cover image The Hungry Bones: An Alexa Glock Forensic Mystery

The Hungry Bones: An Alexa Glock Forensic Mystery

Sara E. Johnson. Poisoned Pen, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-728257-37-2

In Johnson’s gripping fifth mystery featuring Alexa Glock (after The Bone Riddle), the dental forensics expert juggles two cold cases and a recent kidnapping. Though American expat Alexa has long delighted in assisting New Zealand law enforcement, her relationship with Auckland Det. Insp. Bruce Horne is on shaky ground. While Alexa chews on the idea of leaving New Zealand for a new professional opportunity, archaeologist Ana Luckenbaugh asks her for a consultation: Ana has exhumed the century-old body of Chinese gold miner Wing Lun, and Lun’s great-granddaughter has asked her to repatriate the remains to China. While confirming the bones belong to Lun, Alexa notices a hole in the skull that calls his cause of death into question. Then authorities unearth a second skeleton with similar wounds nearby, and the principal of the local school goes missing, shortly after killer Earl Hammer is released from prison. Can Alexa find a link between the cases? Johnson seamlessly ties the past mystery to the present one, and her rich shading of even minor characters sets this apart from similar procedurals. This series continues to impress. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (June)