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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Death at First Sight by Lena Gregory is the first book in the Bay Island Psychic Mystery series. It all starts when Cass Donovan does a reading for Ellie Callahan. What should have been a routine reading goes horribly wrong as a shadow crosses Cass' vision. Before she can gather the courage to warn Ellie of what she really saw, Ellie leaves. Cass is running late for her friend Dee's fashion show rehearsal. She barely makes it to the theater when Ellie's mom, Marge Hawkins, threatens her to stay away from Ellie, and she discovers Dee's show date is yanked out from under him to accommodate Marge's play. To make her day worse, she stumbles upon Marge's body in the theater and the chief of police seems have her pegged for the murder. With her two best friends, she decides to take the investigation into her own hands to find the real killer. All isn't dire as she receives a message from a handsome stranger wanting a reading and she makes a surprising discovery in Marge's house.
A delightful start to a new series, Death at First Sight has a fantastic sleuth in Cass Donovan who is spunky, bold, and absolutely charming. Cass has been home for a year, so she's found a groove with her routine working in her shop and with her friends. She's a member of the community again but not everyone has welcomed her back with open arms, which is touched upon a few times throughout as a few are quick to judge her as the murderer. The biggest support comes from her friends, Dee and Stephanie, who even help her with a few crazy capers. They're everything you'd want in friendship goals. Stephanie is her old best friend whom she's reunited with after many years and their history is easily read in their easy dynamic. Dee is a newer friend she's had since her return home, but he's also a strong shoulder for her to lean on, fiercely dedicated and incredibly funny. Both friends are easily swept into Cass' schemes with Dee as the more cautious voice and Stephanie as the one who encourages, tending to be right with Cass to dive headlong into trouble.
The three make for the perfect trio as this group of friends has a sweet family vibe easily seen in how they interact and take care of each other. The mystery has a nice ominous touch as Cass is led around in circles to put together how the shadow she keeps seeing fits in with the clues that she uncovers. Some parts of the story give off the vibe of a feel-good comedy with three friends getting into trouble while other parts feel like the start of a sweet romantic comedy that begins with a handsome stranger. Then the rest is a complicated mystery full of twists, suspects who blame each other, and surprising secrets uncovered from the past. Lena Gregory has a fun voice and writes splendid characters you'll immediately fall in love with. Death at First Sight leaves you anxiously waiting for the next mystery with Cass and her two best friends.