Book Title: Bones of the Redeemed (A Southwestern Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category: Adult Fiction, 298 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery (1952)
Publisher: Bosque Publishing
Release date: November 2020
Tour dates: Nov 9 to Dec 4, 2020
Content Rating: R for abuse, does contain the f-word a few times
A pit of corpses. An ancient cult. A quest for redemption that could leave her dead… New Mexico, 1952. Archaeology grad student Ruby Delgado is plagued by guilt after losing her son. So when her latest excavation drops her down a sinkhole filled with suspiciously mutilated bodies, she’s driven to bring the murderer to justice. But when digging deeper brings her dangerously close to a sinister religious sect, she could be their next sacrifice… Discovering some of the victims were crucified, Ruby pushes hard to give the evidence to the authorities. But when her trail crosses the path of a beaten man left for dead in the desert, she realizes she may be the only person who can save the community. Can Ruby stop the sacrifices and slay her inner demons, or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is a hair-raising standalone Southwestern mystery. If you like complex heroines, cult conflict, and hard-won redemption, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s grisly tale.
However, after reading so many fabulous reviews for Kari Bovee’s Annie Oakley Mystery series, I felt compelled to step out of my comfort zone and read her new release, Bones of the Redeemed, which is not set in the wild west, but rather 1950s Southwest. That’s close enough to the present time so that I didn’t have to step too far out of my comfort zone.
I was not disappointed.
Archaeology grad student Ruby Delgado literally stumbles upon a mystery when she falls through a sinkhole and lands on top of a mound of dead bodies. Now one would think that would grab the full attention of the local law enforcement. To her surprise, a cover-up, not an investigation, begins. Now a mystery is afoot!
Bones of the Redeemed is a fast-paced thrill ride with an intelligent, strong (though flawed) protagonist in the character of Ruby, an archaeologist striving to build a career after suffering horrendous personal and professional setbacks.
I have found that too often, mysteries with female leads make their protagonists so perfect that it is hard to relate to them. Such was not the case with Ruby. Her passion and intelligence is a double edge sword—especially at a time when women were expected to keep quiet and do as they are told. Combine that with her inner demons (guilt over the death of her son), and it is nothing but an uphill battle for this sympathetic character who single-handedly takes on an investigation to uncover a remote, religious community’s deadly secrets and identify a murderer.
One could applaud Ruby’s courage in her conviction to get to the truth, while at the same time sympathizing with her circumstance. Unsure of who to trust, Ruby was very much alone for her mission for much of the book. Most people in her circumstance would have climbed into her broken down vehicle and got out of Dodge. Not Ruby. This is what made her such a fabulous character.
Kari Bovee’s Bones of the Redeemed is a thrilling mystery with everything mystery-lovers require—great characters, mysterious setting, plenty of suspects, and tons of suspense. This one gets Five Stars from me!
An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.
Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.