The world is A LOT these days. Always? Sometimes when the world is rough, we want books that are more gentle, but not too fluffy. Prolific author Valerie Wilson Wesley’s new novel is exactly that. Her first book in the “cozy” genre, A GLIMMER OF DEATH, doesn’t shy away from stark issues, but it does so with a softer hand. It’s a detective murder mystery, without the harshness or machismo of the genre. Wilson’s explanation of the genre is “cozy mysteries are just that—cozy. Character and setting are paramount. Hard cursing and graphic violence are off-stage. They’re more of a puzzle, more delving into character and the why of how bad things happen.” To emphasize the style, cozies usually feature appearances of cats and tea – both of which are included in A Glimmer of Death.
A GLIMMER OF DEATH, centers on Odessa (Dessa) Jones, a former caterer who works at a local real estate agency. Dessa is still in mourning for her husband, who passed away a year before the action takes place. Her loneliness, money troubles, and reluctant longing to find connection and purpose slowly develop throughout the novel. Dessa also has a “gift” that helps her sense danger and gauge people’s moods. It is this gift, and her empathetic nature, that entangles the main character in a murder mystery that becomes more and more complicated as the plot thickens. Supported with her quirky Aunt Phoenix, a warm and friendly restaurant owner, and a wide array of work acquaintances, Dessa’s world has something for everyone to enjoy. Wesley drops in a recipe for Dessa’s 7-Up Cake as a bonus, making A GLIMMER OF DEATH the perfect cozy read to accompany a cup of jasmine tea and a slice of cake.