"Bless Your Heart" By Lindy Ryan: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

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

In 1999 Texas three generations of women run the family business that Grace Evans likens to a beauty salon, where clients are pampered and get a new look. Of course, the Evans Funeral Parlor normally deals with customers who are a little more passive, and while still needing a new outfit and hairstyle their customers are quite dead. Or at least they should be, as their latest deceased client Mina Jean Murphy has just sat up and attempted to rip the throats out of every living being in sight. They had thought they were past this period of monster-hunting, even though 80-something Ducey Evans, her daughter Grace, and granddaughter Lenore have spent their lives aware of and fighting the undead who have plagued their town. Strigoi are the original undead ghouls, horrific creatures that can turn the living after being invited in.

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While Ducey, Lenore, and Grace have grown up with their family mission, they have yet to share this burden with Grace’s 15-year-old daughter Luna. It’s something she becomes aware of in the most shocking of ways after Mina rises and turns into a mindless bloodsucker. It’s only the start of a string of missing persons and homicidal Strigois though, and the women find themselves having to assist the unprepared law enforcement before more of their neighbors become predators and prey.

While readers might be expecting a paranormal mystery in a similar vein (hah, sorry) to Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, this debut novel is a bit gorier while also focusing on the relationship drama between the four generations of women. While the premise of three Women of a Certain Age monster hunters could lean into being overly humorous or absurd, the Evans family are written so real and their characters so well developed that the threats seem genuine with dire repercussions. Luna is experiencing the normal emotional turmoil of teenage romance, but one of her suitors may be something more than just a broody, angsty teen. Her reliable boyfriend Andy has not been responding to her texts, while new kid Crane Campbell had to leave his school in Colorado after being suspected of being one of the Trenchcoat Mafia associated with the horrific events of Columbine.

The tragic fates of the men in their lives looms over all the women, and as it’s slowly revealed readers will be drawn in further and incredibly invested in the Evans family future. The mythology is solid as the rules are laid out clearly and the stakes (sorry, again) feel very real as the women band together to protect one another while still dealing with the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. This is an entertaining and very compelling entry that stands out in the extremely popular genre of paranormal mysteries.

To enter to win a copy of Bless Your Heart, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "bless,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 18, 2024. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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! A new episode goes up next week.

You can click here to purchase this book.


Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 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. Mary Holshouser
    Love the first lines of the review. Fun way
    of saying it's a funeral parlor. Should be a
    fun read. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Would love to get a copy! tWarner419@aol.com


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