"Ninth Grave" A Writers' Retreat Mystery By Kathi Daley: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Cold Case Committee
If it's Monday, it must be Mystery Mastermind night! Gull Island Writer’s Retreat residents enjoy a unique camaraderie. Every Monday night one of the group takes the lead presenting details, facts, and background for a cold case they find of professional or personal interest. It is hoped that the group will agree the case has merit and join in. They discuss and brainstorm a course of action, then divide up the responsibilities in the effort to find a resolution. Each of the writers, varying in genre and age, along with insights and knowledge from local law enforcement and the folks in town bring to the project a skill set that has given them an 8-0 success rate finding justice for murder victims, wrongly accused, and the innocent convicted. Here’s number nine!

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Ninth Grave earns 5/5 Cat and Mouse Games...Engaging with an Edge!

Jackson "Jack" Jones is an acclaimed mystery writer who gave up a lavish lifestyle to purchase the local Gull Island News and live out his dream of writing for a newspaper. He is also the boyfriend of Jill Hanford, manager of the retreat, and the lead in this ninth investigative adventure. Jack received an email from a fan of his latest thriller, but it turns out not to be the usual "love it" review. The "fan" admits to closely identifying with the book's protagonist because they, too, have, for a good reason, committed multiple murders between 2014 to 2018. The "fan" wants to stop, to be found out, and, like that of a game, Jack to uncover the location of his victims. If not? There will be a ninth grave...

Jill has joined Jack on his search for background information on the victims as one by one the "fan" reveals a name through email conversations. She helps with reviewing police reports, interviewing friends, employers, and ones that were the last to see the victim, and helping to determine facts and a further plan of action. Every step of the way they keep in close contact with their friend Deputy Rick Savage, but something is niggling them...another writer's retreat member Clara's disturbing dreams, the fan's demeanor, the feelings of being controlled, and the discoveries themselves. Will this journey be too much for them?

This series is my favorite of Kathi Daley's ten different series, and this "ninth" book has an engaging edge. She uses a first-person narrative sharing Jill's perspective as she and Jack follow the directions provided by the "fan." Discoveries are heart-wrenching, and the intensity increases as the next victim is examined knowing they are not rescuing someone, but locating remains. Daley describes the various settings well and includes dialogue that best illustrates the mood and emotions. The ending? Just what I hoped...a bit of drama, a bit of peril, revelations, and a surprise!

Beyond the cold case mystery that has captured everyone's attention, life goes on back at the retreat with issues related to the residents, but it's Jack's mother's May to her December romance that has him really concerned. His mother is quite the spunky sixty-something dynamo, but the motives of this "Mr. May," more like a "Mr. March or April," is put into serious question. Kathi always starts this series with a set of mini dossiers providing extra background information and connections for The Gull Island Writer's Retreat Residents and The Towns Folk, but no recipes in this series, which is something Kathi Daley includes in a few of her others. Not a criticism, and kind of selfish, but with all the rest stops, diners, and restaurants mentioned, I'd love to have a treat recipe. Just saying...

Be a Big Kathi Daley Fan! Come for the Murder, Stay for the Romance!
Kathi Daley has ten other series offering something for every cozy taste including “fur” friends and close relationship between family and friends. She has a great social media community of fans and can be followed on Goodreads and BookBub. Sign up for her newsletter. Sign up for her newsletter.

Facebook - Kathi Daley Books
Join the Club Kathi Daley Book Club
On the Web Kathi Daley Website
Blog - Random Thoughts and Meaningless Musings

To enter to win an ebook copy of Ninth Grave, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "ninth,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 13, 2019. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! One of our past episodes features another of Kathi's books.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Kathi Daley is an entertaining author. Count me in!

  2. Sounds like another great book from Kathi Daley.

  3. This sounds like a great read..vadershepard@embarqmail.com

  4. Thanks for the chance! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  5. Love this series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Sounds like a good book. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com


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