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Book Review: Inherit the Bones

I’m an avid mystery reader, and this debut traditional mystery will keep you guessing until the end.

Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn is well-written, engrossing and intelligent. Even the title works in several ways to define the book. The author is from Southern California and now lives in Colorado.

Detective Gemma Monroe, six months pregnant, has a partner she doesn’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying. In fact, everyone in this small Colorado town knows more than they’re saying, and each one holds a small piece of the puzzle.

Gemma is called to investigate the gruesome death of a clown in a traveling circus. When the body is identified, it turns out to be that of a teenaged boy who disappeared over a cliff three years before and was presumed dead. Where has he been? Why did he disappear? And why is his face tattooed and pierced to be unrecognizable?

The boy is the son of the town’s most powerful family. His father is the mayor who plans to run for Congress. His mother is a cold Scandinavian. His twin sister, the aunt who raised the twins, and the boy’s grandfather all have secrets. When the boy’s death is linked to the murder of two other boys thirty years before and to the rape and murder of a young woman, the lies tear the town apart.

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