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Airtight Case
by Beverly Connor

Category: Fiction / Mystery
480 pages; ISBN: 1581822952

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kathryn Lively


If you have read any of the first four books of the Lindsay Chamberlain mysteries you know already Beverly Connor is a good writer. Read Airtight Case and you will know she is a great writer. Airtight Case is simply the best of the series.

One thing I enjoy in particular about Connor's stories is how she introduces the element of mystery literally with the first few senteces, and we are already asking our questions and eager for the answers. In this story, we find Lindsay as a bruised amnesia patient in a Tennessee hospital; a seedy stranger tries to claim her as his fiancee but she appears to know enough that her life would be in more danger were she to allow herself to accompany this man. Her instincts, as usual, are correct.

Skip ahead some time later and Lindsay has joined an excavation in Great Smoky Mountain area, where her reputation as a forensic anthropoligist and amateur sleuth evokes fascination among some on the dig and derision from one manager in particular who is convinced Lindsay's presence is a threat to her authority. Nonetheless, the crew is more concerned with the discovery of a makeshift graveyard in the area, and Lindsay tries her best to concentrate on the mysteries of the mountains' past rather than her own.

The ghosts of her past troubles, however, continue to haunt her, and are literally manifested in Lindsay's conciousness as actual ghosts prowling the nineteenth-century home being used as headquarters, ghosts only Lindsay can see. When some a superior from her school and some locals persuade Lindsay to help investigate the mysterious death of an elderly relative which may be connected to the dig site, Lindsay is forced to hold on to her slowly slipping sanity lest she arouses too much suspicion and once again puts herself in danger.

Connor has created a passionate and respectable character in Lindsay Chamberlain, a lady who, while she does not necessarily laugh in the face of danger, manages to steel herself enough to not let it destroy her. Connor's descriptions of the archaeological dig and its surrounding history are superbly detailed, and provide for a few surprising revelations in the supplemental mystery which ties in nicely with Lindsay's own adventures.

I've mentioned before that I knew Beverly Connor briefly in Athens, and that when I last spoke to her (back when A Rumor of Bones she was contracted for five novels. Now that Airtight Case is out, I would sincerely hope a contract renewal is in Connor's future. This series has produced some unique, compelling stories, and so long as Connor's ideas are fresh, I should hope to read of Lindsay's escapades for years to come.


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