What a cute read!
Equal parts cosy and quirky, this paranormal mystery has a sapphic love story at it's heart. I thought the world was really interesting and I would love more stories with the Sisterhood and them carrying out their duties. I loved all the characters and thought that both the mystery and the romance were really well done. It was such a sweet read whilst also tackling some pretty heavy topics with care and grace.
Definitely going to recommend this one to other people and I've also bought a physical copy.
Unfortunately this got into my spam mail and never got to read it, I know I should have checked it but still I'd like to point it out. By the time I wanted to read it it was no longer available.
I just, couldn't finish this book, I tried, I really did. But I had such a hard time getting into it. I may come back to this book and I hope I do, because the concept of the plot was really intriguing, but otherwise I couldn't finish it. DNF at 40% (3/5 for what I did read).
This ended up being so much more than I expected. It's intriguing, fun, and sweet all in one. There's something almost poetic about the opening (and not just because this story is partly about the death of a poet). I really enjoyed getting to know both Maeve and Imogen, The mystery was only part of the story, the friendships and romance were equally woven in. The world-building was excellent, and I loved learning more about the different factions and how they interacted with each other. Having poets be their own powerful order with powers akin to what you'd expect from mages or witches was a fun new twist. Highly recommend!
I received this book for free for an honest unbiased review from Netgalley.
I wish more books were this well written. Characters were witty and the setting fantastic.
Such good steam punk, dark academia vibes! Plus very interesting characters and a cute sapphic romance! I would definitely recommend!
"The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal" is a fun murder mystery novel featuring the undead poet Imogen Madrigal and the Death nun Maeve who is trying to help her figure out the details of her murder. The two gals become close in their time investigating, and shenanigans and revelations ensue.
What I really enjoyed about this novel, was the mystery behind Imogen's murder. There are multiple suspects with different motives, but in the end it's really not so simple as a single motive. I also really enjoyed Maeve's character development and how closely tied to her art it is. The side characters were also very enjoyable, especially Maeve's small circle and the poet Laureate whose parties sound like a lot of fun. Nevertheless, what really tied the book together for me was the friendship and a blossomin something-more between Imogen and Maeve. I guess it is quite impossible not to grow close to someone whose murder you're investigating, but I still enjoyed it immensely.
One thing that really bothered me, however, was Imogen's use of a telegraph/notebook and a pencil to communicate as she is practically mute. There were times when I was torn out of the story due to this, because the image, for example, of Maeve and Imogen glancing down at their respective telegraphs in intimate moments is so funny to me. And since Imogen, as a main character, has a lot to say in the book, it was kind of jarring to always be reminded that "aha, she's not actually talking, but writing all of this". I don't think I ever got used to it, but on the other hand, it was refreshing to see this kind of twist on how a dialogue should be going.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't too intense and I could just relax while reading. The final few chapters were a little bit more difficult on my braincells, but I guess that is just a part of the murder mystery genre, when everything is tied together and brought to a close.
One night, while performing the usual rituals that a Sister of the Good Death performs in a cemetery, Maeve notices something strange. Is what she saw a ghost, something then that must be mercifully sent to its final resting place, or a living creature? Neither, because Imogen is indeed a ghost, but, in an act of possession, she has returned to possess her own body, and this in order to find out who and why has prematurely ended her life. Fascinated by the phenomenon, Maeve finds herself in a whirlwind of events that force her to question her whole life: from her membership of the Sisters of the Good Death to the Sisterhood's enmity towards poets, of which Imogen is a member, to love. Decidedly fantasy, but very much a thriller, the novel presents a series of truly enjoyable characters, whom the author moves around with true mastery, sparing no twists and turns.
The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal follows Maeve, who serves a convent dedicated to shepherding lost souls between worlds, and Imogen, a renowned and deceased poet who has somehow returned to life and is set on revenge. Sounds divine, right? We’re promised a gothic and spooky atmosphere while the characters solve a mystery, and that’s partially accurate. The story starts off strong. It’s gloriously mysterious, the kind of book best read curled up under a worn quilt while the wind batters the windows and rains down autumn leaves. But as the story progresses, the mystery plot fizzles out in the face of the romance. Throughout, there’s a disconnect between the writing and the characters to the point where Maeve and Imogen never feel fully formed. It makes it difficult to be invested in the story. Because of this, emotional moments fall flat, especially those relating to the romance.
Intriguing premise and great characters! I will definitely need to read the rest of this! (Life got in the way and I ran out of time to finish 🥲). I love queer nun stories, and fantasy makes them that much more fun!
I had a few false starts with this novel just because of life getting in the way but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I was worried the story would be overly dark or try to hard to be edgy but I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book excellent book!
This was a great read- it reminded me of T Kingfisher’s work, especially something like the Paladin series, with a similar mix of down to earth characters, believable romance, and creepiness/magic. I also wished this was a series- I loved the idea of the Sisters of the Good Death and I hope that we get to see more stories about them!
On the whole, a spooky but heartwarming read. Highly recommended!
With a gorgeously built steam-punkish world that you’re thrown straight into and an atmosphere that is somehow both spooky and cosy in turns I loved this from the (very funny) opening paragraph. It’s a very well crafted book, although I did find the pacing a little slow at times - aside from the excellent worldbuilding the romance was a wonderful tender slow-burn, the writing is gorgeous and it’s both funny and dark in turns. I love how we’re slowly drip-fed more info about the world we’re in as we go along (exorcist nuns anyone?), and as the plot unfurls we get to know these characters more and grow to love them. With queer romance, ghosts, and a chilling mystery the novel manages to blend genres without ever feeling muddled or leaning too much one way or the other. A very enjoyable read, would recommend!
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an arc!
A lgbtq ghost story? Hell yess! This book was so much fun and I will be buying the book because first of all cozy, fun read but also I couldn’t finish the last 50 pages😭 so I will be reading the rest of it!
Thank you Netgalley, author, and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-arc.
Maeve lives a cozy life as a member of a nunnery whose sworn goal is to ease the passing of wayward spirits beyond these mortal plane. Her life and worldview are challenged when she meets Imogen: a poet, whose counter cultural lifestyles the nuns abhor, and who is most importantly, undead. The two embark on an adventure to solve Imogen’s murder, and unlikely allies become something more, making Maeve reevaluate her goals as one sworn to honor the dead.
I love the atmosphere, environment, and mood of this book—the city the author creates, the characters she created. I think it would be very appealing to people who are fans of “dark academia” type content. However, I found the pacing of the mystery felt like a slog…we kept returning to characters and conflicts who we had already been directed before. It definitely isn’t for me, since I like faster paced mysteries, but I think the right kind of patient reader would get a lot from this book, especially one who enjoys spook and cute reads.
If you like mysteries, ghosts, sapphic romance and very unique settings, you might like:
🔮 The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal by Grayson Daly 🔮
In this 'metaphysical mystery' romance novel we follow Maeve, a Sister of the Sisterhood of Good Death which aids restless souls in their journey to the afterlife. One night she encounters a woman who appears to be dead, but her soul still inhabits her body - asking Maeve to help her find the person who murdered her a year ago. But Imogen is a Poet, and Poets go against everything the Sisterhood stands for with their hedonistic lifestyle...
The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal left me with very conflicted feelings. On the one hand I absolutely loved the very intricately thought out and unique world of the Sisters and the Poets. From the start I was fascinated by the opposing philosophies of the two and wanted to know more about them. Daly has such a great, fluent writing style which made it very easy to read and want to keep reading. And the mystery, too, mostly kept my attention and left me guessing. I thought it was a very engaging and original combination of genres.
The characters and romance, on the other hand, weren't as great in my opinion. It felt as if we stayed on the surface throughout the whole story and didn't really get to see the characters' personalities, thoughts, feelings and backgrounds from up close. This also made it difficult for me to understand why Maeve and Imogen felt attracted to each other - I just didn't know them well enough. The author definitely used more telling than showing, which can be really great, but here unfortunately didn't go deep enough for me to be invested in the characters and what happened to them.
I would love to try another work by Daly in the future, however, because the world and the atmosphere were very innovative and interesting!
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the eARC!
I really wanted to love this, but it just fell flat and I had a hard time finishing it. The start felt very slow and I hard a difficult time engaging with any of the characters.
Magic? Murder? THE GAYS!? Yes. Yes. And YES!
Fall into a world of urban magic where shadows reside in the secrets, but a curious coven of witches seek to uncover the truth hiding behind the shadows.
Finally a page-turning book!
I like it a lot. Couldn't put it down. I really enjoy the setting, the plot, and the character development. I would have loved if Imogen got also a chance to 'heal' from her throat injury, but I guess for her being 'alive' and well at the end is ultimately a win-win. This book has the potential to develop a sequel in no time. I like the idea of the Sister of Good Death. This is something I'd really love to know more about.