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Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It
Five Star Mystery Series
Jen J. Danna with Ann Vanderlaan

Five Star (an imprint of Gale/Cengage)
June 5, 2013 /ISBN: 1432826956
Forensic Mystery (Hardcover)

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

This is the first release in a planned series written by two scientific researchers.

When a stray human bone is found on the Massachusetts coast, homicide detective Leigh Abbott is assigned to the case. With only a single bone to go on, she asks forensic anthropologist Matt Lowell for help. Matt and his team of three anthropology students, Kiko, Paul and Juka, determine that a grave was uncovered due to a recent storm surge. They search for the original burial site in the marshes along Essex Bay Coast and find a decomposed body missing a head. Matt examines the body and takes DNA samples, and discovers that the bones don't match the original bone Leigh gave him. Both he and Leigh suspect there may be more dismembered bodies and hope that a serial killer is not on the loose. Matt, his students and Leigh return to the marsh, little knowing the killer anticipates their return.

I loved this story and characters. Leigh is smart and sexy, and Matt's immediate desire to help with the investigation pleases Leigh. She, in turn, realizes Matt is a determined, strong willed and extremely sexy man. Leigh and Matt share a common desire beyond that of sexual attraction: the desire to find justice for nameless victims.

Riveting, realistic and suspenseful, Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It is a deftly woven story and the best forensics mystery I've read in years. It has everything a lover of mystery wants: a solid, fast-paced and realistic plot, characters so believable they're like close friends, the perfect touch of romance, and an edge-of-your-seat story that will keep you reading well into the early morning hours. I didn't want the book to end and eagerly await the next release in this exciting new series.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2013