Saturday, June 23, 2018

Book Review: A Rumor of Bones by Beverly Connor

A Rumor of Bones
Author: Beverly Connor
Series: Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Cumberland House (October 1996)

Description: Lindsay Chamberlain, archaeologist and forensic anthropologist, is working on an archaeological dig in Georgia. The local county sheriff asks her to identify human remains found recently in shallow graves in nearby woods.

As the archaeology crew excavates, strange things begin to happen. First come the grave robbers and pot hunters. Then mysterious opposition to the dig from a shady lawyer who has been orchestrating attacks against the crew. When the lawyer is murdered and someone attempts to abduct a five-year-old girl, Lindsay finds herself in the middle of a chain of crimes that began with a homicide sixty years ago. After the passage of so much time it looks as if the guilty party may get away with murder - unless Lindsay can uncover the solution.

My Thoughts: Archaeologist and forensic anthropologist Lindsay Chamberlain is working on a dig in Georgia when the local sheriff asks her to identify some bones that were just located by hunters. Lindsay has Sarah and Mike Pruitt, anxious parents, waiting to know if their little girl has been found. By comparing the bones to photos of their child, Lindsay quickly eliminates her but there is still a question of who the child is. Lindsay volunteers her friend Derrick who is in charge of clearing the site and his crew to the sheriff.

Derrick and his crew find another grave. This time the bones do belong to little Peggy Pruitt. It looks like the town has a serial killer. Than a third body of a molested and murdered little girl is found in the same area. Lindsay can't get the question of who killed the children out of her mind and brings her theories to the sheriff.

Meanwhile at the dig, tensions are high. The archaeologist in charge is constantly arguing with one of the other archaeologists, pothunters are harassing the site, a lawyer is trying to shut them down, and another body is discovered. This one is not one of the Native Americans who belong in the site as evidenced by a gold filling in a tooth and a bullet in the skull. Lindsay decides to do a facial reconstruction to see if the body can be identified but she estimates the person has been there between 25 and 50 years.

Adding even more tension is the fact that Lindsay seems to have gained herself an admirer who won't take no for an answer and who is the son of one of the prominent families. The Taylors used to own the banks, lumberyards and land though their influence has lessened over the years. Lindsay is also unsettled in her personal life. She's had a bit of a crush on Frank who is archaeologist in charge of the dig and who seems to be returning her interest but she also has changing feelings about Derrick who seems to want to move on from the friend category. Then there are other women who are interested in both Frank and Derrick and who resent Lindsay for what they see as not making up her mind.

This was an entertaining mystery filled will all sorts of great detail about what it means to be an archaeologist and what archaeologists do. I liked Lindsay despite her inability to make up her mind about her love life and look forward to reading more about her.

Favorite Quote:
"They are very real to you, these Indians."

"They were real. Every burial represents a person who once walked around just as you and I. They were happy and sad, loved and hated, worried about making a living, and enjoyed celebrations, just as we do. Mostly, working with the skeletal population is a pleasure. It's like going back in time and talking to them Their bones tell me a lot about how they lived and died."
I bought this one Oct. 17, 2010. You can buy your copy here.

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