Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Leigh Perry on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Family Skeleton Mystery
1. A Skeleton in the Family
2. The Skeleton Takes a Bow
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, The Skeleton Takes a Bow, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature
And the best performance as a skull goes to…
After years of hiding in the Thackery family house, Sid the skeleton is delighted to finally have his moment in the spotlight. He’s starring in a high school production of Hamlet. Well, not so much starring in as being a prop. At least part of him has a part—he’s using his head to play Yorick of “Alas, poor Yorick” fame. Every day, Georgia Thackery’s daughter, Madison, who’s also in the play, brings in his skull, and every night, she takes him home...
Until one night when he’s accidentally left at school—and hears the sounds of someone being murdered. But the next day, there’s no body and no one seems to be missing.
Sid is not a numbskull—he knows what he heard. Georgia thinks he imagined it—until a week later when a body is found. Now Georgia and Sid will both need to keep their heads as they stick their necks out and play sleuth to catch the conscience of a killer…
Leigh Perry brings readers the second book in her Family Skeleton Mystery series, The Skeleton Takes a Bow. This series takes the old saying, "skeleton's in the closet' to a new level. Sid, the walking, talking skeleton is a remarkable character. Readers who take the time to embrace new ideas of what a character can and should be, will love this one! Perry's writing has paranormal elements, good old fashioned sleuthing and a wry sense of humor. This is a book and series readers won't soon forget!
What I liked:
There were several things that I liked about this book. The Skeleton Takes a Bow is the second in the series. Leigh Perry introduced Sid in the first book and described his relationship with Georgia. That's about all the background the reader needs to have in order to enjoy this book. It might be hard for some readers to adjust to Sid, the skeleton being a real character, but he is definitely the character that defines this series. I think Perry is really on to something with this idea. I wonder what other inanimate objects could possibly be characters? There is certainly tons of potential with this series and readers are in for a treat with Sid.
In this particular book, Perry also uses one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, Hamlet. I thought this was a nice touch and a great nod to one of the greatest literary genius' of all time. Hamlet, also takes a bit of poetic license with characterizations. Using Sid to be Yorick's skull was a fantastic idea and I think it worked really well for this book. I was a little surprised that the story did not focus more on the production of the play, for the mystery aspects, but the SAT test ring was also a great plot line.
The mystery itself was not what I expected but definitely believable and interesting. When Sid ends up at school overnight, he thinks he hears what could have been a murder. I liked the way Perry went about bringing Sid and Georgia into the investigation. It turns out that this mystery was about something totally different than the school's production of Hamlet. I liked the test ring plot because it was unusual and it fit with the idea that this is an unusual series. I like being surprised and this one really did that.
What I didn't like:
Georgia and Madison are wonderful characters, but they are a bit more secondary to the story. Sid is the star of the show and that is perhaps, not what what Perry originally envisioned. I think Sid was supposed to be more of a sidekick. That's not to say that this is bad, because I think Sid is amazing. It's one of those situations where the story just kind of takes over.
I like this series. It is certainly unusual and in the world of cozies that is a very good thing. I like the fact that Perry takes an inanimate object and makes him an amazing character. Sid is wonderful. There were a few hiccups here in there in the pacing of things and I wish that Georgia had a bigger role, but all in all, a good addition to the series.
The Skeleton Takes a Bow is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Leigh Perry is also the author of A Skeleton in the Family.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Skeleton Takes a Bow by Leigh Perry.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 9th.
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