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A fast-paced and hilarious debut crime novel, in which a burnt-out Millennial medium must utilize her ability to see ghosts and team-up with a band of oddball investigators to figure out which member(s) of a posh English family are guilty of murder.
“This book has bags of humor, bags of heart, and a proper murder mystery at its core.” —Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal
Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English countryside: performing a seance for the family matriarch's 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered because Sophie has been haunting her ever since.
Despite this traumatic past, Claire and Sophie are still unprepared for what they encounter when they arrive at the manor: a ghost, tragic and unrecognizable, and clearly the spirit of someone killed in a rage at the previous year's party. Given her obsession with crime shows—not to mention Sophie's ability to walk through walls—Claire decides they're the best people to solve the case. And with the help of the only obviously not-guilty members of their host family—sexy ex-policeman Sebastian and far-too-cool non-binary teen Alex—they launch an investigation into which of last year's guests never escaped the manor's grounds.
What follows is somewhat irregular detective work involving stealing a priest's cassock, getting too drunk to remember to question your suspect, and of course, Chekhov's sparkly purple dildo. As Claire desperately tries to keep a lid on the shameful secret that would definitely alienate her new friends, the gang must race against their own incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them.
About the Author
ALICE BELL grew up in South West England, in the sort of middle-of-nowhere where teenagers spend their weekends drinking Smirnoff Ice in a field that also has at least one horse in it. In 2018 she became the deputy editor of Rock Paper Shotgun, a popular PC gaming website. In 2019 she was named one of the 100 most influential women in the UK games industry. After spending several years in London, Bell now lives in Cork, Ireland, where she watches giant ships, makes crochet animals, and plays video games where you can set things on fire and make elves kiss. She has probably read more detective fiction and watched more episodes of Midsomer Murders than you.
“Fast, funny, and furious, this book has bags of humour, bags of heart, and a proper murder mystery at its core. Alice Bell is one to watch!”
—Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal
"Read this fabulous book, you will not regret it!"
—Ben Aaronovitch, author of the Rivers of London series
“Bell shines in her sharp, funny debut. . . . The adroit plotting, which cannily plays with mystery tropes, is amply leavened with humor. Fans . . . will be eager for more adventures from Claire and Sophie.”
“For fans of murder mysteries, a cold case, and a friendly sleuthing ghost!”
—Jamie Canaves, Book Riot
“A delicious mashup of grisly murder, country house, and semi-helpful ghosts—imagine a really cockeyed game of Clue heavily seasoned with whimsy and downright silliness. . . . It’s a lot of fun.”
—Stuart MacBride, author of No Less the Devil
“A very funny, entertaining, twisted take on the country house murder mystery. Wonderful.”
—S.J. Bennett, author of All the Queen's Men
“Knives Out vibes with added ghosts. Fresh, funny and hugely enjoyable.”
—Catherine Ryan Howard, author of Run Time
“Alice Bell weaves a fun, gripping murder mystery with a supernatural twist.”
“A fun and surprising character-driven whodunnit.”
—Daisy Jackson, Heat
“Funny, fast, sharp, original, and addictive, Grave Expectations is a unique breath of fresh air. Brilliant!”
—Andrea Mara, author of All Her Fault
“An addictive, hilarious, rollicking debut—fresh, original and utterly brilliant."
—Sam Blake, author of Remember My Name
“A really unique concept paired with whip-smart writing and lots of heart.”
—Heather Darwent, author of The Things We Do to Our Friends
“Clever and playful contemporary cosy mystery. Think Ghosts meets Knives Out.”
—Catherine Kirwan, author of Cruel Deeds
“Clever, unpredictable and a genuinely humorous modern day country house murder mystery which left me guessing.”
—Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man
“Utterly delightful—like Ghosts mixed with Clue.”
—Simon Toyne, author of Dark Objects
“This book positively lit up my weekends. . . . A story that will both send chills down your spine and wrap you up in a hug.”
—Ally Wilkes, author of All the White Spaces
“Witty, addictive, and breathes some much needed (undead) life into the cosy crime murder mystery genre."
—Adam Simcox, author of The Dying Squad