Buttons and Bones
Berkley, Dec 7 2010, $24.95
In Excelsior, Minnesota Betsy Devonshire, owner of Crewel World needlework shop, was instrumental in getting Lars and his wife Jill a the fixer upper log cabin with six acres of land attached to it. The property is in a state park and part of the property is on the shore. While ripping up a floor and linoleum, they find a trap door that leads to a concealed basement. There they see the bones of a skeleton in the shape of a human are found. Whoever it was did not die a natural death.
Jill has a need to know who the victim and the killer are. Betsy joins her on the investigation. They soon learn a former WWII German POW camp was nearby and one person successfully escaped never to be seen again. Twentyish Dieter Keitel had a cold crown on his tooth just like the corpse appears to have. To affirm they found Deiter’s bones, the daughter of Betsy’s friend does reconstructive forensic modeling from six pictures of him. The results stun Betsy and the audience
There is no blood, or gore just bones in Buttons and Bones yet Monica Ferris once again (see Blackwork) knits together a hypnotic mystery due to the directions the investigations takes her. The murder happened over a half a century ago, but Betsy treats the killing as if it happened yesterday as she takes it as an affront in a believable manner as some of those involved back in WWII still live. This is a terrific 1940s whodunit investigated in the twenty-first century by an amateur sleuth who would have been a great police detective.