Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Sid, Georgia, and a clever mystery
Cons: My only bone to pick – ending a bit rushed
The Bottom Line:
Accident in snow
Sid, Georgia on the case
Could it be murder?
Sid Finds a Body in the Snow
It is always nice to see a series I have enjoyed find a new publisher. That’s the case with the Family Skeleton series by Leigh Perry. The Skeleton Paints a Picture marks a slight shift in the series, and it will be interesting to see if it will continue.
Adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery has found a new job teaching at Falstone College of Art and Design. In fact, the majority of the department is made up of adjunct since the main focus of this small college is art. She took the job for the spring semester and moved up by herself, leaving her daughter with Georgia’s parents to finish off the school year where they’d been living. However, Georgia is starting to feel lonely and isolated, so she is thrilled when she finds that Sid has mailed himself to her.
Sid takes a little explaining. You see, he’s a living, breathing skeleton. Well, not actually breathing, but you get the idea. He and Georgia have been best friends since he saved her as a girl. All of this is set up in the previous books in the series, and if you’ve missed them, I do recommend them since they are a lot of fun.
One of Sid’s traits is that he never sleeps, so after Georgia goes to sleep that first night, he decides to go for a walk. They are isolated enough he isn’t worried about being seen, but he doesn’t expect to find a woman dead at the scene of an accident. He quickly goes to get Georgia, who calls the police.
The victim worked in the writing lab at the college, but Georgia didn’t know her well. The police think Georgia is hiding something when she answers their questions, but they have no idea that she is covering for Sid. So Georgia and Sid begin to try to figure out if this is more than the accident it appears to be. What will they discover?
Obviously, when you have one half of a sleuthing duo who needs to keep his identity hidden, it makes things a little more challenging. Leigh Perry does a great job of writing around that, finding jobs for Sid to do and ways for him to get out of the house without freaking people out.
Between Sid and Georgia, we do get a great sleuthing duo faced with a good puzzle. The mystery heads off in some surprising ways. The ending seems a bit abrupt and rushed, but it does make sense based on what has come before.
The shift I mentioned earlier comes in the way of recurring characters. While Georgia’s family members are mentioned, Sid and Georgia are the only characters who have appeared in previous books. Fortunately, they are very real characters. Yes, even the skeleton. I don’t know if this is a sign of things to come with future books just featuring the two of them, but they are strong enough to carry the series.
Of course, they aren’t the only characters in this book. Georgia’s co-workers make wonderfully strong suspects.
I did find a couple of pages in the middle of the book annoying as just a taste of PC is shoved in. It felt forced, which was ironic because I can see how it could have been handled much better based on some of the characters in the book.
This is more than made up for by the humor. We get lots of bone puns and jokes over the course of the book. I love these, and the way that Sid and Georgia interact. These books really are a lot of fun. I normally avoid paranormal cozies, but I’m so glad I made an exception for them.
Make no bones about it, if you enjoy a good mystery, you’ll enjoy The Skeleton Paints a Picture. This is a fun book that will leave you hoping Sid still has a very long life ahead of him.
Have more fun with Sid in the rest of the Family Skeleton Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.