In rich, atmospheric mysteries set against the backdrop of modern-day Mississippi, Carolyn Haines has given the southern belle a brilliantly hip makeover. Now Haines and her unforgettable heroine, Sarah Booth Delaney, are back with a tale about skeletons in closets--and elsewhere.
The Mississippi delta in the summer heat is not all that's steaming in Haines's (Splintered Bones, etc.) fourth outing featuring PI Sarah Booth Delaney, an atypical Southern belle who's fiercely independent and outrageously witty. Sarah is enjoying her family home, a mansion in Zinnia, Miss., complete with cotton fields, coral honeysuckle vines and the ghost of Jitty, her great-great-grandmother's nanny. When nightclub owner and black blues pianist Ivory Keys is stabbed to death at his club, Ivory's wife asks Sarah to vindicate the prime suspect, Scott Hampton, a talented white blues guitarist with a history of racism. Aided by her partner Tinkie Richmond, Sarah inadvertently stirs up passions among the townspeople that were long thought forgotten. Jitty's continual lectures on marriage and family and Sarah's mixed feelings about Sheriff Coleman Peters and two new suitors complicate the investigation. While the ghostly Jitty's advice can be wearying and the clothing details verge on the tedious, Haines delivers some real heartwarming moments in a mystery with some fascinating twists. This cozy read is the next best thing to curling up with a mint julep on the porch swing on a lazy afternoon. Agent, Marian Young. (Apr. 8) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . the first I had read of her series and I want to read more now
Posted October 17, 2012 by J , WinnipegI first borrowed this from my library as I was unfamiliar with the author. I liked this enough to search out more by her. now after reading about 3 of her titles, I definately am going to buy the series. she keeps the plot moving, makes me feel the situation. a good read.
December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from Crossed Bones by Carolyn Haines
My Great-Aunt Cilla was fond of saying that there's nothing like the feel of a blooded animal between a woman's thighs. Of course with Aunt Cilla, that might apply to a Thoroughbred or a Southern gentleman with good lineage. Although most of the women in my family have been cursed with the Delaney womb, Great-Aunt Cilla was the only one of my female forbears who didn't bother to hide her affliction. She was exiled to Atlanta for her honesty.
Lying here in the porch swing with my hound at my feet and a mint julep in my hand, I can't help but think of my ancestors and the history of this land I love. I've just concluded an Old South tradition-perusing my cotton fields from the vantage point of a horse.
Tidbits of Aunt Cilla's wisdom are coming back to me. Her womb might have had a vociferous appetite, but it was nothing compared to her brain. It was she who pointed out to me the two most potent symbols of the Old South: King Cotton and blood.
On my morning rides, I see the past, present, and future of my home: the cotton, with its green leaves covered in early morning dew; the whisper of money, of times long gone and of a way of life that seems both a dream and a nightmare, depending on perspective. The wealthy settlers of the rich Delta soil in Mississippi understood the powerful combination of horse and land, the addictive pleasure of riding one's property on a healthy and responsive animal.
Aunt Cilla had her own uses for healthy, responsive animals-especially of the human species. An excellent horsewoman, she was especially fond of grooms. Horses, leather, a virile young man-Aunt Cilla's favorite aphrodisiacs.
"Sarah Booth Delaney, you are one worthless gal. Out here sittin' on the porch, fantasizin' about lettin' the hired help poke you. If you were worth a lick, you'd be wedded, bedded, and bred by some respectable gentleman."
The disapproving tone belied the soft richness of the voice. And voice was all it was. Jitty, the itinerant ghost of my great-great-grandmother's nanny, had yet to materialize.