Berkley, Sep 2009, $24.95
Julie Oliver’s cousin Anne invites her and her “Bone Detective” husband Gideon to spend some time at the family’s owned Hacienda Encantada dude ranch in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico. The pair looks forward to escaping wintry Washington State. Upon arrival in Mexico, Julie is put to work to filling in for relatives missing in action.
Soon afterward, temporary and definitely reluctant police chief Flaviano Sandoval invites Gideon to look at the mummified remains of a drifter Manuel Garcia, and then the bones of a long-dead little girl who's never been identified. Meanwhile another theory debunked by the visitors is what happened to Anne’s mom who allegedly ran off with a thief as Gideon ties past and present by reading the bones.
This is a terrific forensic anthropologic whodunit as Gideon widens his inquiry into the past and present happenings at Hacienda Encantada where he and his wife suddenly find themselves amidst UNEASY RELATIONS. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never decelerates until the climax; yet there is plenty of forensic insight provided by the Bone Detective. SKULL DUGGERY is a fabulous investigative mystery.