Tuesday 19 December 2023

Book ~ "Them Bones" (1999) Carolyn Haines

From Goodreads ~ No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth's situation. Unwed, unemployed and over thirty, she's flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state - or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend's prize pooch to raise some cash.

But soon Sarah Booth's walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she's hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself ... and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.

Sarah Booth Delaney is living in her family's plantation and is minutes away from losing it because she has no money and no job. Harold, a local banker, wants to marry her and, though she doesn't love him, she is considering it in order to keep her home. As she thinks about it, she decides to steal her rich friend's dog, Chablis, and hold it for ransom for $5,000 to get enough money to tide her over. When she "rescues" the dog, her friend hires her to follow up to see if a fortune teller's prediction is going to come true. Someone else hires her to check into something else and suddenly she becomes a private detective getting mixed up in some decades old accidents that may be murders and some apparently missing money.

This is the first in the Sarah Booth Delaney series (there are currently 26 books in the series, soon to be 27) and I thought it was okay (okay enough to keep going with the series). I found there were a lot of characters, though, and it was hard to remember who was who at times. It is written in first person perspective in Sarah's voice. 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". I found it hard to believe that she fell in love with someone basically as soon as she met him even though he may be a murderer. The oddest thing about the story is that Jitty, the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, "lives" with her ... maybe to add some humour?

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