Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Carolyn Hart Classics
Carolyn Hart

Seventh Street Books
Nov 2012/ ISBN 978-1-61614-706-8

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

I just love Carolyn Hart’s mystery series. Her characters are realistic, ranging from down-to-earth to bigger- than- life. Hart’s “Death on Demand” series revolves around a mystery bookstore, and “Baily Ruth” books are about a murder and mystery-solving ghost. The “Henrie O” series features a crime-busting, retired newswoman. Well known to most serious mystery book fans, the three series are all favorites of mine.

It was when Seventh Street Books, the publisher of Skulduggery offered a review copy to that I became aware of a separate body of Hart’s work; a series of stand-alone books, representing her earlier work and dating back as far as the 1970’s.

Skulduggery, set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is a fascinating look into the complexity of the community. The mystery revolves around the discovery and black-market for the bones of the Peking Man, one of mankind’s earliest ancestors. The skull and bones have surfaced in Chinatown, and have provoked greed to some in the community, while others hope to serve their brethren with the sale of the bones.

I wasn’t at all sure that I would like this book, as it was so different from Hart’s more recent work. Yet, being a thin volume, it wouldn’t take too much time to read and review if I didn’t like it. Was I ever surprised to find that I loved it, and really wanted it to go on and on, or at least discover it evolved into another series that had eluded me. Fans of Hart, and mystery lovers in general should enjoy “Skulduggery.” It is a fast read, and is also exciting and brought alive by the author’s use of well-worded descriptions that set the scene for an interesting mystery and a population of true-to-life characters.

If I had to name one thing I learned from this book, it is that one should never doubt that Carolyn Hart is one of the best mystery authors of our time. I don’t think she could write a bad book if she tried.


Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012