Friday, November 25, 2016

Review of "Rock-A-Bye Bones" by Carolyn Haines

In this 16th book in the series, Sarah Booth Delaney finds a baby, and a pool of blood, on the front porch of her home - Dahlia House in Zinnia, Mississippi. Sarah Booth and her partner, Tinkie Richmond, run a private detective agency - and Sarah Booth is determined to find the baby's mother.

Meanwhile Tinkie, who's unable to have children, convinces the sheriff to let her care for the baby until the mother is located. Tinkie 'temporarily' names the infant Libby and proceeds to buy the tyke a room full of baby gear and fashionable baby clothes. Uh-oh!! Sarah Booth fears Tinkie and her husband Oscar are getting too attached to little Libby.

Since baby Libby has red hair and polydactyly (an extra toe) Sarah Booth soon discovers that the mother is Pleasant Smith, a pregnant high school senior who disappeared a month ago. The authorities, thinking Pleasant ran away, did little to find her. Sarah Booth, however, thinks foul play was involved - especially since the blood near the baby has been traced to Rudy Uxall, a neighborhood boy who's been discovered dead in his car.

Sarah Booth fears Pleasant might also be dead so she arranges a seance with Madame Tomeeka. The psychic 'channels' Pleasant, who desperately begs: "My baby, my baby. Help me. He's going to kill me." Sarah Booth is galvanized to save the endangered mother.....though Tinkie seems less than thrilled. (Uh-oh again!)

Sarah Booth learns that Pleasant, a gifted musician/song writer, was a candidate for a recording contract and a college scholarship. Further investigation reveals a number of possible suspects for Pleasant's disappearance, including: a clique of snobby high school girls; a music teacher; and several mercenary thugs.

While Sarah Booth tries to locate and rescue Pleasant, other things are going on in her life.
Jitty, the resident ghost of Dahlia House, periodically shows up to nag Sarah Booth about having an heir. Jitty - who cunningly morphs into various historic/celebrity characters - natters on about 'dried up eggs', which irks Sarah Booth.
A psychopath named Gertrude Strom - who skipped bail - is trying to kill Sarah Booth for delusional reasons. I got a kick out of the bounty hunters hired to locate Gertrude - Clete Purcell and his friend Dave. (If you're a fan of James Lee Burke books, you know these guys.)
Three attractive men - Coleman the sheriff; Harold the banker; and Scott the club owner - are vying for Sarah Booth's love....and a couple of them REALLY curl her toes! (Nice problem. LOL)
Various endearing pets hang out with Sarah Booth, and save her from a snake attack.

The story has plenty of drama, as well as humor and warmth - as all Sarah Booth's friends come together to organize a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Dahlia House. In one funny scene Sarah Booth dons a garish orange sweater decorated with autumn leaves and a pumpkin pie....and fasionista Tinkie rushes over to cover baby Libby's eyes. Ha ha ha.

I enjoy this book and recommend it to readers who enjoy cozy mysteries - especially fans of the Sarah Booth Delaney series.

I don't usually mention bookcovers, but I really like this one. Very colorful and pretty.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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