cover image A Day for Bones: A Howard County Mystery

A Day for Bones: A Howard County Mystery

Dale E. Lehman. Red Tales, $5.96 trade paper (234p) ISBN 978-1-958906-00-2

A flood in Ellicott City, Md., threatens lives and livelihoods in Lehman’s stellar fourth Howard County mystery (after 2018’s Ice on the Bay). After the waters recede, human bones are found in a storefront, and a skull turns up in an adjacent state park. Det. Lt. Rick Peller, a 30-year veteran, investigates and discovers the bones belonged to a man about 20 years old and may hold the key to an open mystery. William Ferring, the grandfather of James Ferring IV, the current operator of the family bakery business, disappeared decades earlier when he was around that age. As Peller and his colleagues try to nail down the identification of the skeletal remains, he pursues the possibility that there’s a connection to a more recent crime. James’s distant cousin Chuck Ferring, a gun store owner, was robbed by crooks who left behind a threatening note reading: “Your life will be destroyed. Your means will be taken. Your weapons will turn against you. The wronged will be avenged. The end has begun.” Lehman’s carefully constructed plot resolves itself satisfactorily. Admirers of intelligent crime fiction will be eager for a sequel. (Self-published)