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by Yasmine Galenorn
Berkley, December 2005
288 pages
ISBN: 0425207269

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Emerald O'Brien, single mother, psychic sensitive and teashop owner, is happy with her life. Her business is successful, her children are thriving and she's met a wonderful younger man and they plan to make it permanent very soon. When her beau starts the paperwork to purchase the empty lot next to her house and they start to clear it out, they uncover the basement of a mansion that burned down 50 years before. From the first moment Emerald sees the remains of the house she gets very bad vibes from the place.

Before long the family's beloved cat disappears and there are sightings of a ghost cat! Then when strange globes of light start to swim around the area and Emerald discovers they are menacing Will o'the Wisps, known to lead people to danger, she forbids her children to go near it, hoping that the forces uncovered in the lot won't spread to her home.

When her daughter, usually one to refuse to acknowledge spirits, tells of a sad ghost outside her bedroom door, Emerald calls on her learned friends, all regulars in the series, to help her find out why the spirits are so unsettled. Only then can they cleanse the lot, put everything to rest and guarantee the safety of her children.

But it won't be an easy task. The people who owned the lot suddenly refuse to complete the sale and in addition won't permit them to set foot on the land, and because it's so close to Halloween, other more malevolent spirits are making things even tougher for the living.

This is the fourth book in the Chintz 'n China Mystery series by author Yasmine Galenorn and it was a marvelous read. Though it has many of the attributes of more light-hearted cozies -- an older woman after a bad marriage is finding happiness with an absolutely perfect younger man, her business and her children are also perfect and a source of joy -- A HARVEST OF BONES has a more solemn core. Bad things are indeed going on and there's real danger and a history of a heart-breaking death.

Luckily Emerald's friends are all well acquainted with the spirit world and find everything she says about the haunted lot makes sense. Many of the regulars of the series are here, including Emerald's dearly departed grandmother, her best pal, a policewoman and the biker man she loves and an American Indian Wise Woman to give balance to the spiritual traditions.

A HARVEST OF BONES is a fine blend of ghost story and murder mystery that will keep you enchanted. The Chintz 'n China Mystery series has an interesting location, a cast of down-to-earth spiritualists and a solid story of family love at its core. For a strong cozy, read A HARVEST OF BONES.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, February 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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