My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fans of Jane Lawless new and old will be fascinated by newly minted Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Ellen Hart's latest intricate puzzle in A Whisper of Bones.
Britt Ickles doesn't remember much from her only visit to her mother's childhood home when she was a kid, except for playing with her cousin Timmy and the eruption of a sudden family feud. That's why, when she drops by unannounced after years of silence, she's shocked when her aunts tell her Timmy never existed, that she must be confusing him with someone else. But Britt can't shake the feeling that Timmy did exist...and that something horrible has happened to him. Something her aunts want to cover up.
Britt hires Jane Lawless, hoping the private investigator can figure out what really happened to her cousin. When a fire in the family's garage leads to the discovery of buried bones and one of the aunts dies suddenly and suspiciously, Jane can't help but be pulled into the case. Do the bones belong to Timmy? Was the aunt's death an accident, suicide, or homicide? What dark secret has this family been hiding for decades? It all depends on Jane Lawless to unravel.
I knew that A Whisper of Bones was the latest book in a series. However, until I started to write this review had I no idea that this was the 25th one about Jane Lawless. Then again, I'm used to being late to the party. A Whisper of Bones is a book that seems to have a quite straight-forward case.
Britt Ickles meets her aunts for the first time in decades and discover that her childhood friend Timmy is apparently a figment of her imagination. At least that's what her aunts try to get her to believe. So, she turns to Jane Lawless to get to the truth. And, Jane starts to dig around and soon she starts to believe that the aunts may have a secret or two.
What a truly enjoyed about this book is how captivating the book was right from the start. Sure, you know right from the start that the aunts are hiding things, but that just adds some more tension to the story as Jane tries to figure out if Britt is right about Timmy. Also, despite being a newbie did I find the book very easy to get into. I enjoyed getting to know more about Jane and those around her. Right now is an old girlfriend living with her. And, it seems that Jane, still have some feelings left for her, which makes it a bit tragic since her ex is battling a series illness.
As for the mystery, what I really liked that it was not as straight-forward as it seems. I also liked how well-written the characters were, from the old aunts, the neighbors that also seem to be hiding something, to the people around Jane. It's a book that you can easily breeze through quickly since it's not that thick, despite that does it not feel too short. It's a perfect balance, not too wordy. I quite enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to reading the 24 previous books...
I want to thank S:t Martins Press for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!