Them Bones - Carolyn Haines

Tabloids, mini-series, Coke, and Halicon.

This book is dated.

I was surprised that Sarah Booth didn't light up a cigarette with her whiskey at night in her empty, cold, Southern plantation house. I mean, how can you be a lady without your Virginia Slims?

Well, I guess that's because Sarah Booth isn't a lady - she was raised a Daddy's Girl, which is the name for society gals in the town of Zinnia, Mississippi, but with her minor in theatre, her time in New York and her financial destitution, it's safe to say that they've kicked her out of that club, dahling.

The book opens with Sarah on the precipice of losing her family's 100 year old home - the one with steeped in both history and memories. In her final wild attempt to come up with some money to appease the bank board, she listens to a scheme of her haunted inhabitant, Jitty, to steal a rich friends dog and ransom it for money. You know, just until something else comes up.

When this con plays out, Sarah Booth's unknowingly deceived friend decides that Sarah could help her with another matter - to find out if the dark man, Hamilton Garrett the fifth is returning to Zinnia, and with him, his dusty, black past of murder, money and madness.

This sets up Sarah to do the first real thing she's ever done to make money (PI work), and thrusts her into the path of a would-be fiance, Sarah's ex-society friends (who also hold old secrets), and a man she finds simply irresistible.

I thought this book was enjoyable, with a multi-layered mystery and lots of southern charm. Sarah's ghost friend Jitty was a little annoying at times, but I forgave that in light of the fact that Sarah has no other family. So, dated, yes, but not enough to keep me from reading the next.