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Crescent Blues Book ViewsOnyx (Paperback), ISBN 045141119-6

Beverly Connor changed publishing houses, protagonist and setting, but maintains the highly detailed forensic descriptions that made her first series featuring Lindsay Chamberlain so appealing. Again drawing on her experience as an archaeologist, Connor creates Diane Fallon, a forensic anthropologist who packs away her excavation tools and turns her energy toward resurrecting the RivertTrail Museum of Natural History in Georgia.

Book: beverly connor, one grave too many
Following extensive renovations, the museum reopens with Diane as director. Board member Mark Grayson attempts a coup, hoping to sabotage Diane's reputation and win his fellow board members' votes to sell the museum. Diane stands firmly in his path while trying to understand his determination to sell a museum so perfectly situated from both a geographic and a financial standpoint.

When Detective Frank Duncan reenters her life and asks her to identify a bone, Diane hesitates. She still struggles with the death of her daughter and the traumatic stress leftover from excavating mass graves in South America. Her work on that dig led to the overthrow of a vicious dictator. Now she perpetually looks over her shoulder for the dictator's hit man. The fear and stress of these experiences led her to quit forensics.

But how can she ignore the desperation of the family that fears the bone belongs to their runaway daughter? The situation closely echoes the plight of the families of the dictator's victims. But Diane's friendly gesture drags her into a life and death search for the rest of the body -- and a killer who displays no compunction about killing anyone who might connect him to the corpse.

In her characteristic, non-nonsense writing style, Connor presents readers with an insider look into museum politics (similar to academia). She provides forensic evidence and facts, and delves into the lives of interesting people -- some near perfect, others evil. She creates a world where personal and professional problems and pleasures swirl around each other, giving readers much to consider and several mysteries to solve.

With less gore than CSI and more estrogen than Indiana Jones, this series should satisfy mystery readers who enjoy a well-told story as well as a puzzle solved with fact and science.

Dawn Goldsmith

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