Dunne, Jul 2003, 23.95, 240 pp.
Restoration has begun on the gardens of the seventeenth century Earlasacre country house in Devon. However, the digging turns macabre when the excavation team uncovers the remains of a woman interred three centuries ago. Not long afterward more human remains are found. The archaeologists begin putting together the grisly account of what happened at this locale during the initial construction of the gardens.
Trinidad Detective Sergeant Wesley Petersen would prefer to work on the historical mystery. However, he soon has a modern day who-done-it to contend with when a solicitor dies during a tea break at a cricket match. As Wesley and other police investigate the present-day homicide, patterns form that links the current death with those of the past, but who is the culprit today remains the question.
With several archeological mysteries already investigated by the hero, one would think this series would grow staler than some of the remains encountered in these books. Instead, Kate Ellis makes each new tale different and quite fresh with the two common themes being Peterson and duality of who-done-its in the past and present. THE BONE GARDEN is a superb British police procedural with both eras' mysteries well done and gripping even as the historical sub-plot opens up each chapter with a strong sequence followed by a powerful modern day string. Ms. Ellis will please fans of both sub-genres with her latest DS Peterson novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner