Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Greedy Bones by Carolyn Haines

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Greedy Bones by Carolyn Haines. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Greedy Bones by Carolyn Haines

A Southern Belle Mystery with Sarah Booth Delaney

St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-37710-X (031237710X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-37710-6 (9780312377106)
Publication Date: July 2009
List Price: $24.99

Review: Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney returns to her ancestral home Dahlia House in Mississippi to be at the side of her good friend Tinkie when her husband falls ill in Greedy Bones, the ninth mystery in this series by Carolyn Haines.

Sarah Booth had been in Hollywood trying her hand at acting. But Tinkie is more than just a friend; she's her partner in the Delaney Detective Agency. Her husband and several others are suffering from a mysterious ailment, one that begins with a raging fever, then chills and rashes, and finally a coma. Then Deputy Gordon Walters comes down the same symptoms. Is it viral? Bacterial? Contagious? The only thing everyone has in common is they had visited the Carlisle cotton plantation. Sarah Booth isn't one to wait around for answers and decides to take matters into her own hands.

She learns that the Carlisle cotton plantation had recently been replanted with an aggressive strain of the plant. Genetically altered, Sarah Booth wonders? The mutant boll weevils suggest something is amiss. The plantation is being maintained by the Mississippi Agricultural Team following the mysterious deaths of the previous owners. But they seem unusually reticent about discussing events on the property. Sarah Booth suspects they know more, much more, than they're letting on and dives head first into a sea of danger.

What makes this series so delightful is the presence of Sarah Booth's companion spirit, Jitty, who inhabits Dahlia House. Jitty plays the older sister to Sarah Booth, a 200 year old older sister that is, and advises and scolds her, but more importantly laughs with her. This paranormal relationship is for the most part enchanting, and while largely played out in parallel to the primary plot, doesn't detract from Sarah Booth's investigation into the secret behind the facade of the Carlisle plantation. For readers who may be wary of paranormal mysteries, fear not; Greedy Bones is more Southern charm than Southern gothic.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Greedy Bones and to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Sarah Booth and Tinkie have returned to Zinnia, Mississippi to find Oscar, Tinkie’s husband, near death—and no one is certain what happened to him. But Oscar isn’t the only person who comes down with a strange malady. Deputy Gordon Walters falls ill, as do two female realtors. And the Carlisle plantation is the only thing that connects all four victims.

Sheriff Coleman Peters is forced to call in experts from the Centers for Disease Control. Tinkie implores Sarah Booth to find the cause of the illness so maybe Doc Sawyer can find a cure.

The clock is ticking as Sarah Booth begins to dig into the tortured past of the Carlisle plantation and the family whose name the land bears. There’s a lot at stake, but Sarah Booth doesn’t really know how much. The plot is more complicated than she ever thought.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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