Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A GLIMMER OF DEATH by Valerie Wilson Wesley


Publisher:      Kensington

Published:      January 26, 2021

ISBN:      978-1496731722

Genre:     Cozy Mystery 

Format:     Print from Publisher

Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina





 Odessa Jones, know to those closest to her as Dessa has had a run of sadness and with the scent of nutmeg in the air, it doesn’t seem like it will improve any time soon.  While most might find the scent of nutmeg appealing and portending something pleasant, for Dessa it smells out something unhappy.  Some, including her dear aunt Phoenix consider Dessa’s special skills a gift. For Dessa they mostly seem a burden.  You see, she senses when someone is going to have something awful, like death, befall on them.  After Darrell, her husband of all too few years, and the love of her life died about a year ago so many of her dreams fell away. Faced with having to support herself she got a job at Risko Realty.  Things at Risko aren’t the greatest and she’d gladly work somewhere else if she could find another job, but for now, it is what it is.  That is until she walks in one morning to the smell of nutmeg….her warning that something is about to go awry.  It’s not long after Charlie Risko, the owner of the company, is found dead in his office.  Things go from bad to worse when not one, but two more employees are found dead. Rather than bury her head in the sand…or real estate ads, Dessa decides to find the killer before yet another co-worker…or even worse, herself, are found dead.


Valerie Wilson Wesley kicks off her new series with A Glimmer of Death featuring Odessa Joes, a mature woman with psychic abilities she’d rather not have.  She’s an interesting character because of her unique skills and ability to do what needs to be done with only a little internal griping. Even though she doesn’t particularly like her co-workers, she is ready to step up to help them.  I never really warmed up to her or the other characters.  That may have been by design from the author – Dessa initially kept her distance from them and through the story she went from not wanting anything to do with them to caring for them.  If so, it’s a unique way to make readers feel part of the story.  I liked that she is a basic, down home, get the job done kind of person. She has her “dumb” moments of going somewhere she should know not to go, but relies on her own smarts to come out okay.


My favorite character was Jupiter. I always find having a cat or dog as part of a story makes for some fun aspects. And Parker, the bird, added a bit more, especially when Dessa brought him home.


I felt the reason for the initial murder could have played out a little better.  There were enough red herrings that, through Dessa, readers scope out the killer. There were points I felt the author wasn’t sure who she wanted the killer to be. 


I got a strong feel about the neighbourhoods that Dessa travels into, especially the ones that had fallen on hard times. I will say they are not neighbourhoods I would willingly move into, but they certainly added an element of danger to the story.



This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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