Friday, April 8, 2011

Bones of a Feather-Carolyn Haines

Bones of a Feather
Carolyn Haines
Minotaur, Jun 21 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312595029

In Zinnia, Mississippi Dahlia House is home to private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and the resident haint Jitty. She misses her fiancé, movie star Graf Milieu who is on location. Sarah is good enough to have a film career but prefers to remain mostly in the Mississippi Delta that flows through her veins.

Heiress Monica Levert of Briarcliff in Natchez asks Sarah to help her on a case in which she and her sister Eleanor were robbed of a family necklace valued at four million dollars that the insurance firm balks at paying. Monica believes an independent private investigator could expedite the payment. Sarah and her partner Tinkie drive to Natchez to talk with the police, examine the evidence, and conclude the siblings were robbed. Monica is kidnapped and the perpetrator demands four million dollars for her release. Eleanor cannot cash the insurance check because she needs her sister’s co-signature. Tinkie prevails on her banker husband to help, but before the sleuths finish with the siblings, they realize their deaths are the end game.

The excellent eleventh Sarah Booth Delaney paranormal private investigative tale (see Bone Apetit) is a strong whodunit filled with key support characters who are not quite what they seem as first reader impressions will not hold up; just ask the two sleuths. Sarah and Tinkie see many faces of evil; some of whom shouldn’t have existed as they make psychopaths seem stable. The superb Mississippi Delta mystery is a terrific thriller as almost everyone believes the sisters are con artists, but the conscientious sleuths cannot take the chance they are not.

Harriet Klausner

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