Saturday 30 December 2023

Book ~ "Buried Bones" (2000) Carolyn Haines

From Goodreads ~ Private investigation isn't on the list of a southern belle's most desirable accomplishments - but it's saved Sarah Booth Delaney's Delta homestead. Now all she has to cope with is its bossy antebellum ghost who is determined to save Sarah - from spinsterhood. Then comes the perfect social occasion: Lawrence Ambrose's dinner party. 

Ambrose, once a famous man of southern letters, is planning a comeback: a delicious tell-all with a bitchy ex-model as his "biographer." As he taunts his dinner guests with the news that his book will blow the lid off Zinnia's darkest secrets, it becomes plain that each and every guest has a secret - and wants Ambrose to keep it. When the morning-after mess includes a bloody corpse and the manuscript of the biography disappears, Sarah Booth goes digging for answers. But many who hold them are six feet under - or soon will be - and if she doesn't tread carefully, she could join them any day now.

Sarah Booth Delaney is single and living in her family's plantation. She had recently fallen into becoming a private detective but said she's writing a fiction novel as a cover so it wouldn't be suspicious when she asks questions. Lawrence, a once famous writer and artist, invites her to a dinner party he is having. He has written a manuscript about his life and during the party, he lets his guests know that he may be revealing secrets about them. When Sarah visits him the next day, she finds him dead ... it looks like he had cut his hand and bled out before he could call for help. Lawrence's long-time friend suspects he has  been murdered, though, and hires Sarah to find out who did it. Lawrence's manuscript has disappeared so there are many possibilities of who may have done it to protect themselves.

It is written in first person perspective in Sarah's voice. This is the second in the Sarah Booth Delaney series (there are currently 26 books in the series) ... it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided but it's helpful if you've read the first one. I'd read the first one a couple weeks ago and liked it enough to keep going with the series. I thought this one was just okay. Like the first one, I found there were a lot of characters and it was hard to keep track of them at times. I thought the story was convoluted and the ending farfetched and cheesy. 

The editing could have been better ... there were lots of double quotation marks missing. And Tennessee Williams was sometimes referred to as "Tom" and "Ted" ... his real name was "Thomas" so "Ted" is incorrect.

Sarah's mother's last name was Booth and her father's last name was Delaney and I thought it was weird that everyone called her "Sarah Booth" rather than just "Sarah". It was odd that Jitty, the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, "lives" with her ... I found Jitty really annoying because she's always putting Sarah down and nagging her about being single and childless. The numerous references in general about Sarah's womb were tiresome.

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