After only two books, Leigh Perry's Family Skeleton mystery series has become one of my favorite series. The Thackerys may have an unusual family, but don't mess with any of them. If you mess with one, you mess with all of them. In The Skeleton Takes a Bow, the family love and humor are forefront in an enjoyable mystery.
Sid, the family skeleton, and Georgia Thackery's daughter, Madison, hatch a plot to include Sid in one of Madison's high school activities, the production of Hamlet. They convince Georgia that Sid can play the part of Yorick's skull, going to school every day with Madison. And, Sid enjoys all the opportunities to eavesdrop on high school romances and schemes until the night Madison accidentally leaves him at school, and he overhears a murder. Despite Georgia's attempt to involve the police, they couldn't find evidence of murder at the high school. But, Georgia knows her best friend, Sid, wouldn't lie. And, Sid, Georgia and Madison team up to find a body and a killer.
Perry skillfully weaves together Georgia's life as an adjunct professor, Madison's school life, family life, and a murder investigation. Yes, it's an unusual family, but it's charming. Here's a picture of "a homey scene. Madison curled up on the couch, Sid with his hands behind his skull and his feet up on the ottoman, and Byron gnawing happily on his bone with only the occasional longing look at Sid's femur. Admittedly, it was more Charles Addams than Norman Rockwell, but it was home." And, that unusual family, along with Georgia's gruff sister, Deborah, takes precautions to ensure everyone is safe, until one night when a crowd separates them. Then, they present one front.
There's a complicated motive and background for murder in this appealing mystery. The Skeleton Takes a Bow deserves applause for its refreshing departure from the cozy mystery formula. The cast is an unusual family including a skeleton. There's a great deal of humor, often due to the long friendship between Georgia and Sid. And, there are loving family relationships rather than romance.
Looking for charm, family, humor, and mystery? Look no further than Leigh Perry's The Skeleton Takes a Bow.
Leigh Perry's website is www.leighperryauthor.com
The Skeleton Takes a Bow by Leigh Perry. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425255834 (paperback), 293p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.