Day 164: The Bone Garden

Cover for The Bone GardenThe Bone Garden is one of Tess Gerritsen’s Risoli and Isles series, but Isles only appears briefly, so it is more of a stand-alone mystery.

The novel takes place in two time periods. In the present day Julia Hamill has just purchased a 130-year-old house when she discovers an old skull in the overgrown garden. Medical examiner Maura Isles determines that the victim, a woman, was murdered long ago. Julia becomes fascinated with a box of newspaper clippings and letters that hold the key to the mystery.

In 1830’s Boston, Norris Marshall has joined the “resurrectionists,” grave robbers, in an effort to pay for his medical education. After a nurse and a doctor are murdered on the university hospital grounds, Norris finds he is a suspect. He seeks help from another student, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

I have only read a few Risoli and Isles books. I thought this one was passable, but I didn’t like it as well as others I have read. The attempt at 1830’s dialogue is awkward and painful to read, and in this case I didn’t see any reason to use a real historical person in the novel when a fictional one would have done just as well.

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