by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Whisper of Bones, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Britt Ickles is in town for a conference. She was last here as a small child and vividly remembers Timmy, a boy about her age. She visits her elderly aunts, but they tell her Timmy is a figment of her imagination. Britt hires Jane Lawless to investigate.
Jane has her own restaurant but working as a private investigator is a much-needed change of pace. Britt can’t remember Timmy’s last name which makes looking for him all the harder. Jane rents a room from the aunts and hopes to find out more. During the night, the garage burns. Neighbors blame it on kids who’ve been leaving graffiti on the house and garage. They think the house is haunted.
Eleanor is the oldest aunt. She’s the responsible one, making sure the house stays in the family and taking care of her adult son, Frank, when his marriage gets rocky. Lena, the younger sister, is mostly confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn’t get her down. She’s a heavy drinker, when she can get the booze, a smoker, and has a foul mouth. She’s also decided she wants a tattoo. It appears the wild ways she had as a young woman have never gone away.
Pauline was Britt’s mother and the third sister. She never told Britt why she stopped speaking to her sisters or where Britt’s father disappeared to. He’d been an over the road trucker and could be anywhere but where he was supposed to be—home with them.
Jane’s ex-girlfriend, Julia, is ill. Jane doesn’t know many of the details but lets Julia stay with her during treatment. Whatever’s wrong with her could be life threatening.
Of course, Jane can’t have a case without her BFF Cordelia getting involved. She’s the one who referred Britt to Jane so there’s no avoiding it. This time, Cordelia is essential to the case.
When the garage burned, arson investigators found small human bones buried in what was a root cellar. Eleanor and Lena both deny knowing anything about the bones. When there’s a death, it could be suicide, an accident, or murder. Jane’s bet is on murder. Some people will do anything to keep a secret.
This is Hart’s twenty-fifth book in the series. Jane is an evolving character, learning new lessons from her changed relationship with Julia. Cordelia now has a niece living with her and that’s keeping her on her toes. Solving any case can be challenging, but Britt’s case pushes the boundaries because Timmy would be a grown man by now—if he’s still alive.
In the end, someone is always willing to tell a secret, and someone is willing to kill to keep it.
Hart also wrote eight mysteries featuring food critic Sophie Greenway.
To enter to win a copy of A Whisper of Bones, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “whisper,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 24, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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