A Rumor of Bones : A Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery
by Beverly Connor
Category: Fiction / Mystery
252 pages; ISBN: 1888952083
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kathryn Lively
I was fortunate to have received a sneak preview, of Beverly Connor`s dynamic debut mystery, A Rumor of Bones--before the book was even sold to a publisher! During my less chaotic days (seems like years ago), I was enrolled in a continuing education mystery writing class, using the wisdom of instructor Harriette Austin and thoughtful critiques from my literary peers to shape a now-shelved outline for a mystery novel I had planned to write. As I doodled curlicues and stick figures on my yellow tablet, I took careful note to listen to other contributions, hoping I could learn a thing or two about crafting a good story and plausible characters.
As I sat through each class, listening to several snippits of different mystery stories, I recall thinking, I`d certainly like to read that when it`s done.
Well, thus far, former classmate Connor has been gracious enough to provide not only me but mystery enthusiasts everywhere with a solid, enthralling whodunnit. Through a reluctant amatuer sleuth--forensic anthropologist Lindsay Chamberlain--Connor unfolds a mystery that appears as old as the bones Chamberlain and her colleagues discover in their North Georgia archaeological dig.
While searching for evidence of a long lost Native American tribe in a section of dirt located near the fictional town of Merry Claymoore, Lindsay and company are surprised to find mingling with ancient pottery shards and dried corn the bones of a skeleton dating back no further than 60-100 years. As if this anachronism were not enough to keep Lindsay`s mind awake, the local sheriff calls on her expertise to identify an entirely different set of bones--all of which belong to missing and presumed dead children. Before Lindsay can even ponder a connection between the dead children and the mystery boarder buried at her dig site, the snooty lawyer of the local grand dame whose attempts at getting the archaeologists expelled from their site is found dead.
Lindsay now is not only faced with helping to catch a possible serial killer, but she must also help to solve the lawyer`s murder in order to prove the innocence of everyone involved in the dig. Not far from her mind, also, is the lone skeleton to which Lindsay has become endeared. Her quest for clues regarding this long span of deaths brings Lindsay to the acquaintance of members of the town`s most prominent family, a crew straight out of a Tennessee Williams play. At first reluctant to sleuth, Lindsay becomes so involved with the extra-cirricular activities around her that it appears she may be digging her own grave.
Add a nicely-woven subplot of mounting sexual tensions between archaeologists and a disturbed local obsessed with beautiful Lindsay, and one wonders how any actual digging gets done around the site. Nevertheless, these instances of passion enhance the mystery and secrets that surround Merry Claymoore and her people.
The writing classes did well for Connor in her first novel; "predictable" is not a word to be associated with A Rumor of Bones. The field of anthropology, though unusual in a mystery world of hard-boiled detectives and aging spinsters, is a welcome and fascinating aspect to this mystery story.
Buy A Rumor of Bones : A Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery at amazon.co.uk
Buy A Rumor of Bones : A Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery at amazon.com