cover image Thirty-One Bones

Thirty-One Bones

Morgan Cry. Arcade CrimeWise, $25.99 (312p) ISBN 978-1-951627-66-9

Daniella Coulstoun, the protagonist of the pseudonymous Cry’s amusing debut, inherits the mess of a busted real estate scheme when her estranged mother, Effie, dies of a heart attack at Se Busca, Effie’s pub in El Descaro, Spain, just as everything is beginning to go under. Daniella arrives in El Descaro after 20 years of minimal contact with Effie, hoping to attend the funeral and wrap up any loose ends quickly. She finds her mother’s ex-attorney friend, George Laidlaw, to be mysteriously belligerent and soon discovers that George and other misfit expat patrons of Se Busca were involved with Effie in a property con that amassed €1.3 million that’s now missing. The misled investors want their money, so George and company are desperate enough to threaten Daniella with having 31 bones broken by a local heavy, implication in the scam, or both. The appealing Daniella is clever enough to save herself, but not immune to the lure of life on the Costa del Sol. Readers who like clever, sun-drenched crime capers will find much to enjoy. Agent: Fiona Brownlee, Brownlee Donald Assoc. (May)