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Grave Secrets

(Lavington Windsor Mysteries #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Agatha Raisin meets Sookie Stackhouse, with croquet and zombies. Toni Windsor is trying to live a quiet life in the green and pleasant county of Staffordshire. She'd love to finally master the rules of croquet, acquire a decent boyfriend and make some commission as an estate agent.

All that might have to wait, though, because there are zombies rising from their graves, vamp
Paperback, 298 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Solaris
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought the summary sounded like a fun, cute little novel!! But, unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me. I could care less about the characters. Sigh!!!!

I do believe a lot of people will love this book though!! So, make sure to check it out yourself! It has sim ore and gynornous

**I would like to thank Nertgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Helen Power

Often whoever markets books seems to be lying when they make their comparisons. In this case, however, it’s spot on. This definitely feels like Sookie Stackhouse meets Agatha Raisin.

The world that James has created is very similar to the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood universe. Vampires have recently come out of the closet, and, unwelcome in the US and Canada, they’re flocking to Europe.  Our protagonist, Lavington “Toni” Windsor, is a necromancer, and she spends her evenings raising the de

Robin (Bridge Four)
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-reads, uf-pnr
Release Day

This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

2.5 hearts

Grave Secrets by Alice James is the first book in The Lavington Windsor Mysteries and piqued my interest when the book blurb indicated it is Agatha Raisin meets Sookie Stackhouse, with croquet and zombies.  The summary of the book made it sound like it would be a lot of fun and quirky enough to keep my interes
Montzalee Wittmann
Grave Secrets
(Lavington Windsor Mysteries #1)
by Alice James
This book is so funny and witty! I was giggling and laughing out loud at the cleverly worded phrases, dialogue, and situations! I found another favorite author for my wicked sense of humor! Loved it!
A necromancer by night, just because it's fun, and a real estate agent by day, Toni, or Lav, is quite a odd but charming gal. Then she meets a hot vampire. They hit it off right away, sort of. All but the blood drinking. Ick! Raising corpses
Joy Perry
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy of #GraveSecrets.

Based on the cover of this book, and the description, I really thought I was going to be reading some sort of a cozy mystery. It was not. But I was not disappointed! In my opinion this was a really nice paranormal romance. (With a little sex thrown in, but not too much).

It's basically about a necromancer named Lavington Windsor, AKA "Toni", who sells real estate by day and raises the dead by night. Her best
S.J. Higbee
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The strapline for this one is: Agatha Raisin meets Sookie Stackhouse, with croquet and zombies. And it’s spot on. Toni is a quirkier, younger version of Agatha, while the paranormal backdrop, though firmly set in rural England, is peopled with characters that wouldn’t look out of place in the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. There is also a similar amount of heat in Grave Secrets as in Charlaine Harris’s books, which means that while it is considerably less explicit than the HBO True Blood series – ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, steamy, and ... gory. Sign me up.

Zombies, vampires, and a necromancer! Oh yes, all of that blended into a delicious tale, I couldn't put down.

This was totally unexpected. I laughed, cringed, and swooned. What a delicious dark mix that was also somehow light. I was hooked from the start with the fun premise and light feel. I read a lot of genres and love a range of tones and themes, so when heads rolled and guts squished I was all in. Of course add to that a sexy vamp or two and the he
B.C. Deeks
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Stephanie Plum/Patricia Briggs
I requested Grave Secrets by Alice James from NetGalley, with no obligations, as an uncorrected Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) but even without the final polishing, there is no doubt this one is a gem. It’s been an exceptionally long time since I’ve had to stop reading to wipe the tears from my eyes because I was laughing so hard. That’s what happened before I was even a quarter of the way into the book. The protagonist, Lavington (Toni) Windsor, a real estate agent by day and necromancer by night, ...more
You can read my full review on Flora's Musings

Alice James is a début author and I was impressed with her writing style. Her prose was articulate but light and embodied our protagonist. It felt quintessentially English through and through with our British spellings, slang, and colloquialisms. I thought that the story itself was intelligent and felt well planned out and researched with her descriptions easily transporting me into each scene. There’s also a wonderful wealth of characters each w
Sara Oxton
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grave Secrets by Alice James a thrilling five-star read. I had high hopes for this one and in many ways it was a five-star read, the mystery and the necromancy were all spot on and the rest of the characters were brilliant but I was left cold by Oscar and not in the usual sense, because of this I nearly gave it four-stars, but then I realised one man doesn’t make the story. This was funny and Toni was brilliant, I would read so much more about her and the rest of the characters, even Benedict. I ...more
Sarah Collins
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you like Sookie Stackhouse (Charlaine Harris), Betsy Taylor (Mary Janice Davidson), Jane Jameson (Molly Harper) and Stephanie Plum(Janet Evanovich) you are going to love Toni Windsor! She's a sassy, tough, British firebrand who can raise the dead, what more can you ask for? Absolutely can not wait to see what happens in this series. ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm so bad at writing reviews. I just never know what to write without giving away spoilers or making it too boring haha. But I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this first book from the series.

Benedict sounds like a more intriguing person to me than Oscar right now, so I'm curious what the next book will bring.
Karen Hayes
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heads up to all fans of True Blood and Buffy, our new favorite heroine is here, she's a necromancer, and she's kind of a hot mess! Estate agent by day, zombie-raising necromancer by night, Toni is straggling along in a world where vampires have been unveiled - but while they've been embraced in Europe, the USA is a stake-on-sight zone. When her cozy English countryside begins to bustle with import vamps, her life gets a little out of control! I absolutely flew through this fun and frothy urban f ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great new contemporary fantasy series starts funny, smart and not afraid to go to darker places. I think you’ll want to meet your new favourite Necromancer

Full review -
Amy S. Griffith
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Outside of my normal genre, but I really enjoyed this book. It has vampires, zombies, a love story, a bit of steamy (sex), humor, and it’s set in England! Cute story and worth the read.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Only one week until this comes out on Sep. 1st!!)

Alice James' "Grave Secrets" was an accidental and amazing find. I can't recommend it enough to fans of urban fantasy with a good helping of mystery, romance, and terribly addictive characters. Thank goodness this is the beginning of a series or else I'd have to beg the author to write more.

By day, Toni Windsor is a real estate agent for humans and supernatural creatures. By night, she raises the dead to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and,
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Grave Secrets was a funny, fast-paced and snarky book. Toni was a nice character. Romance part is a bit fast. It is really similar to Sookie Stackhouse, so Harris fans would like this one.

At first, book was very funny but as the dark side of paranormal surfaced, It got a bit darker. Animating corpses can be better studied, since I have several questions.

For the fans of light and funny urban fantasy books.

Detailed review is here:
Lynn Williams
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
My Five Word TL:DR Review : Sookie Stackhouse meets Bridget Jones

Grave Secrets is the start of a new series involving romance, vampires, murder and necromancy. I requested this one because it promised something fun and light and in that respect it does exactly what it sets out to do.

Toni (Lavington) Windsor is a real estate agent from Staffordshire. By day she’s a bubbly, vivacious character with a head full of curls and snippy comebacks – at night she sneaks into the local graveyard to raise th
Theresa Derwin
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grave Secrets

Author: Alice James

Publisher: Rebellion Publishing

Page count: 300pp

Release date: 3rd September 2020

For those urban fantasy fans of the 90s/00s raised on the likes of Nancy A Collins, Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher, you’ll feel an affinity for Alice James’ debut novel from Rebellion Publishing.

For me, Laurel K Hamilton was the must-read, and I fell in love with Anita Blake’s sassy zombie raiser and her gorgeous entourage including vampire master Jean Claude, but it was the world, not t
Eule Luftschloss
trigger warning
(view spoiler)

By night, Toni raises the dead in the local cemetery. By day, she sells houses - in theory only to finance her life, but things get interesting as she aquires a vampire customer, looking for an old house with extensive cellars. And possibly a love interest.

This was so fun I had to force myself to let go last night to sleep. If I had started sooner in the day, I am sure I'd have read this in one sitting.

The co
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meet Lavington Windsor a.k.a. Toni; mild mannered estate agent by day, zombie-raising necromancer by night - but don't worry, she makes the best zombies, such as Bredon Havers, an eighteenth century gentleman with a natty coat and perfect manners.

Meet Jane Doe, a young girl foully murdered, whose killer can't be found even when Toni uses her powers to aid her policeman brother.

Add a disfunctional community of vampires with interests ranging from squiring Toni to the office party to brutal power
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Toni Windsor is a real estate agent during the day and a necromancer during the night. Her favorite hobby: going to the local cemetery at night to raise the dead one by one. This gift of hers comes in handy especially because her brother is a cop and he sometimes needs help finding the murderer. But the actual plot kicks off when a vampire, Oscar, asks Toni to find him a house. They start a passionate romance and Toni's life is turned upside down with all the trouble that brings.
So, I unexpecte
**I was provided with an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I've had to put this book down. It doesn't seem to be the book for me.

Grave Secrets follows Lavington 'Toni' Windsor, who is a necromancer by night and an estate agent by day, and living in a world where vampires are allowed to freely coexist (well in Europe anyways) she sells houses to vampires too.
Though indulging in such affairs proves to be much messier than her usual late night cemetery excursions.

It has be
Felicia's Bookshelf
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A humorous, lively book about the dead lol. Vampires and Zombies. There are good vampires and bad vampires. Good humans and bad humans. Every race has their bad apples. The author did a wonderful job balancing those., Also, no characters out did the other. Strong smart woman and strong smart men. I love that in a book! Most books nowadays the female character is so overly abundantly smart and strong and the all the male characters are weak and spineless. I did not get that in this book, and for ...more
Ashley Schwartz
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Grave Secrets was so much fun! Lavington "Toni" Windsor faces issues that every modern woman faces (creepy boss, terrible exes) but has a very special talent - she is a necromancer. Toni ends up meeting some vampires, and lands herself in trouble a few times. She is funny and kind, although quick to fall in love (relatable much?!).
I was a big fan of her friend Bredon, who is a very proper English undead gentleman. Peter was als
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I will read another by her. First off, this book was actually pretty well written. It flowed smoothly, and the plot was intriguing. I really liked most of the characters, and there is lots of good humor. Now for the things that were just a little less good (not bad, just not good). There wasn’t much of a mystery. I was under the impression this was a cozy paranormal mystery. There is a bit of one, but it’s more of an instalove paranormal rom ...more
Colin Bell
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Toni follows her family tradition of being a necromancer, raising the dead to talk to them. Her brother is a policeman and she sometimes helps him with Murder cases by talking to the victim.
Her new best friend is dead, her boyfriend is a vampire and there is a vampire turf war......
An excellent start to a new series, a mix of the paranormal, romance and a touch of humour. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series and can highly recommend this book for those who enjoy paranormal
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lavington (Toni) Windsor is a necromancer- she goes to her local graveyard at night to summon the dead so she can have a little chat. By day she is an estate agent. All rather normal so far (!) so when you add in vampires, zombies and gallons of blood you end up with Grave Secrets, one of the most entertaining books I have read in a while.

Now normally this is not the type of book I would have picked up but thanks to Netgalley I have discovered a fabulous new talent. Funny, gory and even romantic
Andover Library
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grave Secrets was funny, touching, well plotted and all round enjoyable. I adored Toni right from the start of the book. She just felt so real and believable (even with her ability to raise the dead). I was completely on her side the whole time.

The Zombies in this book were brilliant, a very clever take on the genre and I loved how they weren’t just completely mindless.

Our vamps were very much traditional vampires, which was just fine by me. The vampire society built up in the book was excelle
Aileen  (Ailz) Grist
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say that I've never read a book like it. I was hooked from the first paragraph - the first sentence in fact. The whole book is delightful, it made me laugh, it made me cringe and it made me want Lavington's life.

Loved it - please write more.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I read an advance review copy. This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
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Alice lives in a converted chapel in Oxfordshire, England, with three cats and many house plants. She works as a writer, specialising in finance and travel. She was previously a journalist and TV presenter for Bloomberg before becoming press and PR director of a $1 billion US hedge fund for 18 months. That turned out to be the worst period in history for hedge funds, so she retired wounded. Alice ...more

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