The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2) - Amanda Stevens,  Khristine Hvam The Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina. One can see why these mountains got their name.

★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Khristine Hvam continues the narration of [a:Amanda Stevens|46976|Amanda Stevens|]’s eerie mystery series. She does an excellent job reading this in first person POV as Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer. Her Southern accent is perfection, as well as her cadence, tone, inflection, enunciation, and her ability to different voices. There is a reason Ms. Hvam was on my Top Ten Audio List of 2012; so far she's on there for 2013, too!

This time Amelia has ventured outside her Charleston home when she goes to restore Thorngate Cemetery in the eerie and atmospheric Asher Falls. Or is that a dark enchantment in the air? Whatever, Amelia feels drawn to the mountain community, with it ghostly man-made Bell Lake.

Just who commissioned Amelia to do this job, anyway – and why? Was it really Luna Kemper, Real Estate Agent extraordinaire, with an unusually youthful sultriness? Or one of her cliquish friends? Could it be old man Pell Asher, bound to his wheelchair, but still wielding great power? His arrogant son Hugh, with his ‘unnervingly perfect’ features? Or Hugh’s young wallpaper wife, Maris? How about the creepy guy at the cemetery who slithers under and around? Certainly not the scarred Police Chief Wayne Van Zandt; he wants her gone. Though John Devlin is sorely missing, there is the seductive Thane Asher who is attentive to Amelia; does he have ghosts haunting him, too? And what could be his motives for wanting Amelia’s presence?

In addition to an underwater cemetery that casts a pall over Asher Falls, there is a reclusive neighbor, a history of several suspicious deaths, something evil in the woods, a really neat dog named Angus, plenty of ghosts, rebellious teenagers, romantic entanglements – with the resulting jealousies – and a ‘whole lot of mendacity going on’ in a dying community.

We get some answers in [b:The Kingdom|11162228|The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2)|Amanda Stevens||16086233], which should make readers happy; however, it is a certainty that the tale isn't complete. I can’t wait for the next one!

[bc:The Abandoned|10928426|The Abandoned (Graveyard Queen #0.5)|Amanda Stevens||15767732] [bc:The Restorer|9722219|The Restorer (Graveyard Queen, #1)|Amanda Stevens||14610994] [bc:The Kingdom|11162228|The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2)|Amanda Stevens||16086233] [bc:The Prophet|13024331|The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3)|Amanda Stevens||18187177] [bc:The Visitor|17204332|The Visitor (Graveyard Queen #4)|Amanda Stevens|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|23681797] <---The Visitor coming October, 2013?

P.S. Just found out that [b:The Restorer|9722219|The Restorer (Graveyard Queen, #1)|Amanda Stevens||14610994] is an Audie Award 2013 Finalist - Fantasy! Woohoo!

bee balm, AKA Monarda

sugar maple

Mountain Streams With its stunning view of the Blue Ridge and woods full of rhododendrons, mountain laurel and wildflowers, Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area is truly one of South Carolina’s pretty places.

mountain laurel in South Carolina

Natural Bridge at Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area, 12 mi. N.W. of Pickens, South Carolina. Photo by John Burns.

mountain rhododendron