Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out.

When not writing, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story.

She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband, toddler, and epileptic blue heeler

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out.

When not writing, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story.

She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband, toddler, and epileptic blue heeler

Death at Peony House by Krista Walsh

Sorceress and journalist Daphne Heartstone has no problem with the strange and unusual. But when she goes to Peony House on the trail of a potential story, she finds herself caught up in a 150-year-old mystery. A mystery that's still taking victims.

With Detective Hunter Avery leading the case, a man she's hurt too many times in the past, Daphne knows she should leave things well enough alone. But the ghosts of Peony House have demanded her help and more than her job is on the line if she doesn't get answers soon.

Death at Peony House is a gripping urban fantasy filled with ghosts, strong family ties, magic, and a dash of second-chance romance


A murder, a curious reporter, and a hospitall full of ghosts? This supernatural pageturner is full of intrigue and wonderful vivid writing with mystery and death always just around the corner. – Arizona Tape



  • "The plot and characters were believable and the magic exciting. Daphne grabbed your heart.."

    – Amazon review
  • "This book has just about everything I like in a book. The suspense, the twists and turns, the action, and even a smidgeon of romance, this book hits all the marks for me. The odd cast of characters are spot on and well developed and the originality is on cue. This book borders on paranormal, occult and horror – but not severely in any direction – and it's a great page turner."

    – Amazon review
  • "Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was wrong, so this book kept me on my toes. I hate when a story is formulaic, and this one is anything but. Not only was the action exciting, but the character development and relationships were engaging and deep."

    – Amazon review



As Daphne passed by the staircase leading up to the third floor, she heard someone crying and froze again, her stomach dropping. The hair on her arms rose, and she squeezed her flashlight as she breathed more of her magic into her hands.

"Dammit, Daphne. You just can't let anything go," she whispered, and started up the stairs.

Switching off her flashlight to avoid announcing her presence to whatever was on the third floor, she slid her foot toward the base of the bottom step and glided her hand along the wall until it reached the banister.

Slow step after slow step, she padded up the stairs, allowing the curve of the banister to guide her direction. The sobbing grew louder the higher she climbed, but still she sensed no other living person in the building.

Daphne pressed herself against the wall once she hit the final three steps to keep out of sight of anyone or anything that might be around the corner. She preferred to be the one doing the catching rather than the one being caught.

She peered around the wall. The dim light of the streetlight spilled into the hallway from the west-facing rooms, the glow revealing nothing but shadows and cracks in the walls.

The sobs became lost in a flurry of rising whispers that carried notes of curiosity and fear. The faint voices held a trace of emptiness, a sense of time and distance she had come to associate with the speech of the dead.

Her heart hammering in her chest, Daphne pushed open the door to the first room. Nothing except for a cracked and dust-covered end table.

Now that she was here, she sensed the trail of someone else's magic — a green power she didn't recognize. It was faint, nearly undetectable, but she wasn't the only life form wandering the hospital's hallways tonight.

She stretched her empty hand toward the ground and twitched her fingers. Drawing from one of the most basic spells she'd learned as a child, she lifted the dust and dirt from the unwashed floor. It swirled in the air in front of her, dipping in and out of the pale beam from the streetlight.

With one eye on the dirt and the other on the still-empty hallway, she raised her hand and flicked her fingers at the wall. The moisture in the plaster from the leaking pipes and cracked windows drew close to her and rounded into droplets. The water mingled with the dirt, turning it into thick, wet clay. Another twist of her fingers and the end of the clay flattened and elongated, the edge narrowing into a sharp point.

After shaping the blade, Daphne drew the excess water out of the clay until it hardened. The makeshift knife wouldn't be strong enough to cut through anything too dense, but could still drive deep into any creature that tried to attack her.

Her magic flared in her veins, but she held it steady, refusing to let it take over. A soft ache thudded behind her right eye with the strain of holding her power back.

She crept down the hallway with her back to the wall, the knife hovering over her left shoulder.

The whispers grew to such a pitch that the ache behind her right eye became a demanding throb.

More imprints passed by her before fading into the dust in the air. The water-stained walls stretched on either side of her, interrupted at regular intervals by dark wooden doors, some open and others sealed shut on rusted hinges.

Seeing no purpose now in keeping her presence hidden, she switched her flashlight back on and cast the beam over the walls. As the light passed over the floor, it revealed two sets of footprints, one large and one small, cutting through the thick layer of dust on the hardwood planks.

She wondered if they'd been created by Denise's trespassers, but found her interest in that mundane mystery had waned in the face of the much more intriguing question of what power had caused the imprints to show so strongly.

"Hello? Is there anyone here?"

The whispers hushed, and Daphne released a breath.

Her mother and grandmother had been horrified by her interest in necromancy when they'd walked in on her practicing with the corpse of a stray cat. They believed it to be a dangerous path toward the darker arts. Daphne agreed — that had been her purpose in learning — but now those skills would come in handy for a more positive mission.

"Can I help you?"

As the last syllable faded on the air, the sound of smashing glass echoed from a room at the end of the hallway. Daphne jumped and swung her beam of light toward the sound. The door to the room blew open and slammed against the wall as a draft gusted into the hallway. The wind brushed against Daphne's cheek and played with her hair so it tickled the skin on her neck.

Her heart bounced against her ribs, and she tightened her grip around the flashlight as she strengthened her mental hold on the clay blade.

The energy of the house weighed on her with sudden anger. She edged forward, her senses on alert for more sounds or movement.

Just outside the doorway, she paused and drew in a deep breath. Her blood raced in her ears, and she waited until her breathing fell into a rhythm with her steadily pulsing magic before mustering her courage to step inside.


She released a sharp exhale and approached the window. The view stretched out over the yard where the shadows of black trees loomed over long black grass. Glass shards crunched beneath her shoes as she turned back to the center of the room. She ran her flashlight beam over the walls and the door, looking for whatever the whispering ghosts had wanted her to find.

Her beam of light froze in the far right corner of the room. The spell around the knife crumbled, and Daphne vaguely noticed the loose dirt spilling onto her shoulder and sliding into a heap at her feet.

The young man looked to be no more than eighteen years old, with shaggy brown hair and piercings along his ears and on either side of his eyebrows. His ragged hoodie was bunched around his ears, as though he'd drawn it close to warm his neck. He lay on his side, his arms tucked up beside him.

Daphne swallowed and stepped closer. She cast her mind around the room to discover whatever presence she sensed was watching her. Nothing.

She took another step as she returned the light to the young man. Her stomach turned, and she clenched her teeth to keep her dinner down.

For years she'd worked to master the dark side of her magic, trying to gain the power she believed she deserved. A year ago, that plan had come crashing down over her head because she couldn't accept the idea of killing anyone.

She hated the thought of being the reason someone would never see another morning.

She hated the thought of death even when she didn't have a hand in it.

And this young man was definitely dead.

Dead with his eyes wide open and his mouth sewn shut.