Review: Where the Bones are Buried
Author: Jeanne Matthews
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
The latest mystery by Jeanne Matthews is about fractured families, lies, secrets, murder and tainted money.
Dinah Pelerin, the archeologist, lecturer and amateur sleuth, is living in Berlin with Thor, a Norwegian spy. Dinah thinks she has finally settled into a near perfect life in this hub of Neo-European culture. That is, until her mother, Swan, arrives unexpectedly on the scene. She’s brought along Margaret who killed Cleon—the ex-husband, father, step-father, lover, friend of a multiple host of characters. And they all live off the dead man’s ill-gotten money which Dinah has stashed in a warm water bank account the Feds would love to find. Quick into the multi-layered story, a man is murdered at a pow-wow where a collection of German Indian-lore lovers have gathered to smoke peace pipes at der Indianer club. Gesund Heit.
Of course, the story progresses to a satisfying conclusion. Who done it and why, tucked neatly like a Bratwurst in a bun. It’s a collection of architectural delights, slap stick humor and implausible connotations about the romantic life of an ex-patriot who’s involved in murder and mayhem. Germany’s history is not lost in the humor, nor are the incessant family lies.
This is a plot full of diversion. Like the serial killer, the Phantom of Heilbronn with victims all over the place, the twists scatter like DNA all over Berlin. to the point of interfering with the actual story. While this reviewer finds the writer’s talent to be superb, the book reads like a canned sitcom. Chapters are perfect for TV where someone holds a cue card for applause and laughter to roar with each witty line. You will laugh with Dinah in a fuzzy, endearing way but then when the half hour is over, you’re quick to turn out the lights.
Perhaps Perdition is the fact that the story is too cleverly contrived. It lacks the universal, in-depth intrigue you find on Berlin’s Unter den Linden. If you read a review of Where the Bones are Buried in Der Spiegel, be prepared for German style truth and honesty. But we should agree that Matthew’s fast paced knack for dispensing an engaging story will capture the attention of those who love a happy-ever-after ending. Guten Abend.
(Book provided by publisher.)