Delacorte, April 2003, 3.95, 395 pp.
The Mississippi Delta and her home Dahlia House are in Sara Booth's Delaney's blood. She will do almost anything in her power to keep them both, even work as a private detective. Almost anything excludes marrying a man from her social set and letting him take care of her even though Jitty, the ghost of her great great great grandmother nanny, wants the last Delaney married.
Sarah Booth is enjoying the land, her house and her dog when she is dragged into the homicide investigation of the famous blues musician, Ivory Keys. His wife Ida Mae Keys wants Sarah Booth to prove that while blues singer Scott Hampton didn't kill his friend and employer Ivory. The two men met in prison and shared a vision that music could be the bridge between the races. Circumstantial evidence points to Scott as the perpetrator and if Sarah Booth doesn't find the real perpetrator soon, the town of Zinnia will erupt into violence.
CROSSED BONES is a well-written colorful mystery that gives the reader some terrific insight into the workings of a small southern town. The heroine is strong, independent and straightforward, and not your typical southern belle; while her partner is all those things and lends a sense of comic relief to the plot when it begins to boil. Sarah Booth is attracted to the bad boy musician but not enough to give him her heart while the man she really wants reconciles with his wife. Readers will empathize and sympathize with the heroine, hoping she will get the perpetrator and collect her fee.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner