- Published Severn House 2012
- ISBN 978-0-7278-8180-9
- 151 pages
- source: my local library
- #3 in her "village mystery" series
The Colonel returns, in an atmospheric village mystery from best-selling author Margaret Mayhew.
In his time living in the peaceful village of Frog's End, the Colonel has learned that although the place looks as lively as a stagnant pond, there is plenty going on. When he receives a letter from an old friend of his late wife, telling him that '-something horrible has happened' and asking for his help, he is intrigued and happy to assist her.
But when he travels up to see Cornelia, he is shocked by what he uncovers, and soon realizes that he must take the investigation into his own hands . . .
From what I can see on Fantastic Fiction, Margaret Mayhew has been writing for over three decades, but she has generally produced books set in the second world war, gentle romances set against the the horrors of war. For the first 10 years of writing she seems to have produced Regency romances.
The Colonel who is the central character of DRY BONES emerged in 1999 in OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE. His wife Laura has recently died and he has been forced into retirement, and gone to live in the village of Frog's End. I haven't read this one, but I assume it is the first of her "village mystery" series. In DRY BONES, there is reference to another title, THREE SILENT THINGS in which an ageing actress was electrocuted in her bath on New Year's Eve. An interesting feature of the plot of DRY BONES is that in "real time" the Colonel has not moved on much: his wife Laura is still quite recently dead.
It is hardly surprising that someone with 22 novels under her belt, so to speak, has produced a passably readable cozy. Without revealing too much of the plot, the dry bones from which the book takes its title are discovered under the floor of a barn that Cornelia, his wife's friend, is having renovated, and they are not nearly as old as the locals hoped. There are plenty of suspects who might have put them there.
In short, a pretty easy, undemanding read with an interesting plot.
My rating: 4.2