Monday 8 January 2024

Book ~ "Splintered Bones" (2000) Carolyn Haines

From Goodreads ~ She may be a Mississippi belle but Sarah Booth Delaney is no pampered daddy's girl. Unwed and over thirty, Sarah has her own set of problems - like coping with regular hauntings by her great-great-grandmother's nanny, a busybody of a ghost who's set on marrying her off to the first suitor who comes calling. But when an old friend is in trouble, Sarah Booth doesn't hesitate to get involved.

Eulalee McBride has confessed to murdering her husband ... and she wants Sarah to dig up the dirt on the violent scalawag to prove he got what he deserved. Sarah Booth suspects that her friend is lying through her pearly whites ... but why? There's certainly no lack of suspects in Zinnia, Mississippi, including Bud Lynch, a horse trainer who arouses killer lust in the town's women. As Sarah Booth begins to put together the pieces of the case, a killer is preparing to strike again. And this time it could send one late-blooming southern sleuth into an early grave.

Sarah Booth Delaney is single, in her thirties, the last of her line, living in her family's plantation and recently became a private detective. Lee, a childhood friend, was recently arrested for murdering her abusive husband and has confessed. She asks Sarah to find information about him to justify her killing him. As Sarah investigates, she starts to think that perhaps Lee is covering for someone and advises her to come clean. In the meantime, Sarah has taken in Lee's wild teenage daughter, Kip. Plus there's a ball coming up and she has to find a date.

It is written in first person perspective in Sarah's voice. This is the third 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. I read the first two in the last month or so and liked them enough to keep going with the series. I thought this one was okay. I liked it better than the first two ... I found the story more interesting and there weren't as many characters (I found the first two had too many characters to keep track of). 

Sarah's mother's last name was Booth and her father's last name was Delaney and I thought it was weird that everyone calls her "Sarah Booth" rather than just "Sarah". It was odd that Jitty, the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, "lives" with her. Jitty is really annoying ... she's very negative and always putting Sarah down and nagging her about being single and childless. I could do without Sarah's dreams and her obsession with author Kinky Friedman.

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