Only Flesh and Bones

Sarah Andrews, Author Minotaur Books $23.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-18642-5
After a few more cases, geologist Em Hansen may be as tough as the best of her sleuthing peers, but her vulnerability offers singular pleasures to current readers. In her fourth appearance (Mother Nature, 1997), unemployed Em is asked by J.C. Menken, a millionaire oilman and her former boss, to look into his wife's death. Miriam Menken had taken their teen-aged daughter, Cecilia, to Wyoming for the summer and was murdered. It's not so much that J.C. wants to find the killer as that he wants to understand what happened. Cecilia witnessed the murder but can't remember a thing, and even her psychologist doesn't seem able to help her. Leaving the cocoon of her family ranch, also in Wyoming, Em finds herself plunged into the tangle of another family's life just as she's adjusting to the recent death of her own father. She uncovers boxes of Miriam's journals, kept since college, and discovers that she, too, was hiding from her own past and unhappiness. It may be that a former lover, the charismatic Chandler, couldn't stay in the past, or Miriam could have been done in by her Wyoming landlord. But the two nefarious characters hanging around J.C.'s office stir Em's suspicions while she's wondering why Miriam's college friends are suddenly becoming so secretive. Andrews handles these possibilities with a sure hand as she introduces an endless supply of secondary characters whose company is a delight. Thoughtful and uncertain, Em is especially appealing as she makes the quiet point that murder involves more than flesh and bones. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-312-96702-4
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4668-1970-2
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