'm reviewing the 2019 RITA finalists.
Profile Image for Katie O'Sullivan.
Author 32 books164 followers
April 23, 2019
Debriefing the Dead is a first-person narrative adventure full of unexpected turns. Reading it felt like going on a rollercoaster ride through a pitch black tunnel... never knowing where it might go next. Reminiscent of a Dan Brown archeological mystery, yet with a paranormal otherworldly twist that forces you to suspend disbelief in order to follow along on the adventure.
This story takes "angels" and "demons" to a different level.

Our narrator is sort of an anti-hero, self aware enough to know she's a criminal, but with a good heart and good intentions towards those she cares about. She deals in antiquities, and when some extra shady characters come into her shop, she's torn but ultimately agrees because she needs the money to help protect her sister and nephew.

The author paints a beautiful canvas with her words, and has a unique and interesting storyline running throughout. If you like mystery/adventure tales and can appreciate a new take on a paranormal demons vs. heaven with a side of grim reaper and ghost whisperer, give this book a shot. 4.5 stars for being original and keeping the pages turning!

I received an ARC of this novel via Booksprout in exchange for my honest review. Find my full review on my blog at Read, Write, Repeat.
Profile Image for Jill James.
Author 34 books92 followers
September 13, 2018
Loved this book. Hyacinth is a far from perfect heroine and that is what makes her so real, but quirky. The storyline is sublime and makes for a pageturner of a book. Can't wait to see what Hyacinth does next.
Profile Image for Cyrene Olson.
1,209 reviews16 followers
September 2, 2019
First of all, for a debut author, this is about as good as it gets. Well written, original and well edited, I only found a couple little snafus which were easy to disregard. This is marketed as a Paranormal Ghost Romance, and it’s not really that…at least not yet. Sure, there are a couple of candidates, but nothing really concrete at this point.
A very original tale, after Hyacinth and her sister are murdered, Hyacinth is sent back by Archangel Michael to retrieve the rock she gave to the goons. She gets help from her friend and neighbor Jason, but she really doesn’t know him that well, and why does he want to help her so badly? A lot of the questions that you will have right off the bat are settled within the back part of the book. When Hyacinth is sent back by Michael, she can now sense and talk to the dead – whether or not that’s because she’s not really alive herself – she doesn’t know, but it’s helpful when she befriends the dead guy, Eric.
This book has some great action, nice humor and a nice original storyline – and for a debut novel, that’s pretty sweet.
4.5 Stars
Profile Image for Lacie.
514 reviews1 follower
September 23, 2019
I recieved a copy of this book through Voracious Readers. The story was exhilarating! I honestly thought it was going to be a slow read but the action started and didn't stop. Tata Hyhy was one heroine I wouldn't mess with. I adore her devotion to her nephew that was stronger than death itself. The fact that this bond drove her to defy Satan and his minions was inspiring even though she had to make a deal with an angel to do it. I love this book and I recommend it to anyone who likes a solid read about doing anything for family! Congrats and well done to the author!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Katherine Grey.
Author 7 books29 followers
April 22, 2019
I enjoyed Debriefing the Dead and would recommend it to anyone who likes a fun, quirky, paranormal story that doesn't take itself too seriously. The author delivers a story that is interesting and keeps the reader turning the pages eager to find out what's going to happen next. The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars is because about half way through the book, I kept thinking if Jason and Hyacinth would just confide in each other, it would make things easier as they try to keep Hyacinth's nephew safe and retrieve an important rock. As I read the the last few chapters of the book, I realized why the author didn't have them do that, but it still detracted from the story for me a little.
Profile Image for Mary Brannian.
877 reviews11 followers
February 6, 2019
Debriefing The Dead... What a Ride!

Hyacinth Finch is a tomb raider turned fence; or she was, before she was murdered. Striking a deal with ArchAngel Michael, Hyacinth is allowed to return to Earth to get her nephew Geordie settled, and to retrieve a very special rock... But Hyacinth has plans of her own... And perhaps with the help of her neighbor Jason, and a newly dead cop Eric, she can outwit Michael....

Fast paced and intriguing, this book captured my attention and didn't let go! If you enjoy mystical, demonic, angelic and just plain human situations, then this is the book for you!
534 reviews4 followers
May 29, 2018
Full disclosure – the author is a friend of mine. That being said, I loved this book! Honestly, being written by a friend made it a little harder to start the book. I figured it would be good; she’s a great writer and one of the smartest people I know, but what if I didn’t like it? What would I say? No worries, there! Great characters, lots of humor, non-stop action and an intriguing plot kept the pages turning. There is just enough sizzle, too! I can’t wait for another book featuring Hyacinth and the crew.
Profile Image for Nichole Evans.
Author 2 books11 followers
March 30, 2019
From the first chapter, Debriefing the Dead captured my interest. A fence in often stolen antiquities, the heroine, Hyacinth, gets pulled into a series of life and death situations, forcing her to make a bargain to protect her nephew, Geordie. What unfolds is a plot that is unexpected and fresh, told in a charming voice. Although not your typical romance, there was plenty of love and attraction, adventure, intrigue, and conflict between good and evil to keep me reading late into the night.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Stacy McKitrick.
Author 15 books225 followers
December 11, 2019
I really enjoyed this book. Hooked me at the beginning and didn’t let go. And it’s in first person, which I’m surprised I bought this (which I can’t remember why, but so glad I had), seeing as I thought this was a romance and I usually don’t like romances in first person. However, it’s not a romance (although there are some romantic elements), but full of mystery and suspense. And it’s a series, so there are some things left un-resolved, but the main storyline is contained in this book, so all is good. I will most definitely get the next one.
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