Publisher: Minotaur Books (October, 2018)
Kindle edition: $11.99
A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery (Book 19)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Christmas season is in full swing on the Mississippi Delta, and Sarah Booth Delaney is definitely in the spirit. Her beau, Zinnia Sheriff Coleman Peters, is on his way to join her for a night full of mistletoe, champagne, and sexy time.
As she prepares for the evening, music fills the air. A nutcracker come to life and dances into the room as sugarplum fairies frolic in the background. She’s not hallucinating: it’s just Jitty, the resident haint of Dahlia House. She’s lived in the family manse since Civil War days, when she was nanny to Sarah’s great-great-great grandmother. She’s remained to be the house guardian, keeper of family history, and Sarah’s comforter and tormentor. Jitty’s uneasy on this night, and when Sarah’s next caller turns out to be psychic Madame Tomeeka, aka Sarah’s lifelong friend Tammy, the cause is obvious. Tammy had a dream of Sarah in a dark, mysterious place frantically looking for a lost baby. Hard on her heels is Cece Dee Falcon, shoving a package into Sarah’s hands. It contains a lock of hair, a photo of a very terrified and very pregnant young woman, and a ransom note demanding $130,000. The girl is Cece’s cousin Eve Falcon. The two were once close, but family turmoil had split them apart for years. Now it is up to Cece to save the girl’s life.
Sarah’s first thought is to call the sheriff, but Cece begs her not to, fearful that the kidnappers will hurt Eve. Reluctantly, Sarah agrees, and she, Tammy and Cece set out to raise the money. Luckily, Cece’s friends have deep pockets, and the ransom money is soon in hand.
Things go horribly long with the ransom drop, and Sarah and company combine their resources and skills to find Eve before it is too late. Will there be a Christmas miracle? Has Sarah ever let us down? The chances are in favor of a blissful ending.
Like all the books in the Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery series, there is plenty of humor and hijinks. The characters are delightful, if sometimes eccentric. The atmosphere of the Mississippi Delta in winter is so real the reader might get a few chills. A GIFT OF BONES is another winner from this highly acclaimed author. Highly recommended, and perfect for the holiday season.
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