Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cemetery Girl, Book 2 - Inheritance

It's funny.  I used to never really like trade paperbacks or graphic novels.  I have always been a huge fan of buying and reading the individual comics in series.  But, as I'm sure pretty much everyone knows these days, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and hardcover collections are the "in" thing.  The fact that Barnes and Noble has literally three or more rows of nothing but graphic novels testifies to that.

In recent years, however, my mind has slowly been changing.  A friend introduced me to The Walking Dead comic by giving me the first two graphic novels to read (which collected the first 12 issues of the ongoing comic series).  I found that I enjoyed reading the book this way.  Since then, I have purchased a lot more graphic novels, many of them original concepts and stories, some of them collections of ongoing series.  Definitely one of my favorites is a relatively new book, Cemetery Girl.

 Written by two very prolific authors, Christopher Golden and Charlaine Harris, the story centers around a young girl who wakes up in a cemetery with absolutely no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.  She doesn't know who left here there, nor why anyone would want her dead.  She adopts the name Calexa Rose Dunhill (Dunhill is the name of the cemetery), and she quickly discovers that she has the ability to communicate with and see the spirits of the dead!

In the first graphic novel, Calexa helps solve the murder of a young woman buried in the cemetery.  She also befriends the caretaker of the cemetery, Kelner, as well as an eldely woman who lives across the street from the cemetery.  This second book picks up pretty soon after the conclusion of the first story.  Calexa is staying the night with Lucinda Cameron, the elderly woman across the street, when a masked intruder breaks in and murders Lucinda.  The killer escapes, and Calexa is once again left alone.  Until Lucinda's spirit appears, asking Calexa to help her uncover the identity of her killer so she can rest in peace.

With only 112 pages of story and art, the story is fast-paced, but not so fast that we don't get character development or an amazingly well-plotted story.  Interspersed within the tale is a new flashback to Calexa's past, as well as a mysterious stranger that seems overly interested in finding Calexa.  The art is by Don Kramer, a very VERY talented comic book artist who also happened to draw one of my favorite comic series, the Justice Society of America, for a number of issues.

This is definitely a series that I would recommend not only to comic book fans, but to regular readers of both mysteries and general fiction stories.  The only bad thing about this series of graphic novels is that they only come out one book per year (although, let's face it, I would much rather have quality over quantity any day of the week!).

RATING:  10 gravestones out of 10 from the perfect mix of mystery, suspense, and just all-around great storytelling.

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