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Red Bones: 06/23/21
Red Bones by Ann Cleeves is the third of the Shetland Island mystery series. Death comes to archeological dig. First it's the old woman who owns the land. Then it's the woman leading the dig. Is one a tragic accident and the other a suicide or is there more connecting the two?
The elderly woman was Sandy Wilson's grandmother. Because of his connection to the prime suspects, Jimmy Perez pushes him to take the lead on the investigation. Thus he goes from being a joke character to a well-rounded, sympathetic one.
The basic plot, though, has an entire shoal of red herrings. Poor Sandy, and to a lesser degree, Jimmy, end up running around after tenuous lead after lead. Instead, the solution is more basic and more personal — one that is a matter of understanding the motive, rather than understanding individual timelines or alibis.
Red Bones is a similar read to Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien (2020) and The Big Nap by Ayelet Waldman (2001).
The fourth book is Blue Lightning (2010).