A Glimmer of Death
Valerie Wilson Wesley
reviewed by Leslie Chatman
Trying to make ends meet working in a profession she is not cut out for, Odessa “Dessa” Jones faces some serious challenges in business and in her quest to stay alive. Shady real estate dealings, psychic flashes, and death are at the center of this first book in a new series.
Dessa has arrived at a place in her life she never pictured herself in—still grieving the loss of her husband a year earlier and trying to start a new career. Taking the job at Risko Realty hasn’t been all that she thought it would be.
The strained, often complicated, relationships between coworkers did not make the new environment very inviting to her. And the owner, Charlie Risko, known for using intimidation to motivate the agents that worked for him, gets a kick out of keeping them overwhelmed with fear that they could be fired at any moment for not producing.
When Charlie is found shot dead in his office, it is clear that everyone who works for Risko Realty or has done business with him has a motive, but the wrong man gets arrested for the crime. The killer will not reveal themselves easily. Dessa has the gift of being able to see auras and this gift helps guide her in solving this mysterious case.
The diversity in this book is very exciting. Overall, the characters are very interesting and have some true conflict—internally and externally. The psychic element is new for me and could take a bit to get used to in a cozy, but I am open and encourage others to be open to it as well. Aura reading or glimmers are used to help give the main character and, in turn, the reader some insight. It allowed Dessa to see some of the unsavory elements and connections among her coworkers.
A Glimmer of Death is a wonderful tale with an even better plot twist. As this series progresses, I hope to see more of the essential elements of a typical cozy. Dessa does not appear to have a deep connection to the town and she is working to solve the case, but has a very easy time obtaining information. She does not have a singular antagonist, someone who will push against her in her efforts to involve herself in the case. Dessa does begin to develop a relationship with a local restaurant owner who is a retired police officer, but his efforts to caution her are limited as their relationship quickly turned to one based in business and possibly romance.
I am most interested to see where this relationship could go, and I am hopeful that Dessa is no longer working at Risko Realty in the next installment.