Saturday, February 03, 2018

Dry Bones by Sally Spencer

Sally Spencer's second Jennie Redhead mystery is a historical mystery set in the world of academia. Set in 1974, the storyline takes private investigator Jennie back to both world wars at St. Luke's College in Oxford. Dry Bones is the new mystery.

When Sir Charles Swift, bursar at St. Luke's College, and Jennie's best friend, asks her for help, she's suspicious. Why does he want to hire her to investigate before he's even contacted the police? Two stonemasons working in the college's cellar opened a hole in the wall, only to find two skeletons. And, Charlie doesn't want to know who killed the men and buried them in the cellar. He wants to know the identity of the two men.

In flashbacks, the victims are introduced. One man's story goes back to 1916. The other storyline takes readers to 1939. But, Jennie's investigation takes her to Majorca, and the secrets known by the men who watched over the college and the students, St. Luke's college porters.

While Jennie almost bumbles towards the solution, the storylines about the victims and the porters are fascinating. Those are the accounts, not only of the college, but also of the British soldiers recruited for the wars. Those are the stories of the country's losses.

Dry Bones is a historical mystery with a great deal of quiet humor, beginning with the stonemasons in the cellar. Readers who appreciate mysteries involving the world wars, or stories set in the world of academia, might appreciate Spencer's latest book.

Sally Spencer's website is

Dry Bones by Sally Spencer. Severn House, 2018. ISBN 9780727887542 (hardcover), 208p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy to review for a journal.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I have a friend who has recommended Spencer for years but even though I have one or two, I haven't read them. For years the books seemed to be available only from England, though now you can get them as ebooks.

Spencer is the pseudonym of Alan Rustage.

SandyG265 said...

I started this a couple of days ago. Although I liked the beginning with the stonemasons I got bogged down partway through and gave up on the book.

Lesa said...

The historic aspects were my favorite parts, Sandy. I liked those parts better than the contemporary parts.

I didn't know that was a pseudonym, Jeff.

Wedding DJ Plano said...

I quite enjoyed this mystery book and I look forward to reading more books about Jennie Redhead!