In BURY ME WHEN I'M DEAD we get a who dunnit story that also has characters with depth and potential for an interesting and hopefully long running series. The main character Charlene (Charlie) Mack is a wonderfully realistic, relatable, and satisfying character with a lot on her plate. Not only is Charlie the head of her own private investigation company, but is recently divorced with an ex that she hasn't fully disentangled from, she has a new lover that she is afraid to take the plunge with, and a mother whom she loves and admires but who is now facing the early stages of Alzheimer's. If that isn't enough, Charlie has also taken on a case from her former boss whose company has been taken advantage of and he feels it both professionally and personally. Head does a great job showing Charlie at a crossroads in her life. Charlie is 33 so she is old enough to have had a some life experience but still figuring out and mustering the courage to be true to who she is and what she wants to be emotionally, sexually, and even professionally moving forward.
Head portrays the relationship between Charlie and her mother in a way that really moved me. I am impressed with the way Charlie handles her struggle to find the balance of respecting the need for Ernestine to not be treated as a child and keep as much independence as she can while acknowledging the fact that her mother is no longer the same woman that she was before the onset of Alzheimer's.
In the story there was one opinion that a character had about a possible relationship that I was "no ma'am-ing" no matter the forced precaution, but I can't say what it was because it's a big spoiler. I can kind of understand where she was coming from, but still-no! (If you've read this let me know and we can discuss privately where no one will get spoiled!)
In short, BURY ME WHEN I'M DEAD is an interesting multilayered mystery featuring family secrets, generational tensions, good old fashioned greed, and with strong main and secondary characters that I would like to know more about. I'm adding this one to my favorites list and will be ordering the next books in the series. I look forward to following Charlie's journey and adventures over the next books.
I'm going to keep saying this over and over again, finding gems like this is why I continue to be open to indie and small press authors! There are so many good authors out there who are just not getting the hype and recognition that they should!
***I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.***
About the Author
(Photo via Goodreads)
Originally from Detroit, Cheryl A. Head now lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where she has navigated a successful career as a writer, television producer, filmmaker, broadcast executive and media funder. Her self-published debut novel, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, was a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist in both the African American Literature and Historical Fiction categories. Her Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series (Bywater Books) was a 2017 Lammy finalist. When not writing fiction, she tweets, posts on Facebook, and consults on a wide range of diversity issues. She is currently the Director of Inclusion for the board of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) whose mission is education and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature.