“Bitter Bones” is Book I in the Geneva Bradford series, set in New England, and featuring a feisty young widow who finds long-dead murder victims. Geneva runs an antique shop and raises Burmese cats, but has a secret life as a thriller writer. Served up with a generous dollop of humor and an occasional tasty recipe, “Bitter Bones” will appeal to readers who like a story without too much graphic gore and violence, but with a cast of likeable characters. Anyone who’s ever been to a small New England town will recognize Byford Massachusetts and its residents.
Finding the long-dead baby in the overnight case was bad enough, but when a second body turns up in her friend Linnet Halliday’s garden, Geneva Bradford decides to find the murderer. There’s a perfectly good police department in Byford, Massachusetts, but Geneva thinks her friend Chief Paxton Cole isn’t moving fast enough and could use a bit of help. Thanks to a web of friends and cousins more widespread than kudzu, she gathers clues which eventually point to a suspect.
Geneva’s got plenty of other things to keep her busy: her children, her antique shop and her cattery, not to mention her secret life as a thriller writer and her budding romance with the handsome epidemiologist Charles Bonacorso. And that little matter of an old, long-buried crime in her own past which she hoped would never come to light.
Chief Cole finds Geneva’s efforts less than helpful—he’s doing his own investigation his own way. However, when it looks like the murderer may be targeting Geneva, he begins to think she may be on to something. Now if he can just keep her under control while he gathers usable evidence.
Carried away by how cleverly she’s put together the clues, Geneva forgets that unlike the fictional villains in her books, a real killer will kill again to cover past crimes. There’s nothing like being gagged and tied to a chair to focus your mind on the Girl Scout badges you didn’t complete.
Word Count: 70,750
Mystery/Suspense, Sweet Romance
REVIEW by NEW MYSTERY READER:
"I’m pleased to highly recommend Bitter Bones by talented author Karen Radford Treanor as a read well worth the time, one guaranteed to provide lots of reading pleasure. You’ll want to read other books by this author. Enjoy. I sure did."
"So you don't think it's full of doubloons or the church silverware, buried to keep it safe from the Redcoats?" gasped Linnet Halliday, trying to lever with the shovel as Geneva Bradford held the pry bar steady in the hole in the rock garden.
"No; Congregationalists aren't much given to silverware in churches, bar the odd vase. And I doubt any pirates ever came this far inland," Geneva laughed, amused by Linnet's enthusiasm for what she had decided was buried treasure.
"Okay, one more push and I think we've got it." Linnet leaned on the handle of the shovel and, with a hollow noise, the buried box came free. "Damn, it's nothing but an old suitcase!" She maneuvered it out of the hole in the dark earth and set it on a rock in the sun.
"To be exact, it's a Pullman case. Much used in the days of train travel; you could carry your make-up, nightclothes, and a change of undies in it," Geneva explained.
"So, no gold doubloons, then?"
"Probably rusty hairpins and an old 'Evening in Paris' bottle. Those are collector's items now; you might find a buyer if you're lucky." Geneva looked at the dirty box and regretted the wasted hour excavating it. Linnet had rung her excitedly, saying she'd found something buried in her rock garden at The Cedars and she needed help getting it out. Geneva had shut her shop and hotfooted over to assist, but it looked now as if it had been a fool's errand.
"Let's take it to the sun-porch," Linnet said, knocking off the worst of the dirt and going towards the house.
“It’s jammed," she said, prying at the latch of the case. "Time for the Irish screwdriver.” She took a rusty chisel from the odds and ends box that served her as a tool kit and smacked the lock smartly. The lid popped open, and a musty smell filtered out into the sunny room. A mildew-blotched mirror in the lid of the case reflected the cosmetic tray, empty save for a few rusty hair pins and a pill bottle of brown glass.
‘So much for buried treasure,” snorted Geneva.
“Wait, the tray lifts out. Perhaps it’s full of love letters tied with faded ribbons or some other romantic…” Linnet stopped mid sentence, the tray dropping from her hands. “Oh my god!”
The two women looked in silence at a tiny skeletal arm upraised from the folds of a discolored towel.
With a sound like jackstraws collapsing, the arm fell back inside the case.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 01 August, 2011.