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The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint
Cover Artist: John Jude Palencar
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765317568
Date: 17 March 2009 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

John Burns finally met the girl of his dreams. Well, sort of, she's the girl he would have dreamed of if he'd known that she's be a bright, energetic, smart, witty, tattooed, mechanic. They hit it off immediately, but in the morning she disappeared and he could not find her anywhere. He began to doubt that he'd even met her, until an internet search found her obituary from three months ago.

From official release/information:

Product Description: On the Day of the Dead, the Solona Music Hall is jumping.  That's where Altagracia Quintero meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.

Altagracia – her friends call her Grace – has a tattoo of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia on her shoulder, she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg, and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that it'll never wash out.  Grace works at Sanchez Motorworks, customizing hot rods.  Finding the line in a classic car is her calling.

Now Grace has to find the line in her own life.  A few blocks around the Alverson Arms is all her world -- from the little grocery store where she buys beans, tamales, and cigarettes ("cigarettes can kill you," they tell her, but she smokes them anyway) to the record shop, to the library where Henry, a black man confined to a wheelchair, researches the mystery of life in death – but she's got unfinished business keeping her close to home.

Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business – he's haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother.  He's never stopped feeling responsible. Like Grace in her way, John is an artist, and before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.

(Source: Tor Books)

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