On Spine of Death

Poisoned Pen. (By the Book Mystery, Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781728248639. pap. $8.99. M
Thriller writer Tess Harrow is in the cellar of her grandfather’s dilapidated hardware store when her daughter takes a sledge hammer to the floor above, and bones rain down on Tess’s head. Once again, Tess is at the center of a crime scene; this time, she has to prove that her grandfather was not a killer. But the bones are stolen from the morgue before she can bring in a friend, Peter, who is an expert on hatchets (the weapon used on the old bones). Peter does point out that the whole story of bones and missing women reminds him of the plot of an old book set in a town a little too reminiscent of Winthrop. Tess is afraid to tell the sheriff about that book though, because his older sister was one of the local women who disappeared. In “Keystone Kops”–style scenes set around the morgue, a muddy mountain, and the hardware store, bones and books disappear and reappear as FBI agents and Tess hunt for a killer.
VERDICT Berry’s sequel to Buried in a Good Book is a quirky story for those who enjoy funny cozies.
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