Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book Review: Riddle in the Bones

Title: Riddle in the Bones: An Abishag's Third Mystery
Author: Michelle Knowlden
Genre: Mystery


After two dead husbands and an angry ex-boyfriend, 20-year-old Leslie Greene has had it with being an Abishag wife, the therapeutic "bedwarmer" of rich, dying men.  A summer internship collecting mule bones seems like a good way to take her mind off her dating woes.  But one evening, as Leslie's leaving the Palm Desert Institute of Desert Antiquities, a shot rings out.  Doctor Henry Telemann, Leslie's beloved anthropology professor, lies comatose on the floor, a bullet through his brain.

Why would anyone want to harm this kindly old man?  Could the answer lie in a shoebox full of old bones?  To find out, Leslie enters the Abishag agency once again. And this time it's not just killers after her.  A handsome lawyer, a flirtatious detective, and the grandson of her first husband all vie for her attention.  Leslie might just find her Prince Charming, if she can survive the case first...


Characters are the beating heart of the Abishag series.  I could spend hours hanging out with "romantic rationalist" Leslie, her cool friends Kat and Dog, the charming Sebastian, and even Donovan, who let's just say gets some highly amusing comeuppance in this installment.  "Riddle in the Bones" contains warmth and humor, simmering jealousies, delicious French cooking, beautiful clothes, and, oh yeah, that pesky murder mystery that needs to be solved.

Interestingly enough, this is the first time Leslie's ever gotten to know her husband before she's married him and she's not exactly happy about this fact.  For her, it's hard to separate her boss "Doctor Telemann" from her husband "Henry."  While this sets up an interesting conflict early on, I felt Leslie's bond between Henry wasn't as strong as with previous husbands.  Maybe this had to do with less cuddling time or the fact she wasn't in her husband's house.

That was fine, because a lot of the central pull came from the romantic arc, which Ms. Knowlden has been teasing for the last two books.  Leslie is starting to slowly but surely gain confidence in herself and realize that she does in fact have options.  She also participates more in solving the mystery, rather than letting Kat do all the work.  I appreciate that.  However, I felt the mystery was too easy to solve and got a bit rushed and confusing at the end.

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