cover image Wailing Wood: A Yarn Woman Mystery

Wailing Wood: A Yarn Woman Mystery

Brooks Mencher. Brooks Mencher, $15.99 trade paper (340p) ISBN 978-1-5141-0457-6

Mencher’s second whodunit featuring textile forensics consultant Ruth M (after 2014’s The Yarn Woman) makes the most of his sleuth’s unusual expertise. A major timber harvest is planned for the Northern California area known as Wailing Wood, which got its name from the decades-old reports of sobbing voices and ghosts emanating from it. The tract of redwoods has also been the subject of numerous lawsuits contesting the owners’ right to clear the land and reap millions in profits. The stakes rise with the chance discovery of a child’s skull and some clothing in the woods that could significantly postpone the timber operation. Ruth’s analysis of the remains and of a nearby child’s vest leads her to conclude that the find is “significant both archeologically and historically.” Evidence that the child was murdered only makes the situation messier. Well-developed characters match the intriguing premise. [em](BookLife) [/em]