cover image Where Old Bones Lie

Where Old Bones Lie

Ann Granger. St. Martin's Press, $19.95 (278pp) ISBN 978-0-312-11097-0

A tidy, inventive and intricate plot graced with lovely scenic descriptions highlights Granger's ( Murder Among Us ) fifth village mystery set in the Cotswolds, this one tracing themes of longing and fear of loss. Chief Inspector Alan Markby still yearns for Meredith Mitchell of the Foreign Office (she loves him too but wants to live alone). Heartbreak also shadows the the lives of Brian Felston and his Uncle Lionel, crusty bachelors whose farm is the site of an ancient battlefield where archeologists are seeking the grave of Wulfric the Saxon. Several of the diggers also suffer from star-crossed love, as do some of the scruffy hippies who infuriate everyone by setting up a messy camp on the farm. Meredith gets involved when her old friend Ursula, working on the dig, suddenly becomes terrified that her former lover may have murdered his missing wife, and Markby steps in when corpses of decidedly recent vintage start to surface. A master of characterization, Granger specializes in engaging eccentrics, and she has a winner here--an irresistible old codger who lives at the local dump. (Aug.)