The Caged Graves

Written by Dianne K. Salerni
Review by Alana White

Set in Catawissa, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1867, The Caged Graves opens as 17-year-old Verity Boone returns to her birthplace after an absence of fifteen years.  A small, rural community, Catawissa is nothing like the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, where relatives raised Verity after the death of her young mother.  Verity is a plucky miss and prepared to embrace her new life and marriage to the young man she knows only through letters and shared photographs.  What she is not prepared for is finding her mother’s body buried outside the church cemetery and surrounded by an iron cage.

Verity is determined to find out what happened to her mother and the young woman who is buried there, too.  Along the way, Verity encounters the whiff of witchcraft, a stolen treasure, greed, and a most unusual means of murder, all while forging a new relationship with her father and questioning whether or not her betrothed truly is the man for her.

The caged graves at the heart of this story are as compelling as they are eerie, especially since Salerni wrote this book after finding two caged graves in Catawissa; moreover, the mystery behind them remains unsolved.