The launch of an intriguing female detective series.
Cathedral Grace McCormick, or just Cat for short, is a young woman with a special gift. When she falls asleep, Cat can slip into the dreams of other people around her, seeing and feeling everything they feel. It’s a gift that’s hereditary in her family and one that she wants to continue to develop, which is “why she was moving clear across the country from St. Louis to Seattle: to apprentice with Granny Grace, who had for most of her life used dreamslipping to solve crimes as a private investigator.” Granny Grace is as boisterous and quirky as you would want any psychic private investigator to be, complete with a Mercedes named Siddhartha and the full legal name Amazing Grace. While living in an old Victorian at the top of Queen Anne Hill, Granny and Cat start her training in meditation, yoga and detective work, but she soon gets distracted by Lee Stone—an old flame—and money troubles. Friends offer her a position as the nighttime security guard at a condo construction site to help make ends meet, and the late work leads her to sleep and dreamslip on the job. She discovers that a dangerous man is sleeping close by and having terrible dreams about a young girl he’s chased all the way to Seattle. Cat is on her first official case, chasing the clues in these phantom dreams all the way back to a fundamentalist Christian church in Saint Louis. While the mystery that unfolds is fairly predictable, the dreamy aspect behind Cat’s investigative powers feels fresh for both the mystery and fantasy genres. It’s a way for debut author Brunette to bring moments of emotion and abstraction, as well as a refreshing majority of female characters, to the standard procedural. But these unusual women aren’t to be underestimated. As Granny Grace says, “Take every dream seriously.”
A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre.