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Thursday, August 09, 2018

New Bell Elkins Mystery Hits Me Right in the Feels

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Bone on Bone, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from previous Bell Elkins mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

After insisting on serving a jail sentence for killing her abusive father, Belfa "Bell" Elkins has paid her debt to society but lost her job.  Although she's been fired and disbarred, Bell retains her loyalty to her "small, poor, done-in county" (34).  When a local banker is murdered, she can't help looking into the case.  With Rhonda Lovejoy—Bell's long-time friend and successor—and Jake Oakes—a former deputy sheriff who's reluctantly adjusting to life as a paraplegic—by her side, she's determined to figure out who killed Brett Topping.  As the usual suspects fall by the wayside, however, Bell will have to look uncomfortably close to home to find the murderer.  

While Bone On Bone (available August 21, 2018), the seventh installment in the Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller, isn't as unique as some of its predecessors, it's still a poignant, compelling novel full of everything I love about this series.  Keller excels at bringing Acker's Gap, a worn-out Appalachian town, to life in all its problems and pleasures.  While some of the Bell Elkins books rely more heavily on plot, Bone On Bone is definitely about the characters.  I always love our understated hero and it was fun to get to know her and her compadres even deeper.  Although the killer becomes fairly obvious in this one, the book's finale still caught me by surprise—and hit me right in the feels.  Now, I really can't wait to see where this series goes next!

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Bell Elkins series, including A Killing in the Hills; Bitter River; Summer of the Dead; A Haunting of the Bones [novella]; The Devil's Stepdaughter [novella]; Ghost Roll [novella]; Last Ragged Breath; Evening Street [novella]; Sorrow Road; and Fast Falls the Night)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Bone On Bone from the generous folks at Minotaur (a division of St. Martin's Press/Macmillan).  Thank you!

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows



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