Review of Oracles and Obituaries by Amanda M. Lee

Halloween is Avery Shaw’s favorite time of year. What’s not to love? Slasher movies, hot chocolate and corn mazes. She’s addicted to them all. 

During a visit to one of those mazes, she runs across several men trying to kidnap a teenage girl. In true Avery fashion, she intervenes … resulting in a severe injury. While she’s on the mend, she starts tracking information on a group of people working in the area. 

Avery can’t decide if she’s on to something or imagining things. The attack leaves her weaker than she would like, something she refuses to acknowledge, and questioning her investigative mind. 

Eliot Kane, her live-in love, decides to help. As much as he wants her safe, he understands she needs to take control. Together, they’re going to dig until they find the information they need. Unfortunately for both of them, the deeper they get, the more they start to wonder just how big of an operation they’re dealing with. 

Information pours in, leading to questions about missing girls from years before … and an odd woman serving as an oracle for the Halloween fans in the present. She’s keeping a secret, too, and Avery is determined to figure out what it is. 

As she’s proven her entire life, Avery won’t quit until she wins. This time, however, the battle is going to be long, dark and deadly. 

She won’t ever give up … even if the search for the truth ultimately kills her.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

A case involving a missing teenage girl gets Avery’s investigative juices pumping, except that girl turns out to be just one point in a much bigger case… 

The mystery of this book is well-plotted. The readers have to figure out how the main case may be related to an attempted kidnapping and a not-so-real psychic. The story moves us around Avery’s stomping grounds bringing in new clues, key facts and red herrings as we try to figure out what’s really going on. The big reveal is two-fold and each piece carries just the right amount of suspense to really bring a satisfying end to the mystery.

This is book 16 in the Avery Shaw Mysteries bit it works just fine as a standalone as the mystery to solve is very self-contained and enough tid-bits about past events are dropped into the narrative. For series readers, thankfully, it’s not too much to be repetitive.

Avery and Jake continue to butt heads, and Eliot once again has to act as mediator between the two, as they debate just how much information should be shared with the public on a major investigation. How to find the balance between what the public needs to know yet limit the exposure of sensitive information? Maybe if Jake’s girlfriend, Lauren, has more page space she could have helped calm him down a bit!

A bit a character development, Avery and Eliot may have ruled out having kids, but they may be becoming cat parents!

“But … I’ve never considered myself a cat person.”

“I hate to break it to you, baby, but you are the definition of a cat person. You’re antisocial, prone to hissing fits and you chafe under expectations. Face it, you’re a human cat.”

I knit my eyebrows, looking for a flaw in his logic. Sadly, I couldn’t find one. “At least I don’t pee in a box.”

Overall this was another entertaining installment in the Avery Shaw series and I give it 4.5/5 espresso shots.

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