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A Glimmer of Death

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Award-winning author Valerie Wilson Wesley launches a thrilling new mystery series set in New Jersey, featuring a multicultural cast, and starring a caterer-turned-realtor with the gift of second sight... In the first of a thrilling new series, one woman's extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sig Award-winning author Valerie Wilson Wesley launches a thrilling new mystery series set in New Jersey, featuring a multicultural cast, and starring a caterer-turned-realtor with the gift of second sight... In the first of a thrilling new series, one woman's extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sights... Until now, Odessa Jones' inherited ability to read emotions and foretell danger has protected her. But second sight didn't warn her she would soon be a widow--and about to lose her home and the catering business she's worked so hard to build. The only things keeping Dessa going are her love for baking and her sometimes-mellow cat, Juniper. Unfortunately, putting her life back together means taking a gig at an all-kinds-of-shady real estate firm run by volatile owner Charlie Risko... Until Charlie is brutally killed--and Dessa's bullied co-worker is arrested for murder. Dessa can't be sure who's guilty. But it doesn't take a psychic to discover that everyone from Charlie's much-abused staff to his long-suffering younger wife had multiple reasons to want him dead. And as Dessa follows a trail of lies through blackmail, dead-end clues, and corruption, she needs to see the truth fast--or a killer will bury her deep down with it.


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Award-winning author Valerie Wilson Wesley launches a thrilling new mystery series set in New Jersey, featuring a multicultural cast, and starring a caterer-turned-realtor with the gift of second sight... In the first of a thrilling new series, one woman's extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sig Award-winning author Valerie Wilson Wesley launches a thrilling new mystery series set in New Jersey, featuring a multicultural cast, and starring a caterer-turned-realtor with the gift of second sight... In the first of a thrilling new series, one woman's extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sights... Until now, Odessa Jones' inherited ability to read emotions and foretell danger has protected her. But second sight didn't warn her she would soon be a widow--and about to lose her home and the catering business she's worked so hard to build. The only things keeping Dessa going are her love for baking and her sometimes-mellow cat, Juniper. Unfortunately, putting her life back together means taking a gig at an all-kinds-of-shady real estate firm run by volatile owner Charlie Risko... Until Charlie is brutally killed--and Dessa's bullied co-worker is arrested for murder. Dessa can't be sure who's guilty. But it doesn't take a psychic to discover that everyone from Charlie's much-abused staff to his long-suffering younger wife had multiple reasons to want him dead. And as Dessa follows a trail of lies through blackmail, dead-end clues, and corruption, she needs to see the truth fast--or a killer will bury her deep down with it.

30 review for A Glimmer of Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kellye

    Valerie Wilson-Wesley's Tamara Hayle books about a black woman PI were one of my favorite all-time mystery series so I had to get my hands on her new series, especially when I learned it was a paranormal cozy about a widow in New Jersey. A Glimmer of Death proves that the author hasn't missed a step since she's been away from the mystery game. Though New Jersey caterer-turned-realtor Dessa is quite a different character than Tamara Hayle, she's just as memorable. You'll also find all the things Valerie Wilson-Wesley's Tamara Hayle books about a black woman PI were one of my favorite all-time mystery series so I had to get my hands on her new series, especially when I learned it was a paranormal cozy about a widow in New Jersey. A Glimmer of Death proves that the author hasn't missed a step since she's been away from the mystery game. Though New Jersey caterer-turned-realtor Dessa is quite a different character than Tamara Hayle, she's just as memorable. You'll also find all the things you love about cozies, including cute cats and a colorful cast of characters. I can't wait for the next one!

  2. 4 out of 5

    V.M.

    I enjoyed A Glimmer of Death. I think it is a great start to this series and I'm looking forward to reading more about Mrs. Odessa Jones and Aunt Phoenix. I enjoyed A Glimmer of Death. I think it is a great start to this series and I'm looking forward to reading more about Mrs. Odessa Jones and Aunt Phoenix.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Dessa Jones works for a particularly obnoxious NJ realtor who is always threatening to fire people who don't bring in enough business. Apparently he pushed someone too far, because he winds up dead. Could one of the staff finally have had enough of Charlie's bullying? What about his young wife, who is sporting all of those bruises? Dessa sees "glimmers," similar to auras, around people. They often tell her more than she wants to know, since she is trying to focus on reviving her baking business Dessa Jones works for a particularly obnoxious NJ realtor who is always threatening to fire people who don't bring in enough business. Apparently he pushed someone too far, because he winds up dead. Could one of the staff finally have had enough of Charlie's bullying? What about his young wife, who is sporting all of those bruises? Dessa sees "glimmers," similar to auras, around people. They often tell her more than she wants to know, since she is trying to focus on reviving her baking business to earn some extra money. I really enjoyed reading about these characters, and the mystery kept me guessing. As an added bonus, the recipe for Dessa's 7-Up Pound Cake is included. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    This story follows the widowed Odessa "Dessa" Jones, a struggling real estate agent and former caterer in a New Jersey town. It's been a year since her husband's death and she's just trying to stay afloat and keep her desk at the agency while her crazy boss' threats loom. In usual cozy fashion her boss was one of those people everyone hated so it's no surprise there are multiple suspects when he ends up dead. If you're looking for a light easy to read mystery with a interesting cast of characters This story follows the widowed Odessa "Dessa" Jones, a struggling real estate agent and former caterer in a New Jersey town. It's been a year since her husband's death and she's just trying to stay afloat and keep her desk at the agency while her crazy boss' threats loom. In usual cozy fashion her boss was one of those people everyone hated so it's no surprise there are multiple suspects when he ends up dead. If you're looking for a light easy to read mystery with a interesting cast of characters I suggest picking this one up. This was full of young and old characters each with their own set of secrets. I liked that Dessa was actively trying to learn more about the way the law works and how conmen run their cons. Sometimes in cozies the way the women are instantly sleuths despite no years of experience and able to put the clues together is annoying. And like the readers Dessa didn't know her coworkers too well so we learned about them as she did. And there was a twist on the cozy romance in that the potential love interest is a retired police officer so he's close enough to the force to be helpful but not the ones running the investigations. Throughout you get plenty of descriptions of scrumptious cakes as Dessa restarts her catering business on the side. As you can find a recipe for her 7 Up cake included. A solid start to a new series. Originally posted https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    A Glimmer of Death is the first in Valerie Wilson Wesley's Odessa Jones Mysteries and follows caterer-turned-estate agent Dessa Jones. Dessa has psychic gifts but unfortunately, they failed to warn her that she was to become a widow at forty-odd, as well as losing her home and the catering business she's worked so hard to build. She is trying to revive her catering and bakery company, D&D Delights, whilst working for Charlie Risko at Risko Realty in an office where it seems that nearly everyone A Glimmer of Death is the first in Valerie Wilson Wesley's Odessa Jones Mysteries and follows caterer-turned-estate agent Dessa Jones. Dessa has psychic gifts but unfortunately, they failed to warn her that she was to become a widow at forty-odd, as well as losing her home and the catering business she's worked so hard to build. She is trying to revive her catering and bakery company, D&D Delights, whilst working for Charlie Risko at Risko Realty in an office where it seems that nearly everyone has secrets, an unpleasant personality or both. When Charlie is found dead having been shot, one of Dessa's colleagues and an office friend is suspect number one... It is wonderful to start a cozy mystery series from the very beginning and I jumped into A Glimmer of Death with abandon. This thrilling new series has a wonderful, engaging main character. Valerie Wilson Wesley's new sleuth Dessa is complex, smart and still grieving the loss of her husband Darryl. She sees 'glimmers' and has other interesting methods of analysing people and situations. Her character has depth and I felt that I was right there alongside her as she deciphered clues. Dessa's fantastic, eccentric aunts, Phoenix and Celestine, were strong characters, too and I adored her demanding, plump and spoiled black cat, Juniper. The author's writing style is clear and direct and I'm already looking forward to the next instalment! I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annu

    Dessa Jones ends up working in real estate after her husband passes away. She thinks it would take her mind off things but that was not the case. Dessa has psychic abilities wherein she sees glimmer. Althought, most of the times she's not sure about what the glimmers represent. I didn't feel I was reading a cozy. It was well suited for a mystery. I didn't like the characters in Dessa's office, maybe the author meant for them to be unlikeable. Aunt Phe was a good character though. The mystery was Dessa Jones ends up working in real estate after her husband passes away. She thinks it would take her mind off things but that was not the case. Dessa has psychic abilities wherein she sees glimmer. Althought, most of the times she's not sure about what the glimmers represent. I didn't feel I was reading a cozy. It was well suited for a mystery. I didn't like the characters in Dessa's office, maybe the author meant for them to be unlikeable. Aunt Phe was a good character though. The mystery was good, the people in Dessa's office all had clear motives to want Charlie dead. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read and review this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jerri Cachero

    Odessa Jones has faced tragedy and heartbreak - her beloved husband passes away, their catering business was lost and now she's about to lose her home. In order to get back on her feet, she takes a position as an associate with Risko Realty. Unfortunately, the job turns out to be more sleuthing than selling and Odessa has to use her "gifts" to keep herself safe! Valerie Wilson Wesley has created a fascinating new sleuth - Odessa (Dessa) Jones. Dessa is complex, kind, smart and still grieving the Odessa Jones has faced tragedy and heartbreak - her beloved husband passes away, their catering business was lost and now she's about to lose her home. In order to get back on her feet, she takes a position as an associate with Risko Realty. Unfortunately, the job turns out to be more sleuthing than selling and Odessa has to use her "gifts" to keep herself safe! Valerie Wilson Wesley has created a fascinating new sleuth - Odessa (Dessa) Jones. Dessa is complex, kind, smart and still grieving the loss of her husband Darryl. She has an interesting method of listening to and evaluating people and situations (I won't say more than that!) and the character has such depth and is so well-written, that the reader feels as if they are right there with her discovering clues. The writing style is direct, relatable and left me not wanting to read that last page and finish the book! The supporting characters, Dessa's co-workers and her wonderful Aunts Phoenix and Celestine are strong enough to have their own books. Of course, Juniper her spoiled feline is adorable and demanding and the pound cake recipe was amazing! I can't wait for the next Odessa Jones Mystery! . I received an ARC from NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley is a bit of a tough one to write about. I want you to read it because it was really good, but if you are a hardcore cozy fanatic, it may not be what you usually look for in a cozy. Most of the aspects are there, but there is a really big one that is missing… at least it was for me. Usually in cozies there are so many wonderful characters and that’s one of the reasons that readers keep coming back. These characters become friends and you want to catch up A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley is a bit of a tough one to write about. I want you to read it because it was really good, but if you are a hardcore cozy fanatic, it may not be what you usually look for in a cozy. Most of the aspects are there, but there is a really big one that is missing… at least it was for me. Usually in cozies there are so many wonderful characters and that’s one of the reasons that readers keep coming back. These characters become friends and you want to catch up with them when the next book comes out. But in A Glimmer of Death, a lot of the people were nasty pieces of work. Now, I don’t want you to decide not to read it because Wesley really does a great job with character development, even the not so likeable characters. And there are still characters that you will enjoy, and a lot of diverse characters too! I just want to let you know before you delve into the book… this is a review after all. ;) I loved the premise with Dessa and her family having psychic abilities. It was a fun change to have the main character already aware of them, instead of spending half of the book realizing it. Yet, Desssa doesn’t have a firm grip on them, so we do get some exploration. And we are introduced to her two aunts who do have their powers more under control. I really enjoyed her aunt's powers when it comes to money. Often in the supernatural community you shouldn’t use these types of powers to benefit yourself, but maybe it’s the dark witch in me that says, “Why not?!?” I was also very happy with the way the love interest is playing out and that he was a police officer so he still has contacts on the force, but that he has a profession that matches Dessa more. Plus his grandma’s name was Odessa too, so how perfect is that. And as far as the mystery goes there are a lot of suspects and red herrings, but if you pay attention there’s a good chance you’ll be able to figure it out before the end of the book. There were two things that Wesley included that helped me come to the conclusion early. An excellent start to a new series, and I really hope that the slight change from the usual cozy doesn’t stop you from reading it or makes you leave a negative review just because of it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    This is a brand new to me author, and I really like her writing. She told a very intriguing tale that kept me wanting to find out more without it being dark or scary. I liked Dessa's character a lot--she made me just want to hug her sometimes and tell her things would get better (even though I have no personal experience in losing a spouse). I really loved the character of Aunt Phoenix and wish she could help Dessa a little more with her abilities than just telling her things. Celestine was cool This is a brand new to me author, and I really like her writing. She told a very intriguing tale that kept me wanting to find out more without it being dark or scary. I liked Dessa's character a lot--she made me just want to hug her sometimes and tell her things would get better (even though I have no personal experience in losing a spouse). I really loved the character of Aunt Phoenix and wish she could help Dessa a little more with her abilities than just telling her things. Celestine was cool too, so maybe she's going to be the one to help her out. All those goodies Dessa was making were making me hungry! Dessa's co-workers were sure a mixed bag of craziness, and some weren't the fun crazy either. I eventually did like Vinton since he seemed to bond a bit with Dessa over her cakes she made. They both suffered a major loss in their lives, so I'm sure that brought them more together as friends. I really like Lennox too, but not so much the woman working for him who has her eyes on him. I hope he and Dessa can get together eventually. I like his story! I'm interested in what happens next, so I'm sure I'll be reading the next book when it's out. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    This is one of the best new books I’ve read in a while. I love the idea of the main character, Odessa Jones, being an empath. Seeing the shimmers, or glitters, is part of her gift, although she doesn’t quite understand how it works. After the death of her husband, Dessa is just trying to keep a roof over her head, so finding a job at a local real estate agency that s where she spends her days. I think Dessa is a fresh, new character who’s going to shine the light on the cozy mystery genre. I’m very This is one of the best new books I’ve read in a while. I love the idea of the main character, Odessa Jones, being an empath. Seeing the shimmers, or glitters, is part of her gift, although she doesn’t quite understand how it works. After the death of her husband, Dessa is just trying to keep a roof over her head, so finding a job at a local real estate agency that s where she spends her days. I think Dessa is a fresh, new character who’s going to shine the light on the cozy mystery genre. I’m very excited to see what’s in store for Odessa Jones!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    When I tell you love me some VWW as if she was family (my mystery auntie) and I've read and reread everything she's written since I was in high school. I preordered this as soon as it was announced last June and I've been so excited to read it and I can honestly say I am neutral and maybe a pinch disappointed by this read. It may be that I'm so used to a grittier, dark and page gripping read with Tamara Hayle that Odessa in comparison felt so mild and lukewarm (due to it being a Cozy) and I just d When I tell you love me some VWW as if she was family (my mystery auntie) and I've read and reread everything she's written since I was in high school. I preordered this as soon as it was announced last June and I've been so excited to read it and I can honestly say I am neutral and maybe a pinch disappointed by this read. It may be that I'm so used to a grittier, dark and page gripping read with Tamara Hayle that Odessa in comparison felt so mild and lukewarm (due to it being a Cozy) and I just didn't enjoy it as much and I really, really wanted to. I'll give it a 3/5 and maybe this is a small start to a solid series and now that she's 1 book in I can expect better in the future. The story was decent but Odessa was a bit boring and could use a bit more interest and personality, I found Aunt Phoenix more interesting. I don't feel like she really put any of the pieces together herself. No real sluething, felt like everything would've come together regardless of her presence. Also, the ending was so fast and anticlimatic, with little to no suspense. I look forward to whatever is coming next and will read anything Ms. Valerie releases but I encourage those that are new to this author to try the Tamara Hayle series first.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannan Harper

    Ms. Wilson is back with a new series that is wanting me to come back for more. Fresh from losing her husband and their business Odessa "Dessa" Jones is attempting to put her life back together. She obtains a job as a real estate agent, but according to her boss, Charlie, She's not very good at it. When he turns up murdered, and one of her co workers is accused of the crime, Della takes it upon herself to investigate. She uses a type of psychic powers, glimmers to get a read on people. Although t Ms. Wilson is back with a new series that is wanting me to come back for more. Fresh from losing her husband and their business Odessa "Dessa" Jones is attempting to put her life back together. She obtains a job as a real estate agent, but according to her boss, Charlie, She's not very good at it. When he turns up murdered, and one of her co workers is accused of the crime, Della takes it upon herself to investigate. She uses a type of psychic powers, glimmers to get a read on people. Although this was a slightly different type of cozy read, it was still enjoyable. My favorite secondary characters were Aunt Ruth as well as the owner of the diner (I'm hoping bits of romance will turn up in later books). I am expectantly waiting for the next book in the series. I received a copy of the book via the publisher through netGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Burdened by her losses in the past year (death of her beloved husband, the business they built together and her home), Odessa Jones is forced to work at a shady NJ realty company with an horrific boss and a sad sack set of coworkers. Her psychic gift of reading others emotions and have a forewarning of danger become more active after the murder of the boss and her kindness in trying to talk and understand her co-workers may lead her into danger. Her downstairs neighbor and the owner of the local Burdened by her losses in the past year (death of her beloved husband, the business they built together and her home), Odessa Jones is forced to work at a shady NJ realty company with an horrific boss and a sad sack set of coworkers. Her psychic gift of reading others emotions and have a forewarning of danger become more active after the murder of the boss and her kindness in trying to talk and understand her co-workers may lead her into danger. Her downstairs neighbor and the owner of the local barbecue restaurant are engaging characters. Overall the tone is more subdued than in a typical cozy which is interesting. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rima Aiello

    This first in a new series was everything a mystery should be. Strong characters, a villain that ends up murdered, and the main character figuring out the whodunit. This story did have a twist from the typical mysteries. A unique main character, a different type of setting, and a well-executed plot that keeps you guessing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Firetruckmama

    I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I found this a pretty quick and interesting read. The set-up was done very well (though, for me, it took a while for the characters to be set and the plot to gather steam). I found a number of the characters to be ones I didn't particularly like - the exceptions were the main character, her aunts, and the former policeman - but I'm pretty sure that was done on purpose. For me, this book was an "okay read" due to the fact that it was at times I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I found this a pretty quick and interesting read. The set-up was done very well (though, for me, it took a while for the characters to be set and the plot to gather steam). I found a number of the characters to be ones I didn't particularly like - the exceptions were the main character, her aunts, and the former policeman - but I'm pretty sure that was done on purpose. For me, this book was an "okay read" due to the fact that it was at times a tad too depressing (for lack of a better word). While I know that was a stylistic choice - and sometimes the people you work with are sad/depressed - I kept waiting for a spark of happiness from someone (maybe the bits where the main character was baking were them?). I'd give this author another read, though. A solid 3.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley is the debut of the Odessa Jones Mysteries. Odessa “Dessa” Jones is a widow who is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. They had a catering business together, but Dessa has not felt like cooking since her husband’s death. This is what led Dessa to get her realtor’s license and begin working at Risko Realty. Dessa was hoping for a cozy work atmosphere where she would make friends, but that is not the case at Risko Realty. Charlie Risko has a A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley is the debut of the Odessa Jones Mysteries. Odessa “Dessa” Jones is a widow who is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. They had a catering business together, but Dessa has not felt like cooking since her husband’s death. This is what led Dessa to get her realtor’s license and begin working at Risko Realty. Dessa was hoping for a cozy work atmosphere where she would make friends, but that is not the case at Risko Realty. Charlie Risko has a temper, and the atmosphere is tense. Odessa inherited the family “gift”, but she is wary of it and has never learned to use it. We learn more about Odessa, her deceased husband, her “gift”, and her family as the book progresses. A Glimmer of Death is told in the first-person point-of-view, so we are privy to all of Odessa’s thoughts (which can be rambling and repetitious). I was not a fan of Odessa nor many of the other characters in this book. The exception is Odessa’s two aunts. The murder of Charlie Risko has Odessa questioning her fellow realtors in hopes of revealing the killer. She uses baked goods as a way to get into their homes and ask questions. There are a handful of unlikeable suspects all with motive to kill Charlie (he was an odious man). Most readers will have no problem solving this whodunit long before the reveal. I had hoped it would be more of a challenge since there were so many suspects. The clues were a bit too obvious. I do want to let readers know there is, unfortunately, some mild foul language in the book. I like the potential love interest for Odessa. He is a kind man who is a former cop who now runs a killer barbecue joint. He is also helpful to Odessa’s investigation. I wanted to like A Glimmer of Death, but it is a lukewarm read for me. I could not get into the book. I found it a dull read (boring, unlikeable characters, sluggish pacing, and an easy to solve mystery). The paranormal element was light and confusing. The story needed more excitement and action. It is classified as a cozy mystery, but it lacked that cozy feel (charming small town with friendly residents). The ending was anticlimactic and rushed. This is the first book in the series, so I am hoping for improvement in the next Odessa Jones Mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    ***This was a giveaway win*** I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and I'm glad it's the first in a series because I am looking forward to joining Odessa and those around her on more "adventures". I totally understood why people felt how they did about Odessa, I felt it through the writing. Hopefully in the coming books, there will be more background to some of the other characters. Most gave off a curious vibe, left me wanting to know why they were the way they were. I definitely could use an Aunt ***This was a giveaway win*** I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and I'm glad it's the first in a series because I am looking forward to joining Odessa and those around her on more "adventures". I totally understood why people felt how they did about Odessa, I felt it through the writing. Hopefully in the coming books, there will be more background to some of the other characters. Most gave off a curious vibe, left me wanting to know why they were the way they were. I definitely could use an Aunt Phoenix in my life and a friend like Lennox, and even a pet like Juniper. I suck at giving reviews without spoilers and I hate giving spoilers lol. If you like cozy mysteries and don't mind some supernatural gifts, then you will likely enjoy this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rekha

    A Glimmer of Death is a tad different from most of the cozy mysteries I have read so far. This book didn't have the tones of 'cozy'. Also, a little low on the amateur sleuthing. I would have liked the book more if our protagonist, Dessa, had a glimmer or some help from Aunt Pheonix - clues that might have led Dessa to the perp. Since this is a debut in the series, I wouldn't want to comment on the character development. The plot was impressive and I hope to see Dessa making use of her powers to A Glimmer of Death is a tad different from most of the cozy mysteries I have read so far. This book didn't have the tones of 'cozy'. Also, a little low on the amateur sleuthing. I would have liked the book more if our protagonist, Dessa, had a glimmer or some help from Aunt Pheonix - clues that might have led Dessa to the perp. Since this is a debut in the series, I wouldn't want to comment on the character development. The plot was impressive and I hope to see Dessa making use of her powers to solve crime in the future books of this series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received this from Netgalley.com. "Odessa Jones' extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sights..." A quick read. I don't read much in the cozy genre, and now I remember why. Overall, an okay mystery but the general conversation and interaction between characters were - blech. 2☆ I received this from Netgalley.com. "Odessa Jones' extraordinary psychic gift plunges her already-troubled present into chaos--and puts her future in someone's deadly sights..." A quick read. I don't read much in the cozy genre, and now I remember why. Overall, an okay mystery but the general conversation and interaction between characters were - blech. 2☆

  20. 4 out of 5

    The CurvyJones

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'd never read Valerie Wilson Wesley before and felt that I owed it to myself to get one of her books and read it. A Glimmer of Death was well written and likely ranks high in the cozy genre. I'm finding that for the most part, I simply don't enjoy cozies. I have to be in the mood for them, but since I wanted to read this prior to release day, I didn't have the chance to wait for the mood to strike. Unfortunately this book suffered the same fate as others I have tried to read. If you love books I'd never read Valerie Wilson Wesley before and felt that I owed it to myself to get one of her books and read it. A Glimmer of Death was well written and likely ranks high in the cozy genre. I'm finding that for the most part, I simply don't enjoy cozies. I have to be in the mood for them, but since I wanted to read this prior to release day, I didn't have the chance to wait for the mood to strike. Unfortunately this book suffered the same fate as others I have tried to read. If you love books that have recipes at the end, this is your spot of tea!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This book is well written and the author has a very descriptive writing style that paints a vivid picture of place and characters. This book is described as a cozy mystery but in my mind it lacks some of the key elements typically found in that genre. Generally in a cozy there is a sense of community and there are some strong friendships. Most of the characters in this book were rather unlikeable and didn’t even seem to like each other. The atmosphere in the real estate office where they worked This book is well written and the author has a very descriptive writing style that paints a vivid picture of place and characters. This book is described as a cozy mystery but in my mind it lacks some of the key elements typically found in that genre. Generally in a cozy there is a sense of community and there are some strong friendships. Most of the characters in this book were rather unlikeable and didn’t even seem to like each other. The atmosphere in the real estate office where they worked was too hostile and depressing for my liking. The mystery itself was a bit light on sleuthing and sometimes a bit confusing about what actually was being discovered. I’m sure that many readers will enjoy this book. Unfortunately for me it just didn’t hit the mark. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    As soon as I heard that Valerie Wilson Wesley was back with a new mystery series (after way too long) and it's a cozy, too....well I knew I had to get my hands on it. Odessa (Dessa) Jones has hit a rough patch in her life after the sudden death of her beloved husband Darryl. Because of her loss her heart just wasn't able to carry her through the job of keeping their catering business going and it went under. Knowing that the next loss would be her house, Dessa decides to try her hand at selling As soon as I heard that Valerie Wilson Wesley was back with a new mystery series (after way too long) and it's a cozy, too....well I knew I had to get my hands on it. Odessa (Dessa) Jones has hit a rough patch in her life after the sudden death of her beloved husband Darryl. Because of her loss her heart just wasn't able to carry her through the job of keeping their catering business going and it went under. Knowing that the next loss would be her house, Dessa decides to try her hand at selling real estate. It would have been fine if it hadn't been a job at Risko realty owned by the worst boss ever, bar none. Charlie Risko is a sleaze, a jerk, a bully and violent. No surprise when he turns up dead as the list of suspects isn't short. The short list would be who didn't want to kill him. The group of employees is varied and everybody has something to hide. They all have, to some degree, suffered at the hands of Charlie, even his younger wife. Dessa knows more about life at Risko Real Estate than the rest of the cast because she has a rather unwanted gift. A form of second sight that her Aunt Phoenix calls "glimmer" or what most would call auras. Dessa is an empath and has yet to get her gift under control like her aunts have with their paranormal gifts. Besides auras she also smells things like being in Charlie's office and smelling nutmeg. It was fascinating. As with her other series featuring Tamara Hayle (8 books) this one has a solid mystery to solve, full of red herrings, twists and turns to keep you guessing. Dessa and her cat, Juniper along with her aunts and various other great characters were so enjoyable that I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. I have already saved a place for it on my TBR list. My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: The story had a slow simmer until all the ingredients were added and then it came to a boil. Because of that, it took me several chapters to really get into it but once I did, I loved Dessa our heroine. Widowed a year ago, she is still struggling to deal with life after her husband. But Dessa has a huge heart with great empathy for others. People naturally gravitate to her so most of the characters at one time or another come to her for solace and support. Dessa has ano Princess Fuzzypants here: The story had a slow simmer until all the ingredients were added and then it came to a boil. Because of that, it took me several chapters to really get into it but once I did, I loved Dessa our heroine. Widowed a year ago, she is still struggling to deal with life after her husband. But Dessa has a huge heart with great empathy for others. People naturally gravitate to her so most of the characters at one time or another come to her for solace and support. Dessa has another gift. She sees glimmers and has the power of second sight. It is a petulant gift at best, one she has not yet embraced nor developed but it gets a work out when the boss in her real estate office is murdered. The prime suspect reaches out to her for help when he is arrested. While she is never 100% sure, she believes he is innocent. But who in their little office did the deed? It is not as if they all did not have lots of justification for hating the man. He was reprehensible but he crossed one line too many with the killer and paid the price. The more Dessa learns about him and his exploits, the more she can understand why he was murdered. Without having to “investigate” the murder and do all sorts of dumb things, people open up to her and she is able to piece together the truth. Although I sussed out the killer early, Dessa was shocked at the end to learn who had committed the crime. The story was told in a compelling and believable way. She is a heroine who does not test the limits of plausibility. Not only is she the kind of person anyone would want to call friend, she is also an incredible baker which leads her to a friendship that might well turn into something more. I hope there will be future stories as this one really takes the cake. Five purrs and two paws up.

  24. 5 out of 5

    FMSWarrior

    an empath with a gift. She is doing her best to keep herself afloat while dealing with her grief. Making money in real estate was never a calling, but it would help pay the bills, or so she thought. When her boss is murdered in the office one night, Odessa finds herself questioning whether she really knows her coworkers at all. She has a gift that lets her see glimmers of people and while she hasn’t fully embraced her gift, she is starting to learn to trust it. To trust herself. While Dessa isn’t an empath with a gift. She is doing her best to keep herself afloat while dealing with her grief. Making money in real estate was never a calling, but it would help pay the bills, or so she thought. When her boss is murdered in the office one night, Odessa finds herself questioning whether she really knows her coworkers at all. She has a gift that lets her see glimmers of people and while she hasn’t fully embraced her gift, she is starting to learn to trust it. To trust herself. While Dessa isn’t actively sleuthing, she is trying to be a friend to her coworkers, while also trying to stay safe from the killer when another coworker appears to have committed suicide and another is murdered as well. Dessa is just trying to understand the system and be a friend when and where needed, while hoping the police will find the murderer and not arrest her innocent friend. I’d say this is the coziest cozy mystery I have ever read, in that the protagonist is not actively sleuthing, but trying to understand how the legal and judicial systems work. Bravo to the author for sharing the struggles that African Americans deal with on a daily basis. Until you can understand what it is like to be pulled over by the police merely for DWB (driving while black) and other struggles that African Americans face, you will never understand why there is a time and a place to say Black Lives Matter rather than All Lives Matter. I wish more authors would take on the reality that our fellow citizens face on a daily basis. Whether Black, Asian, Disabled, etc. I look forward to seeing Dessa and Aunt She again soon.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Kirkland

    Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of A GLIMMER OF DEATH by Valerie Wilson Wesley in exchange for an honest review. Odessa Jones has familial psychic abilities; she can see glimmers in people’s characters and smell omens. However, Dessa’s gifts failed to warn her of her husband’s early death from a brain aneurism. Dessa’s grief kept her away from her favorite activity, cooking. This meant her and her husband’s catering business went bust, and Dessa had to find another job. Months later, D Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of A GLIMMER OF DEATH by Valerie Wilson Wesley in exchange for an honest review. Odessa Jones has familial psychic abilities; she can see glimmers in people’s characters and smell omens. However, Dessa’s gifts failed to warn her of her husband’s early death from a brain aneurism. Dessa’s grief kept her away from her favorite activity, cooking. This meant her and her husband’s catering business went bust, and Dessa had to find another job. Months later, Dessa finds herself barely hanging on to a real estate position in an office teeming with bitter and unfriendly faces. One day, Dessa walks into the office and smells a death omen, which smells like nutmeg. That evening, Dessa’s boss Charlie Risko is shot dead in the office. When one of Dessa’s few office friends is arrested for the crime, Dessa decides to clear his name. Dessa’s investigation turns up the shady dealings of her officemates; however, it seems like each of her coworkers had motive for the murder. As more of her coworkers die under mysterious circumstances, Dessa must identify Charlie’s killer before the murderer is the last one standing. I liked this book. I thought it was a terrific beginning to a new series. I recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries featuring murder, food, real estate, psychic abilities, assertive relatives, and cats. #AGlimmerofDeath #NetGalley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the first in the Odessa Jones mystery series. Odessa (Dessa) Jones is a widow of about one year and she is still grieving and works at a run down real estate office (Risko Realty) where everyone who works there is keeping a secret. Odessa can read people with a “glimmer” and can read their auras and no one in the office is really happy and when her boss Charlie Risko is murdered in his office things begin to unravel there. Charlie was definitely not a nice person and there were several p This is the first in the Odessa Jones mystery series. Odessa (Dessa) Jones is a widow of about one year and she is still grieving and works at a run down real estate office (Risko Realty) where everyone who works there is keeping a secret. Odessa can read people with a “glimmer” and can read their auras and no one in the office is really happy and when her boss Charlie Risko is murdered in his office things begin to unravel there. Charlie was definitely not a nice person and there were several people who could have done it. Dessa gets along with everyone and they do talk to her but she keeps getting warning from her Aunt Phoenix. Dessa feels she is stuck and she decides to revisit the catering business that her and her deceased husband Daryl started and begins to bake again. She has a friendship with Lennox who runs a restaurant and she begins baking for him. He is interested in her but she is not ready. Lennox is also the father of an autistic daughter who was one of her husband’s students before he died. They have become friends and he was a former police officer so he warns her away from the people in the office but when one of her co-workers who she likes is arrested she tries to heed his advice but she also believes he is innocent. I had a guess as to who the culprit was and Dessa was never in any danger although there were hints of danger along the way. Dessa is very likeable and this series has a lot of promise. 3.5 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Avery Daniels

    Odessa can see "glimmers", aura-like colors that correspond to a person’s emotional state and smell scents that indicate coming events. Like smelling nutmeg means death is coming. She is grieving loss of her husband, and is starting her baking business on the side. She is a kind soul I'd like as a friend. Lennox Royal, and ex-cop, who runs the diner is a possible love interest. Aunt Phoenix is her only close relative and source of information about her unique abilities. Daryl, her deceased husba Odessa can see "glimmers", aura-like colors that correspond to a person’s emotional state and smell scents that indicate coming events. Like smelling nutmeg means death is coming. She is grieving loss of her husband, and is starting her baking business on the side. She is a kind soul I'd like as a friend. Lennox Royal, and ex-cop, who runs the diner is a possible love interest. Aunt Phoenix is her only close relative and source of information about her unique abilities. Daryl, her deceased husband is felt strongly throughout the story. He was a gem and she often recalls him to mind. Bertie, Vinton, Harley, Juda, and Tanya populate the office and are suspects. The plot is doled out in dollops as the story unfolds. The subplot of Lennox liking Odessa adds a gentleness to the story I really appreciated. Once I got past all the introductions of the characters and the murder happened, I was hooked. The pacing is steady and shows an author who knows how to keep you interested. The killer reveal was different than I expected, but it worked perfectly for who the killer turned out to be. The wrap-up is the perfect ending. I am officially a fan of Valerie Wilson Wesley now. She is a skilled author weaving the story and characters into a confection as fine as the cakes Odessa bakes! FYI, a recipe is included that I just have to try. Rating: Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Smith

    A Glimmer of Death is the first in a new series series by Valerie Wilson Wesley. Odessa (Dessa) Jones is a down on her luck widow who is trying, rather unsuccessfully, to make ends meet by working in a real estate firm that is on the shady side to put it kindly. The owner, Charlie Risko, has an anger management issue and likes to intimidate the staff with the pistol that he keeps on his desk. It’s not surprising when Charlie is murdered but when others in the office are killed, Dessa knows that A Glimmer of Death is the first in a new series series by Valerie Wilson Wesley. Odessa (Dessa) Jones is a down on her luck widow who is trying, rather unsuccessfully, to make ends meet by working in a real estate firm that is on the shady side to put it kindly. The owner, Charlie Risko, has an anger management issue and likes to intimidate the staff with the pistol that he keeps on his desk. It’s not surprising when Charlie is murdered but when others in the office are killed, Dessa knows that she needs to do something fast before she’s either the next victim or the primary suspect. Dessa’s aunts, with their claims of psychic ability and charming quirkiness, made the book for me. I absolutely adored them and can’t wait until the next book to see how their characters develop! I also look forward to seeing more of Royal and others who were introduced in this debut. The diversity of the cast was a welcome nuance that enhanced the book for me. I was not however enamored with the rather down on their luck and depressing work colleagues. I hope that the next installment will find Dessa back at her catering gig and way from that depressing workplace. This series shows great promise and I can’t wait for the next installment. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Paranormal cozy mysteries are tied with historical cozies as my favorite type of cozy mysteries. I love that added touch of magic or psychic abilities. Dessa is still trying to understand her own psychic gift, not quite trusting it. She's such a great character, insightful and smart. I agree with Lennox that she has a big heart, but she is also the kind of woman who can take of herself. She's the kind of person I would like to be able to call friend--and not just because she makes such delicious Paranormal cozy mysteries are tied with historical cozies as my favorite type of cozy mysteries. I love that added touch of magic or psychic abilities. Dessa is still trying to understand her own psychic gift, not quite trusting it. She's such a great character, insightful and smart. I agree with Lennox that she has a big heart, but she is also the kind of woman who can take of herself. She's the kind of person I would like to be able to call friend--and not just because she makes such delicious sounding treats. There were several times throughout the novel that I wished she would just walk away from the real estate agency. Talk about a toxic work environment! Charlie really was the boss from hell. Everyone had a motive for wanting that man dead, and even I was not sure who was behind it, suspecting just about everyone at one point or another. The mystery goes deeper than just the murder a cruel boss though, and I liked that added darker layer. Besides Dessa, I enjoyed spending time with Aunt Phoenix and Lennox. And who can resist a cat companion like Juniper? I hope I get to spend more time with these characters (and maybe meet more of Dessa's family) in future books in the series, and get to know them all a bit better. I look forward to reading more by Valerie Wilson Wesley, both her future books as well as her backlist.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Lavelle

    Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for kindly providing me with a digital copy of this book for review. This is the first book in a new series, which is always exciting to a book nerd like me, isn’t it! I was not familiar with Valerie Wilson Wesley’s writing prior to reading this book, but a quick flick through my goodreads account shows that I had marked her other mystery series as ‘want to read’, so she had obviously come into my radar somehow beforehand. The writing grabbed me from the Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for kindly providing me with a digital copy of this book for review. This is the first book in a new series, which is always exciting to a book nerd like me, isn’t it! I was not familiar with Valerie Wilson Wesley’s writing prior to reading this book, but a quick flick through my goodreads account shows that I had marked her other mystery series as ‘want to read’, so she had obviously come into my radar somehow beforehand. The writing grabbed me from the very start and the plot felt fresh and interesting- like we weren’t just treading the same old cozy mystery paths. The plot tackles some pretty gritty issues, and I was pleased with the diverse range of characters that gave a lot more representation that we maybe see in the majority of other books in this genre. And having said that, I should also maybe mention that the author is an African American, so if you wanted to support a black author for Black history month, then this book is now available and well worth your time. I did guess the murderer but that did not take anything away from my enjoyment of the shory. I will look forward to reading the next book in the series when it gets released.

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