One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost is number six in the Night Huntress Series. The Night Huntress Series is centered on Cat and Bones, both of whom are vampires and are constantly dealing with the bad things that happen to them. Each book is basically a mystery wrapped in the Urban Fantasy genre. I enjoy that the relationship of Cat and Bones has built over the years, and actually progressed. There was never a triad, it was always just the two of them fighting and then loving each other. Each book the couple learns to work together better, and they learn to trust each other.
Please note that the rest of the review (after the break), while containing no spoilers for the 6th book in the series may contain spoilers of the series in general.
In One Grave at a Time Cat and Bones seem to have settled down after everything that happened to them in the last few years. Yes, there is some residual ghost hauntings from magical blood ingested by Cat from the voodoo queen of Louisiana, but for the most part life is quiet and good. Then Cat and Bones take on a case from one of their ghost friends. Elizabeth has been a ghost for a very long time and yet has not faded away as her purpose for remaining on earth, a man who wrote the book on killing witches, Heinrich Kramer, continues his grisly mission as a ghost and Elizabeth is trying to stop him. Every Hallows Eve Kramer returns manifests in the flesh. After driving three women mad, and with the help of an accomplice, Kramer then murders these women. Elizabeth has been trying to stop this madness for years and as time progresses Kramer becomes stronger and stronger and she is afraid one day he will walk the earth fully fleshed wrecking even more havoc against women.
Kramer’s accomplice becomes a menace to the lives of Cat and Bones and they must race against the clock to figure out who the victims are to keep them safe, where Kramer’s accomplice is to catch him, and where Kramer is flitting around in his ghostly state to try and trap him for all eternity so he can no longer harm women. As a bad guy, Kramer is one of the worst. Fist fighting is ineffective against a ghostly body and his ability to get into the minds of his victims is creepy. Cat and Bones, along with their ghostly friend Fabian, have their work cut out for them.
I really enjoyed the ghostly world building in this book. It was interesting to focus on Fabian and his little lady love Elizabeth. I also liked the historical aspect of Kramer and the witch trials (though Frost readily admits to taking some literary licenses with Kramer’s particular history). I also enjoyed how Cat and Bones are now working through their problems. They seem to be past the, I’m an independent person you can’t tell me what to do phase, and work as partners to solve their issues. It is quite a refreshing change from the normal relationships in Urban Fantasy series. My only complaint is that I figured out the subplot rather early in the book, not the full extent of it, there were definite surprises, but I knew the gist of where the story was going before it got there. The whole bit with Cat’s old team and a new leader making their lives miserable added drama I found unnecessary, but I saw how it was a set up for future books. I did enjoy how this book was full of suspense and action, and I’m always happy to return to this series.