A Whisper of Bones (Jane Lawless #25) by Ellen Hart
Description: Britt Ickles doesn't remember much from her only visit to her mother's childhood home when she was a kid, except for playing with her cousin Timmy and the eruption of a sudden family feud. That's why, when she drops by unannounced after years of silence, she's shocked when her aunts tell her Timmy never existed, that she must be confusing him with someone else. But Britt can't shake the feeling that Timmy did exist...and that something horrible has happened to him. Something her aunts want to cover up.
Britt hires Jane Lawless, hoping the private investigator can figure out what really happened to her cousin. When a fire in the family's garage leads to the discovery of buried bones and one of the aunts dies suddenly and suspiciously, Jane can't help but be pulled into the case. Do the bones belong to Timmy? Was the aunt's death an accident, suicide, or homicide? What dark secret has this family been hiding for decades? It all depends on Jane Lawless to unravel.
Why I Picked This Book: The blurb grabbed my attention and I couldn't resist!
My Impression: I'm not sure if I wasn't in the right mood for this book or if it's just my cozy mystery reading binge had me expecting something that was a bit happier or nicer. I liked it but it wasn't one I that I couldn't wait to get back to reading.
The premise is fantastic. Britt is intelligent, logical and not particularly driven by emotion. Her memories of her cousin Timmy aren't a glowing haze of perfection. He was what made an awkward and tense trip to her mother's estranged family bearable and her memories were so real and realistic that she's sure she didn't make him up and bothered by the shrug off she gets from her aunts.
Jane is good at her job. She knows what she's doing in an investigation and isn't afraid to act on impulse at times. I did feel like her personal life got in the way a bit both for her concentration and page time. While I did like seeing her in her regular world her complicated relationship with girlfriend Julia didn't feel like it advanced the plot and took up a lot of conversation space with friends that were helping with the investigation. However, this is book #25 so I may feel different is I was a long time reader.
The mystery is good with all kinds of twisty secrets. However, I did question how possible it was for the secrets to be kept for so many years. While I did like the conclusion and the setup I questioned this little detail - especially given how dysfunctional 2 of the primary characters were.
This was a solid mystery with an interesting and diverse cast of characters. If you're not in the mood for a cozy but don't want a high intensity psychological thriller this is a perfect fit.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Probably though next time I'll be sure I'm more in the mood for a straight mystery.
Would I Recommend this Book? If you're in the mood for a mystery that doesn't have you double checking the locks and pulling the blankets over your head but aren't feeling cozy this is a great choice.