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The Bone Garden (Wesley Peterson Mystery Series)

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Hidden Skeletons

Murders old and new taunt Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson when historians excavating the gardens of the seventeenth-century Earlsacre Hall in Devon unearth the body of a woman—apparently buried alive three centuries earlier. However, Peterson has little time to indulge his hobby of archaeology when a petty thief robbing a local trailer park makes the grim discovery of a man stabbed to death. Oddly, the victim had a newspaper...

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Overview

Hidden Skeletons

Murders old and new taunt Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson when historians excavating the gardens of the seventeenth-century Earlsacre Hall in Devon unearth the body of a woman—apparently buried alive three centuries earlier. However, Peterson has little time to indulge his hobby of archaeology when a petty thief robbing a local trailer park makes the grim discovery of a man stabbed to death. Oddly, the victim had a newspaper clipping of the Earlsacre project.

When a local attorney, anxious to speak to Peterson about the dig, is silenced with a cricket mallet, the divergent clues soon lead to a trail of stolen identities, blackmail and a stunning connection to the secrets of Earlsacre itself. But the dramatic revelations may come too late for Peterson to save a beloved member of his own force, about to become the latest victim of a deadly mystery and ingenious killer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Once again British author Ellis smoothly blends old and recent crimes in an archeological mystery featuring Det. Sergeant Wesley Peterson and his fellow Tradmouth (Devon) police officers. Detective Constable Rachel Tracey in particular makes a striking return from last year's The Funeral Boat. While clearing the overgrown site of the extensive 17th-century gardens of Earlsacre Hall during a restoration project, diggers find two skeletons, one belonging to a young woman buried alive three centuries earlier. Neil Watson, of the County Archeology Unit, calls Peterson, with whom he studied archeology at university, but Peterson is busy investigating a stabbing murder in a nearby caravan park. Skillfully combining identity theft and blackmail with murder, the author treats the reader to a host of distinctive supporting characters, including the owner of a discreet brothel, its girls and clients, a petty thief, a sex-driven "poetess in residence," a solicitor's litigious neighbor and Peterson's giddy and unconventional mother-in-law. The well-researched historical background (involving the enslavement in the West Indies of rebels against James II) and an unusual murder weapon (a "knocking-in mallet" used on cricket bats) add interest. Anglophiles will drink up the local color and south Devon towns modeled on Dartmouth and Torbay. (July 31) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Five bodies, two centuries, no waiting. All the corpses—the two buried under an 18th-century garden plinth, the one beneath a centuries-old shell grotto, the one beside a cricket field, and the one in a holiday caravan park—are the responsibility of DS Wesley Peterson (The Armada Boy, 2000, etc.), archeology buff and sidekick to DI Gerry Heffernan at the Tradmouth stationhouse. The cricketer was timid solicitor Brian Willeby, who rang up Peterson for a confidential chat but died before they could meet. Did his demise have anything to do with the ownership of venerable Earlsacre Hall, recently sold by Charles Pitaway, the last of his line, and now under renovation? Or did one of the working girls he was fond of photographing at their sexual tasks have it in for him? While Peterson and Heffernan work the Willeby and caravan deaths, Peterson’s pal Neil Watson, an archeologist digging up the Earlsacre gardens, uncovers the ghastly events surrounding the three centuries-buried bodies: a serving girl, a transported noble returned from Barbados, and a Good Samaritan sea captain. But poor DC Rachel Tracey, on an ill-advised romantic outing, will almost become victim number six before Peterson and Heffernan swoop down to stop the Earlsacre slaughter. The 18th-century tale of murder is more beguiling than the contemporary one, but Ellis is particularly crafty in dovetailing them, even writing in a role for a Peterson forebear in the process.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373265077
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: WWL Mystery
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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