cover image The Bones of the Story

The Bones of the Story

Carol Goodman. Morrow, $18.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-326524-0

Goodman’s superior locked-room mystery (after The Disinvited Guest) sees college dean Nell Portman facing down a gruesome episode form her past. Nell works at upstate New York’s Briarwood College, where she herself graduated 25 years earlier. During an annual tradition in which students carry candles up a nearby mountain in recognition of the impending winter solstice, one of her students falls into a cave and finds human remains. The discovery revives the local legend of the “ice cave girl,” who’s rumored to resurface every 25 years to cannibalize a new victim—and also the mystery of one of Nell’s own classmates, who disappeared while they were in school together. Nell decides to organize a memorial for that former classmate, and a winter storm traps her and her fellow alumni on Briarwood’s campus. Then someone dies, and it’s time to suss out a murderer in their midst, reckoning with the sins of the past in the process. Goodman is superb at doling out reveals gradually, and toggling between past and present to build ample tension. Admirers of Riley Sager’s The Last Time I Lied will be enthralled. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (July)