Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: A Skeleton in the Family

A Skeleton in the Family (Family Skeleton - Book 1) by Leigh Perry

Publication Date: 09/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425255840
ISBN-13: 978-0425255841

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Leigh Perry ( aka. Toni L.P. Kelner) on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from A Skeleton in the Family, courtesy of the author's website.


Most families have skeletons in their closets…
Moving back into her parents’ house with her teenage daughter had not been Georgia Thackery’s “Plan A.” But when she got a job at the local college, it seemed the sensible thing to do. So she settled in and began reconnecting with old friends.
Including Sid. Sid is the Thackery family’s skeleton. He’s lived in the house as long as Georgia can remember, although no one, including Sid, knows exactly where he came from and how he came to be a skeleton.
Sid walks, he talks, he makes bad jokes, he tries to keep Georgia’s dog from considering him a snack.  And he manages to persuade Georgia to let him leave the house. But when she takes him to an anime convention—disguised as a skeleton, of course—he sees a woman who triggers memories of his past.
Now he is determined to find out how he died—with Georgia’s help.  But their investigation may uncover a killer who’s still alive and well and bad to the bone…


Leigh Perry has created some delightful characters for the first book in Family Skeleton series, A Skeleton in the Family. One of those characters just happens to be animated skeleton, who can walk, talk, read and even has a favorite movie. This off-beat paranormal cozy will resonate with a lot of different types of readers, from the single mom, to the professor, to the paranormal enthusiast. There is literally something for everyone!

I had a feeling this book would be right up my alley. I tend to like paranormal cozies, but this one didn't feature the typical ghost or psychic... this has a skeleton in the closet. I loved Sid from the first page to the last. Perry uses dry humor and wit to bring Sid to life. With all of his one liners he could have been a comedian. Protagonist Georgia, nor Sid really know what he was, or who he was. He's been a part of the family for 30 years and is obviously Georgia's best friend and sidekick. It was a very original premise that I think readers will appreciate.

Georgia is hero in my opinion. A single mother of a teenage daughter. That's something I know a little bit about since I'm the mother of two teenage daughters myself. Let me tell you... it ain't easy! I loved the mother daughter relationship that Perry creates between Georgia and Madison. I thought this really added to the plot and gave the reader a little something more to be interested than the skeleton. 

Being a professor as well a mom, Georgia has a lot on her plate. I liked the fact that the author uses the college as part of the setting in this one. It gave it a smart, intelligent quality that is missing in some cozies. It was happy that this cozy was so different from the norm. It was quirky and funny and made you care about the characters, even Sid. Georgia is the kind of heroine that readers will want to see succeed and in this case finding out who Sid was is only the beginning. 

The mystery aspect of the story was very well written. The clues were straight forward and the way Gerogia goes about solving the crime was just what a expected from a well learned professional. She may be an amateur sleuth, but she's no slouch when it comes to analysis and putting two and two together. I have a feeling that Sid with play a big part as her sidekick and partner in crime in this series and I think the whole skeleton idea was genius. I sometimes wonder... how do they come up with stuff???

Can't wait to see what's next for dynamic duo! Looking forward to book two.

A Skeleton in the Family is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Leigh Perry is a pseudonym for Toni L.P. Kelner, who is an award-winning mystery author, and the co-editor, with Charlaine Harris, of a series of New York Times bestselling fantasy-mystery anthologies, including Many Bloody ReturnsWolfsbane & MistletoeDeath's Excellent Vacation; An Apple for the Creature, and Home Improvement: Undead Edition.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 26th.

1. Please leave a comment describing an encounter with a skeleton, Halloween or otherwise.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

When I was very young and went out for Hallow'een in the old days walking the neighborhood, we encountered many scary costumes, but the skeleton was memorable for its uniqueness and realistic qualities. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Dotty Kelley said...

My uncle used to dress up as a skeleton to give out candy to the kids on halloween.

Linda Kish said...

My skeleton encounters have been in doctor's offices and in classes in nursing school. I have always enjoyed looking at them but, they haven't jumped down and walked around like Sid.

Charlotte said...

Can't think of any.

ann said...

One year we were trick or treating and we walked by this scary man sitting and he looked fake he wasnt moving or nothing even when we touched him, once we got our candy he jumped up and scared us - we run really fast then

Rita Wray said...

I've never had an encounter with a skeleton and don't want one, they scare me.

Carol N Wong said...

When I was about four ot five years old, my father was in Med School and he had a real skeleton!
I think they were loaned to the students. That was before plastic ones. I didn't that it was somebody's bones before so I considered it as one of my toys. I played a lot with it.


NoraA said...

I love paranormal cozies, with a twist... Usually it's a ghost or guiding spirit. A skeleton is definitely a first and most likely going to be a huge winner.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I never believed in skeletons.

lag123 said...

This is offbeat! I think I would love it.

Wendy Newcomb said...

Another good new series it sounds like, thank you for the chance to win the first book.


bn100 said...

like Halloween decorations

Sue Farrell said...

My only contact with a skeleton is using small paper ones to decorate on Halloween.

Carol M said...

I have a key chain skeleton! It's about four inches long!

Linda said...

No skeletons in my closet! They're usually out dancing on the front lawn with the ghosts, witches, goblins, and black cats! For Halloween, of course! Love the idea of this series. I'm looking forward to reading.

Karin said...

I've seen skeleton decorations at Halloween, but that's about it! I have no good skeleton stories.

Michelle F. said...

I think my mother had a big Halloween decoration that was a skeleton. I don't know if it glowed in the dark. When I was a kid trick or treating I was scared by a guy who answered the door in a Yoda costume. He didn't do anything scary, but his costume scared me. I wasn't into Star Wars. I'd love to read this book; it sounds great!

Karen B said...

One year we had a door covering with a skeleton on it but no one much cared for it! After Halloween we cut it up and the boys used the back side for drawing/coloring.