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Back to School Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (Narrator)
Being Friends with Dragons by Katherine Locke and Diane Ewen (Illustrations)
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Dead Man's Bones by Susan Wittig Albert
An Eggnog to Die for by Amy Pershing
Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies by Pija Lindenbaum and Gabrielle Charbonnet (translator)
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Komi Can't Communicate, Volume 1 by Tomohito Oda
Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe
Merman in My Tub, Volume 3 by Itokichi
The Mystery of Albert E. Finch by Callie Hutton and Nano Nagle (Narrator)
Oh My Gods! The Forgotten Maze by Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick, and Juliana Moon (Illustrations)
Phantoms by J.A. White
Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee
The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy
She's Fleeing a Byronic Hero by Lady Alana Smithee
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Kay O'Neill
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Dead Man's Bones: 04/20/22

Dead Man's Bones

Dead Man's Bones by Susan Wittig Albert is the thirteenth China Bayles mystery. Brian discovers bones while spelunking. Meanwhile China is busy with another play, this one done by a pair of elderly sisters who aren't known for their generosity.

Structurally this mystery is a lot like Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron (2020). Albert's mystery, though, is the more cynical of the two. It also plays on one of my least favorite tropes: the elderly spinster sisters who have their fingers in everything. At least here they are one time characters and won't be returning in later books.

Thirteen books into the series (or roughly halfway), pages and pages are still spent introducing the basic concepts of the series. The narrative will stop dead for China to explain that she's an ex-lawyer turned herbalist. She'll re-introduce all of her kith and kin and Pecan Springs. What this means, is more and more of each volume becomes pages that can be skipped.

The fourteenth book is Bleeding Hearts (2006).

Three stars

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