Monday 29 January 2024

Book ~ "Hallowed Bones" (2004) Carolyn Haines

From Goodreads ~ The leaves of the calendar may be shedding faster than the sycamores on her family’s decaying Mississippi plantation but thirty-something southern belle Sarah Booth Delaney isn’t ready to sing the blues. Not when she’s got a thriving detective agency and the outspoken, outrageously attired ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny to keep her on her toes. But the matchmaking phantom may have the last word on motherhood when Sarah Booth takes on the controversial case of an accused baby killer.

Although Doreen Mallory’s been arrested for feeding sleeping pills to her ten-week-old daughter, no one could accuse her of lacking faith. A healer who, tragically, couldn’t save her own baby girl, born with multiple birth defects, Doreen has her own crosses to bear. While the local law seems convinced of Doreen’s guilt, Sarah Booth isn’t so sure. But why is Doreen reluctant to talk about the men in her life? Like the televangelist who stands to lose a lot more than his flock. Or the married politician with family ties to the Mob. Either of them could be little Rebekah’s father; either of them could also be her killer.

With Halloween approaching and her own personal life up for grabs, Sarah Booth could use a little faith healing herself. Torn between a married sheriff and an old flame who’s literally sweeping her off her feet, she’d better be prepared for the fallout of her most unpopular case yet. Justice may not stand a ghost of a chance as a decades-old secret explodes, unleashing a storm of fury on Sarah Booth and all those she loves.

Sarah Booth Delaney is single, in her thirties, the last of her line, living in her family's plantation and is a private detective. Doreen is a faith healer in New Orleans. When her 10-week-old baby dies and it's determined she was murdered, Doreen is arrested. The police officer in charge assumes she did it so does very little investigating. A nun friend of Doreen's hires Sarah to investigate to find the real killer.

This is the fifth 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 previous ones. It is written in first person perspective in Sarah's voice. As a head's up, there is swearing.

I recently read the first four and liked them enough to keep going with the series. I gave up on this one, though, about 65% into it. All the storylines were ridiculous and I'd had enough so I skipped ahead to the end to see the "whodunnit". 

Sarah is still torn between two men ... Coleman, the local married police sheriff who is in love with her but staying with his wife because she's pregnant, and Hamilton, who she met in the first book and has barely had any contact with him but he suddenly reappears from Paris and wants a future with her. 

At a fancy ball, two well-dressed society women get into adumb physical fight ... really?! Sarah's not a very responsible pet owner ... she has a dog she lets run free, even when she's out of town for days at a time. Coleman has his wife's best friend working for him and she is extremely rude to and about Sarah and Coleman doesn't discipline her. Sarah has a friend who may have cancer and rather than let the doctors take care of it, she instead puts her faith in Doreen to heal her. 

Sarah's mother's last name was Booth and her father's last name was Delaney and I think it's weird everyone calls her "Sarah Booth" rather than just "Sarah". It's odd that Jitty, the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, "lives" with her. Jitty is still really annoying ... she's very negative and always putting Sarah down and nagging her about being single and childless. I'm tired about hearing about Sarah's womb.

I think I have to take a break from this series for a while. 

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