Cover image for THE DEVIL'S BONES
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The latest novel in the series 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, Missisippi to celebrate that spring has official 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.

Author Notes

Carolyn Haines grew up in Lucedale, Mississippi, and graduated from high school there in 1971. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi in 1974 and a master's degree in creative writing from the University of South Alabama in 1985. For over ten years she was a reporter and journalist for newspapers. She was born May 12, 1953 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Agent: Marian Young, Young Agency. (May)

Kirkus Review

A spa trip takes a back seat to the investigation of a murder spree in a Mississippi town. On a girls' trip to George County, Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends Tinkie and Cece are prepared to do nothing but relax at the superexclusive Bexley B & B and spa. As if celebrating springtime weren't enough of an excuse for a getaway for these longtime friends, Tinkie is finally pregnant after years of trying. But trouble follows Sarah Booth wherever she goes, and not just in the form of her ancestral home Dahlia House's resident haint, Jitty, who's enlivening Sarah Booth's vacation by appearing in such varied guises as Persephone and Princess Di. Jitty's spectral presence may be a warning of the danger that looms when lawyer Perry Slay is the first in what seems like a real pileup of deaths on the trip. The most likely culprit is bachelor pharmacist Erik Ward, who until now has been known as the town's resident dreamboat. Sarah Booth's own dreamboat--or, as she calls him, her lover--Sheriff Coleman Peters is back home in Sunflower County, but he may be worried enough to come help when she and Tinkie agree to explore Erik's case in their roles as the Delaney Detective Agency. Who needs a spa day when Sarah Booth and Tinkie can catch a killer? This Southern girl's guide to murder and mayhem is good but not as snappy as it thinks it is. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.