Independent Bones

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Sarah Booth Delaney, Bk. 23). May 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781250257871. $26.99. M
PI Sarah Booth Delaney and her best friend and business partner, Tinkie Richmond, attend the grand opening for a park in Zinnia, MS, where the speaker, Dr. Alala Diakos, opines that men who abuse women “should be exterminated.” The event turns violent when domestic abuser Curtis Miller is attacked by a mob of women. He’s later shot to death, and Alala is questioned. She hires Sarah Booth and Tinkie because this is the third time a man Alala knows has been shot and killed. They discover a local group of men affiliated with a national campaign to limit women’s economic, educational, and medical choices. Sarah Booth knows she can’t keep Tinkie from the case, but she wants to limit her exposure to possible violence: Tinkie is eight and a half months pregnant, and Sarah Booth is more worried for her safety than Alala’s.
VERDICT Haines follows A Garland of Bones with an issue-oriented mystery that delves into the stories of women who fought for their independence, alongside accounts of domestic abuse. Despite the heavy overtones, there’s room for humor as dogs and cats assist with the investigation. Fans of the series will enjoy the depth of the story, along with the characters’ personal development.
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