by Wendy Corsi Staub
Release Date: March 28th 2017
2017 William Morrow
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Suspense / Murder
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
The town of Mundy’s Landing was founded on a horrifying secret, but stark white bones of the dead never lie…
“We shall never tell.” Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy travels to her ancestral hometown to trace her past. In Mundy’s Landing, she connects with long lost relatives—and a closet full of skeletons going back centuries.
In the year since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty Murders, she—like the village itself—has made a fresh start. But someone has unearthed blood-drenched secrets in a disembodied skull, and is hacking away at the Mundy family tree, branch by branch…
Bone White is the third book in the Mundy's Landing series, and although all of them connect in some way, and you would have a better sense of the characters involved, it could still be read as a stand alone simply because the author talks so much about the previous books in this one she almost gives away the what and wherefore of the previous mysteries. Luckily she stops just short of doing so or I would have shut the book then and there as I am not a fan of such a technique. Quite honestly, while I enjoyed the writing and the characters in this one, I was not overly crazy about the mystery, especially as it didn't occur until almost two-thirds into the book, and I felt like I was reading a contemporary women's novel rather than a mystery novel.
First of all, I do like this author's writing style; it's crisp, clear, and she knows how to make her characters interesting. I have always like the witty dialogue, and especially looked forward to the rapport between Barnes and Sully in this one, although it was not quite there due to a change in their relationship. If this novel was a contemporary women's fiction novel, the continuing development of the characters would have been great, but at some point, I was wondering where the mystery was going to actually pop up, and to my disappointment, it took quite a long time. Yes, there was some mystery as to Emerson's background and what really happened to her father and her mother, but that was just the typical knowledge one lacks when getting to know a new character, not the mind-bending suspense of characters who need to sleep with one eye open at night because someone is stalking them, or they don't know what is happening to them, something the author did quite well in the previous books.
I did really enjoy the way the novel was set up and by that I mean that there were historical letters interspersed with the actual chapters and these letters explained what the settlers in the original settlement went through during that horrible winter when most of them died, and the aftermath of that struggle. While we were given glimpses during the first two books, it was finally good to find out what exactly happened 400 years ago and why, and to try to understand the struggles the people faced. It was also good to find out how that horrible situation trickled down through the generations and impacted the current generation of Mundy's. It also led to an interesting discussion on heterochromia in my household as I have a son who is interested in genetics and research, heterochromia being the inherited gene of having one eye colour different from the other.
I am a huge fan of Ora Abrams as she was a delightful character, but I was really disappointed that more wasn't done with her character's illness. I know the onset of dimentia is really difficult to detect in people who are living alone, but when the author describes the conditions in which she was living, I just wish more was done with this story line than someone should have checked up on her more often. Just a thought!
Bone White definitely had its interesting moments in that you learned so much more about the early days of the settlement and what really happened, something I've been waiting for for a long time. I do feel like the murder/suspense part of the novel was sacrificed for the explanation of the town's history and that was a shame really, as this author is known for her exciting and suspenseful novels, something that was definitely lacking in this one. I do like the characters very much, and it felt like the author actually left the door open for another novel in this series, even though it's been earmarked as a trilogy, perhaps featuring Barnes? I certainly hope so. As for this one, I'm not sure I'd recommend it, but I would definitely recommend the first two in the trilogy, Blood Red and Blue Moon.