Bones of a Feather – Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries
Rating: An Interesting Diversion
Sarah Booth Delaney is a private investigator from Mississippi who gets her best advice from Jitty, a ghost who turns up out of the blue wearing costumes ranging from the Wicked Witch of the West to Mary, Queen of Scots. A bit disconcerting, at first, but definitely amusing. Sarah is engaged to a man named Graf Milieu, who has three lines of dialogue in the first few pages and then disappears from the story. Unlike Jitty the ghost, he doesn’t reappear. That bugged me, and I was reminded of Chekov’s Gun—any element introduced into a story must be used later on, or it ought not to have been introduced. I feel the same way about characters who obviously played an important role in previous novels, but are reduced to cameo appearances in later ones. I mean, why bother? As far as I could tell, Graf came off as a bit of a Neanderthal , fretting about Sarah’s safety while Sarah worried what he would do if he found out she was on a case. What is this, 1955? If he doesn’t like the fact that Sarah’s a PI, he shouldn’t have put a diamond on her finger.
Despite that early blip, this novel was well paced, with an interesting cast of characters that kept me guessing until the very end who was the guilty party. The climax delivered as every climax should. I did wonder whether Sarah was too naïve, falling for the scam and not calling the police early enough, but her motivation made sense. I can go along with anything, as long as the character acts logically.
The author did a nice job luring me into the lush and mysterious world of the Mississippi Delta. I could almost feel the humidity through the pages. I’m leafing through brochures to book a trip as we speak.