I’m Glad I Picked This Debut
I’d had Bones to Pick, the debut in Linda Lovely’s Brie Hooker Mysteries, on my radar for a while. I finally got it for my birthday this year, so I moved it to the top of my TBR pile. I’m glad since I enjoyed it.
Brie Hooker has gone from a career as a vegan chef to helping her aunt Eva run her goat farm and dairy in South Carolina. It may not be her first choice for what to be doing with her life right now, but she loves her aunt, and Eva needs the help. This is especially true after the farm’s pot-bellied pig unearths bones – human bones. The remains are quickly identified as that of Brie’s husband, who disappeared forty years ago.
There was no love lost between Eva and her husband, and he was part of the most prominent family in the area, so it isn’t a surprise that suspicion in his murder falls on Eva. With so much time passing, it’s hard to even tell for sure when he died, so it is hard for Eva to provide an alibi. Brie starts to investigate, hoping to clear her aunt. When another dead body turns up, however, Brie finds herself getting more scrutiny as well. Are these two murders, decades apart, related? If so, can Brie figure out what is really going on?
It was the characters that really drew me into this book. Brie may be a vegan, but no one else around her is. She takes some ribbing about that (pun always intended), but she takes it in good humor and dishes it back as well. Brie’s parents, Eva, a childhood friend, and two potential love interests complete the main cast, and I really liked all of them. Yes, this book sets up a love triangle. I hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later (I am getting tired of them), but I like both of these guys, so that’s a plus.
The mystery starts strongly, with the bones turning up within the first few pages. And there is lots going on. Every few pages, something happens that complicates Brie’s life, which made it hard to put the book down. However, this is a book that confuses events for investigations. I got a bit tired of not feeling like we were getting anywhere in the investigation despite all the events happening. Still, the climax resolves everything without feeling rushed. In fact, the suspense of the climax was wonderfully handled.
I hinted at this earlier, but the book does have some great humor in it. The characters love each other, and that comes out as they tease each other. Brie has taken to using some pretty funny meat and cheese curses, as well. Those were definitely a highlight.
This book does boarder the PG/PG-13 divide, especially with some of the teasing that Brie gets about her love life. Keep that in mind if you think it might bother you before you pick up the book.
I’m definitely curious what Brie uncovers next. I’m looking forward to revisiting her, her family, and her friends. If you enjoy humor in your mysteries, you’ll be glad you picked Bones to Pick.