Saturday, November 12, 2016

Old Bones Tell A Tale

In Bed, Breakfast and Bones, author Carolyn L. Dean introduces her character Amanda Graham. Amanda has inherited The Ravenswood Inn from her aunt and uncle and leaps at the chance to move to the Oregon coast and reopen the Inn.

Renovations are in full swing when the mayor of the town announces the area has been rezoned to residential, and therefore, the Inn cannot rent rooms. Amanda is dumbfounded but matters take a turn for the worse when a body is found in her garden. Worse still her aunt and uncle left Ravenswood Cove in the dark of night eight years earlier in a big hurry. Now dead they are not around to answer questions about how the body wound up in the garden. 

The body is identified as Emmett Johnson and he disappeared eight years ago - on the same night her aunt and uncle left town. With the twin mission of finding out who killed Emmett Johnson and saving the Inn, Amanda sets out to discover more about her aunt and uncle.  
At the City Hall Amanda is shocked to find a newly-filed rezoning order, evoking any previous variance on the Inn. At the bottom of the page, she finds the mayor's signature, dated the same day Amanda met her. There's something fishy about that, but why did the mayor sign the rezoning order? Who is the foreign looking older neighbor woman Amanda has seen sneaking into the apple orchard and taking apples? And who killed Emmett Johnson and buried him in The Ravenswood Inn garden?

When Amanda discovers the mayor owns large acreage along the cove and the Crescent Crown
Company, one of the biggest retirement community developers in the area, is interested in the land, Amanda begins to suspect an ulterior motive in the rezoning. But why would the mayor kill Emmett? Or is that a totally separate issue? 

Amanda believes the way to thwart the mayor's plan to keep tourists away from Ravenswood Cove is to welcome them. She becomes a one woman Chamber of Commerce with lots of creative ideas to draw tourists. But there's still the mystery of the body in the garden.

I enjoyed the search for the killer and Amanda is a resourceful, clever heroine. Detective James Landon looks like a love interest in future books. Hope there are others in the series.

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