Poisoned Pen Press (2015)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (4/15)
Fifth in a series of mysteries involving a main character who can’t help but get involved in things she would rather stay out of, “Where the Bones are Buried” by Jeanne Matthews is a winner! Dinah is the sleuth who is new to Berlin, but quickly learning her way around, including avoiding the local police (until she needs them). As you can imagine, everything is going smoothly in the beginning, which makes Dinah nervous. She knows what that usually means for her, and it isn’t good.
An anthropologist who is soon to start a professorship, Dinah finds her life is turned sideways when her mother shows up with another one of her father’s wives and they both are looking for a criminal they think they can trick. The author writes, “Some people aspire to crime. Some have crime thrust upon them. Dinah considered herself to be in the second category.”
Getting to know Dinah and her eccentric family is half the fun. The author shares Dinah’s fear of her boyfriend, Thor, meeting them “…as an impromptu dive into her family shark pool would give him the bends.” This Norwegian boyfriend and her Seminole mother bring cultural interest, giving the novel greater depth. And the author weaves in plenty of German references, making me wish I had visited the city when I lived in Europe. In fact, Berlin became one of the characters as Dinah strolled near the Brandenburg Gate and watched the Spree flow by outside the killer’s windows.
What I would never have imagined was Der Indianer Club, a group of Germans who were fascinated by Native Americans. The author, almost without the reader realizing it, inserts tidbits of information about various tribes. When the club members meet, they show up in mixed-up clothing from different tribes, but in their hearts try to honor the customs they have read about, so much so that one member was scalped. From that moment on, the story races from one character to another and from one plot twist to another more complicated and interesting one. I was quickly hooked and went right along for the ride. You should too!
Interestingly, the author is a world traveler who enjoys gathering information that may be used in her next mystery. The other books in the series take place in Greece, Norway, Hawaii and Australia. I highly recommend “Where the Bones are Buried” by Jeanne Matthews, and I can’t wait to take another trip with her very soon.