The Bone Cay

Eliza Nellums. Crooked Lane, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64385-844-9
Magda Trudell, the heroine of Nellums’s passable sophomore effort (after 2019’s All That’s Bright and Gone), is the caretaker of the historic Whimbrel House, the Key West mansion where acclaimed poet Isobel Reyes was born in 1895 and died by suicide in 1918. Magda has devoted her life to studying Isobel’s work and preserving her memory, so when a hurricane is about to hit the Keys, Magda chooses to stay and watch over the house. When the storm causes the gift shop to collapse, she discovers a cistern that houses a trunk containing a woman’s skeleton. Meanwhile, the mansion’s creepy handyman, Hank McGrath, arrives in a rundown motorboat with his injured 16-year-old daughter, Emily. Magda notices something is off in the way Hank and Emily behave, and tensions rise as the house continues to deteriorate during the storm. Readers will be immersed in what is primarily a survival thriller, though some will be disappointed that the mystery surrounding the skeleton lingers in the background. Nellums is a good storyteller, but this story just isn’t that good. Agent: Chris Bucci, Aevitas Creative. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/29/2021
Release date: 12/07/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Compact Disc - 978-1-6665-2356-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-6665-3548-8
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