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The Devil's Bones is the latest novel in the series from Carolyn Haines that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.
As Sarah Booth sees it, Easter weekend is a time to celebrate life in all its many forms. So when the newly-pregnant Tinkie invites her and Cece on a girls’ trip to Lucedale, Mississippi to celebrate that spring has officially sprung, Sarah Booth can’t resist. Plans include facials, food, and a trip to the incredible Garden of Bones—a miniature Holy Land with recreations of all parts of the Middle East—for their Sunrise Easter Services led by biblical scholar, gardener, and creator of the Gardens Daniel Reynolds.
Unfortunately for Sarah Booth and the gang, someone doesn’t seem appreciate this season of new life. Easter morning has just dawned when the trio find themselves at the Mount of Olives—with a dead body at their feet.
Reynolds identifies the dead man as local lawyer Perry Slay, who was well known for his sly and underhanded dealings. Perry had rubbed plenty of people the wrong way, and now it looks like someone has rubbed him out…
Because being a PI apparently means never being on vacation, Sarah Booth and her friends must now find a way to resurrect the truth from a list of suspects as long as the River Jordan, reveal the devil in disguise, and—if they’re lucky—find a moment to enjoy a few chocolate bunnies before more bodies pile up like pillars of salt.
Haines's lively 21st mystery featuring PI Sarah Booth Delaney (after 2019's Game of Bones) takes Sarah Booth on an Easter trip to Lucedale, Miss., with her friends Tinkie Richmond and Cece Dee Falcon. While visiting a miniature Holy Land created by theologian Daniel Reynolds, they discover the body of unscrupulous lawyer Perry Slay, who had no shortage of enemies. As Slay was poisoned, the local sheriff views Erik Ward, a pharmacist with knowledge of poisons who was suing Slay for swindling his ill father, as the chief suspect. Erik hires Sarah Booth and Tinkie to prove his innocence. The women uncover further grudges against Slay and against Reynolds for causing environmental problems with his Holy Land attraction, and against Erik for his secret success as a competitive ballroom dancer. When other corpses crop up, including that of Erik's former dance partner, and Erik repeatedly disappears, the exasperated investigators can't help wondering whether Erik is guilty. Loyalties among friends and families provide much of the story's charm. Cozy fans will have fun.