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Tell-Tale Bones

Updated: May 11, 2023

The 26th installment in Carolyn Haines's popular and long-running Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries is an entertaining read!

P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner Tinkie take on a cold case at the behest of a woman whose daughter Lydia has been missing for almost seven years. Lydia was married to an abusive man who now wants her legally declared dead so he can inherit her fortune and remarry. In trying to discover what happened to Lydia, Sarah and Tinkie uncover a string of disappearances and an empty grave, said to be haunted.

Having skipped around in this series and being reminded how fun it is, I am determined to catch them all up after reading this one! It's a well-written paranormal cozy set in Mississippi. And it delivers with two smart and likable female investigators, a collection of larger-than-life characters, southern sass, an unpredictable ghost, a psychic friend who is having disturbing dreams, a twisty mystery, and literary references, including Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. Throughout the book, the ghost appears in the image of famous authors who have passed on, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Even though this is a lighthearted read, the story is a bit grittier than a typical cozy and touches on some very serious topics, including domestic abuse and other women's issues, but all are handled respectfully. Well-paced and entertaining with a touch of Southern gothic fun! A great addition to the series!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this ARC and to Goodreads as I won a physical copy! So excited to have this on my shelf!

My steep was iced Apricot Black tea from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas


Private Investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner Tinkie are in Sheriff Coleman Peters's office, asking Coleman about cold cases, when Elisa Redd storms in with a case her own. She wants Coleman to reopen the investigation of her missing daughter, Lydia Redd Maxell, the heiress to a large fortune who disappeared along with her friend Bethany 10 years ago, while the two of them were working as human rights organizers. Now Lydia's husband, Tope, is set to inherit the fortune, and Elisa suspects he's behind the disappearance.

Armed with a pile of mysterious notes mailed to Elisa over the years, Sarah Booth and Tinkie follow an increasingly twisty trail leading all over Sunflower County, leading them to a tree and an empty grave in the county cemetery. A grave that's said to be haunted...

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