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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bones and Roses: Cypress Bay Mystery

Eileen Goudge's Bones and Roses had an intriguing premise (was it murder?), so I scooped it up this week and bit into it like a sandwich.

Tish has been a long-time resident of Cypress Bay, so much so that it remembers how bad she was even when she has forgotten. Where she once had a drinking problem, Tish is now sober and getting along in her rental-management business. That is, until the day she finds her mother's long-lost petrified body in a storage locker. She thought her mother ran out on the family years ago--but clearly she was murdered. Tish is willing to go to extremes to find out what really happened to her mother all those years ago, even if it means risking her own life when she finds out the sinister underpinnings of those she thought she knew best.

I love a good murder mystery, so I found this book to be a lovely addition to my weekly commute. The story was intriguing with its fair share of twists and turns, but I have to say what I liked best about it was the relationships and Tish herself. I found Tish, who is the first-person narrator, to be a sympathetic character even when she was being a genuine pain in the rear. She was a realistic character, one who makes poor decisions that are understandable yet really dumb. It was endearing and very relateable. I also think Goudge made a strong decision by making Tish a recovering alcoholic; it allowed for a lot of back-story and relationship complications that made the plot interesting and moved it forward.

The relationships between Tish and those around her are funny at times (for example, with Spence, the police detective whose car she lit on fire in high school after he ruined her reputation) and really lovely and full of long-time love and affection (with Ivy, her best friend since childhood). The weave of Tish's world was something I have never experienced--the living of life in a town you grew up in, where everyone knows you and remembers all of your best and worst moments, the ones you simply want to forget. The relationships drove the story, and they are worth spending time with to enjoy the narrative.

Also, I would love one of Ivy's bug dioramas--they sound amazing.

Kindle copy for purchase below. ($4.99! It's a steal!)


  1. Omigod, Nicole, you totally made my day! Thank you! Your review validates my choices in creating a character who doesn't fit the typical amateur-sleuth heroine mold but who's...well, me. The me I would be if it I didn't feel need to be polite to everyone all the time. As for the dioramas, guess what - you CAN own one. The character of Ivy was inspired by my artist friend Lisa who sells her bug dioramas from her curio shop in S.F. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/lisawoodcuriosities/photos_stream

  2. I am glad you are happy, Eileen! I enjoyed the book, so thank you. I am going to check out Lisa's page. I may be in love!