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Embrace the Grim Reaper

(Grim Reaper Mystery #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  530 ratings  ·  114 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 ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published March 30th 2009)
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Rebecca McNutt
I still think the best version of Death I've ever come across is from that television program Supernatural...
Anyhow, Embrace the Grim Reaper is a strange, sometimes even comedic story in which Death would prefer to follow a live person than a dead one. This makes for an interesting book full of creepy scenery and creative characters.
Una Tiers
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a rather quirky paranormal mystery with parallel plots, a good twist on the usual protagonist role in a dark setting. It was longer than necessary. The author wanted to show what they knew at the cost of economy of words.
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.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Alison (Lady Coffin) S
This is I think the third series I have run across lately where "Death" or the Grim Reaper plays a main part in the story, this one a little, but he pops up in this as what I can best describe as macabre comic relief.
I will definitely look for the second book in the series.
Lily at Bookluvrs Haven
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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Doris Ann
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
I was actually presently surprised when I read this book. I was expecting the relationship between death and the main character to be something totally different. I liked how they treated each other more like siblings then anything else. I also was not expecting who the killer was at the end. good book.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was not the right fit for me, and I did not finish it.

The writing was good, and I think the plot would have been something the right reader would have really enjoyed. I think it might just have been the wrong time for this story for me right now. I found the back story for Casey to be a downer and depressing, and while I understand why she is who she is, I was not into it, and didn't want to be as depressed as going on Casey's journey was making me up to about Chapter 15 which is where
Sandra Holladay
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Loved the Grim Reaper, he was a hoot throughout the story. Never did figure out why Casey was running from the car manufacture people, or why it was portrayed so mysteriously. You'd think they wanted to kill her from the way she was acting. Her martial arts skills were displayed early enough on that it was no surprise that she was able to defend herself the way she did later in the book. Despite the lack of any character growth or development, I really did enjoy the story (I think mostly because ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The main concept of this book is that the main character interacts with the Grim Reaper, while very few others can see him. His comments lead her to investigate an apparent suicide and the plot goes from there. The mystery was rather simple and the enjoyment in this book lies in the characters, including and especially the Grim Reaper. The problem with the book is that in order to maintain the concept, the character must stay as miserable as she is in the beginning. That means no character devel ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel that this book had a serious pacing flaw. The book starts in the middle of a story and there were places where it felt like the author was assuming the reader knew what had happened outside of the book. There were several unresolved plot points and the ending felt rushed. The overall premise was good and many of the characters were enjoyable but there was too much unresolved and unexplained to make this a good read.
Carolyn F.

I'm not sure why the main character is running because what can they actually do to her. Is it because she doesn't want to talk to them?

I did like that she might be the hands and feet for the (view spoiler) which makes future books more interesting. I just wish she wasn't so afraid of the big confrontation that is inevitably going to happen.

3-1/2 stars
Kat B.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.
I felt like the storyline in this book was very choppy. Things happened that didn’t feel like they should have happened, character placement was funky and convenient, and who was Casey? She was just kind of obnoxious.
Death, however, was the best part of this book. He was humorous and quirky, and I giggled more than once reading his part.
Maria Coro Arruti
Don't think I'll continue with this series. Simplistic, characters quite uninteresting, even the principal character, Casey Smith. And a too long book, a very simple story and a very rushed ending, like the author was also fed up with the writing. If there is no other book to read at the moment, it's an ok. book, but just that.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tried to read this but did not catch me within the first 5 chapters. Had to let it go which I very rarely do. I may pick it up again at a later time but for now, needed something with more activity.
Ingrid Spera
This was an ok read. A bit dry, but fun at the same time.
Karyn The Pirate
Just didn't grab me. At this point I have read so many mysteries that if it doesn't grab me quick, I lose interest fast.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It probably wasn't really five stars maybe four and a half but it was just nice to have a new character and a new premise.
Interesting storyline

I liked Ms. Clemens writing, I became emotionally invested in her characters, and the story itself was filled with many mysteries which kept you guessing. But I found myself going to the end chapters to find out what happened, I just felt like it dragged .
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Molly Hall
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cthulhu Down My Chimney 2Night
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
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
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2012
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
Barbara M
I've really enjoyed Clemens first series with Stella Crown; the dairy owning, motorcycle riding, tattooed main character. This s a diversion for Clemens, a bit of reality along with a supernatural twist; Death is a character. Her Death is male and very well done. He's a bit funny and mostly non-threatening, he isn't the Devil, but he is Death and so that comes with some expectations. The reason she and some others can see him is very believable. This Death shows up eating junk food or playing wi ...more
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Death 2 12 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.

Other books in the series

Grim Reaper Mystery (5 books)
  • The Grim Reaper's Dance (Grim Reaper Mystery, #2)
  • Flowers for Her Grave (Grim Reaper Mystery, #3)
  • Dying Echo (Grim Reaper Mystery, #4)
  • Beyond the Grave (Grim Reaper Mystery #5)