An ill wind scatters exactly the wrong bones over Tai Randolph’s suburban Atlanta neighborhood.
“Please please please, let the shop still have a roof,” prays Tai as a tornado bears down on the gun shop she inherited from her Uncle Dexter. She’s right to worry about the storm but not for the reason she thinks. Despite the contrary prayers of her meddlesome neighbor Brenda Lovejoy-Burlington, president of the Kennesaw Revitalization Commission, the shop is fine. The tornado has alighted instead on the tomb of Pvt. Braxton Amberdecker, the Confederate soldier whose remains were recovered and interred only two years ago, and scattered his bones all over the landscape. It’s sad news for matriarch Rose Amberdecker and her whole family. Even worse, the most cursory examination reveals telltale clues, like the presence of a NASCAR belt buckle, that the bones aren’t Braxton’s at all but those of Lucius Dufrene, a convicted thief who’d worked for Dexter and slept with Rose’s daughter, Chelsea, whose bridegroom, rising-star financier Jeremy Pratchett, knows nothing about the affair. A little bit of digging persuades Tai and her irresistible boyfriend, Trey Seaver, an ex-cop working for Phoenix Corporate Security, that the reason Lucius’ bones ended up in Braxton’s tomb has as much to do with Braxton as with Lucius. To unearth the connection between the two corpses, she’ll have to tangle with Civil War re-enactors, relic traders from the Russian Mafia and a ring of thieves stealing laundry detergent.
Tai’s fourth (Blood, Ash and Bone, 2013, etc.) connects murders past and present—not to mention the mystery and the hot-sheets romance—with gratifying conviction.