Bet Your Bones
Poisoned Pen, Jun 7 2011, $24.95
In Hawaii, Claude Ann Kemper and Alexander “Xander” Garst are marrying after only six weeks together; both have been married before. Aspiring anthropologist Dinah Pelerin arrives to attend her BFF’s wedding as they have been best buddies since growing up in Needmore, Georgia overlooking the Okefenokee Swamp. Dinah loves the beautiful natural setting especially the nearby volcano.
However, paradise is lost as Xander’s two adult children (Jonathan and Lyssa) are angry with their father. The groom is also involved in a development project that has major local opposition including by his sister-in-law because the locals believe this is a violation of sacred ground. Additionally, Claude Ann’s ex is causing trouble and earthquakes have shaken the area. Still Dinah tries to stay out of family dynamics while enjoying the geography until someone falls into molten lava.
The key to this somewhat over the top of Mauna Loa amateur sleuth mystery is due to the enormous suspect horde is the Hawaiian setting and mythos. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Dinah comes to paradise only to find the groom a magnet for trouble including seemingly from nature or perhaps an angry deity. Readers will enjoy Dinah’s latest perils as she and Claude Ann are in trouble from a stalking killer (see Bones of Contention).