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Her Boyfriend's Bones: A Dinah Pelerin Mystery (Dinah Pelerin Mysteries) Hardcover – June 4, 2013
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Cultural anthropologist Dinah Pelerin arrives on the Greek island of Samos to spend the summer with her Norwegian boyfriend, detective Thor Ramberg. They are staying in an old house that once belonged to movie star Marlita Stephan, who was executed for murdering her boyfriend, his mother, and a powerful colonel in the Greek junta in 1973. Thor is fascinated by this crime, and Dinah soon learns that his vacation involves more than romance. Samos is a transit point for refugees fleeing the Middle East as well as a site for trading arms, some of which have wound up in the hands of terrorists in Norway. When an Iraqi immigrant with fake identification is gunned down outside the restaurant where Thor and Dinah are dining, Thor sets out to follow a possible link to arms traders. But he disappears after his car goes over a cliff. Dinah searches for him, turning up links between his disappearance and the events of 1973. This is a fine suspense novel with a strong female sleuth and a compelling setting. --Barbara Bibel
""Cultural anthropologist Dinah Pelerin arrives on the Greek island of Samos to spend the summer with her Norwegian boyfriend, detective Thor Ramberg. They are staying in an old house that once belonged to movie star Marlita Stephan, who was executed for murdering her boyfriend, his mother, and a powerful colonel in the Greek junta in 1973. Thor is fascinated by this crime, and Dinah soon learns that his vacation involves more than romance. Samos is a transit point for refugees fleeing the Middle East as well as a site for trading arms, some of which have wound up in the hands of terrorists in Norway. When an Iraqi immigrant with fake identification is gunned down outside the restaurant where Thor and Dinah are dining, Thor sets out to follow a possible link to arms traders. But he disappears after his car goes over a cliff. Dinah searches for him, turning up links between his disappearance and the events of 1973. This is a fine suspense novel with a strong female sleuth and a compelling setting.""--Booklist
""Jeanne Matthews is Agatha Christie trekking the planet. In Her Boyfriend’s Bones we’re off to the Aegean Greek island of Samos and an interesting take on recent Greek history filled with plot twists and colorful characters to match.""--Jeffrey Sieger, author of the Chief Inspector Kaldis mysteries
""Matthews' mastery of every foreign clime she's touched so far will leave readers panting for Dinah's next, almost literally, breakneck adventure. I envy this author's ability to absorb and use international backgrounds and current events to combine page-turning adventure with subtle education for us enthralled readers.""--Rob Kresge, author of the Warbonnet historical mysteries and the Civil War spy novel, Saving Lincoln
""If the bleak arctic winter isn’t enough to chill Dinah to the bone, a couple of murders and an attempt on her life put the icing on that cake. Just the right amount of character development and plot twists will please cozy fans.""--PW about Bonereapers
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The villa is located on the island of Samos--famous for its sweet wine, birthplace of Pythagoras and Hera, queen of the Olympian gods. Dinah plans on joining an archaeological dig in Turkey at the end of summer after basking in the land of the Greek mythology. The perfect summer vacation awaits her. Or, so it seems.
Idyllic as the setting is, Dinah's dream vacation is startlingly interrupted on day one of it. She and Thor spotted a body as they were walking home from the village taverna--the same man who they just saw arguing with an old man--is now sprawled on the ground with a gaping hole in his chest. The murder was so recent that the body is still warm. Dinah starts to believe that trouble follows her wherever she goes. Thor goes back into "policeman mode full-throttle."
Dinah has also learned that their vacation villa was the home of the local movie star of the 60s, Marilita Stephan, who was accused of committing three murders on a remote beach on Samos: her boyfriend, his mother, and a powerful colonel in the military junta. Marilita was arrested and tried for the crime, and executed later by a firing squad in nineteen-seventy-three--several days before her fortieth birthday. Dinah is more than a little perturbed when she also discovers that Thor is fascinated by the circumstances of the event and that is why he chose this particular Greek island and this particular villa for their romantic holiday.
To add to the complications, Dinah's troubled and out-of-hand sixteen-year-old niece, K.D., turns up on their vacation villa's doorsteps. K.D. adds her own lively dimension into the storyline as only a sixteen- year-old teenager could. The rosiness of Dinah's romantic getaway is turning as blue as the Aegean.
Enter the CIA and Interpol, false identification papers, the Norwegian Intelligence, terrorist guns, suspicious locals, and old grudges, secret letters, and "evil eyes" everywhere--all seemingly connecting back to Marilita Stephan.
Thor disappears, but his car is found plunged off a cliff. Contrary to what everyone tells her, Dinah believes that Thor is still alive and that she must find him before it is too late. Dinah doesn't know who to believe or trust--especially the local police. The suspense rapidly intensifies as she starts piecing the clues together, which place Dinah and her niece in peril as they frantically search for Thor.
Ms. Matthews is adept at placing the reader into the hardships of the current Greek economic debt crisis as well as interjecting bits of history and mythology into her compelling story-line. By doing so, she captures the essence of the day-to-day life of modern Greeks who must eke out a living in exacerbating politico/economic circumstances as they live and work in the shadows of the temple ruins of the golden age of Greece.
Feel the Mediterranean heat, the treacherous traverses of the island's landscape, the scent of the wild thyme, and the ever changing colors of the Aegean Sea as Ms. Matthews evocative descriptions take you to Samos. She places you at the local village taverna where you hear the buzz of gossip and feel the rumble of the "Tourkos" F16s as they roar overhead. The colorful characters and intriguing plot twists make Her Boyfriend's Bones a gratifying and diverting page-turner.
"Her Boyfriend's Bones," is the fourth novel in the entertaining and marvelously researched Dinah Pelerin mystery series. Readers need not look any further to be transported to adventures faraway.
Matthews possesses that unique talent of being able to make every single one of her characters come alive on the page for you. Not only is she able to pull you into the sun-drenched landscape of Samos. But you find yourselves deeply entwined in the lives and fates of all of the characters who cross the pages in front of you. Matthews also possesses that rare ability to make every single character you encounter leap off the page at you - each distinctly unique and memorable in their own way. And she is able to do this with every single character you encounter as you are hurled head first into trying to unlock the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of her hunky boyfriend - who deserves a series of his own (Jeanne is you're listening here).
For any reader still not convinced that Jeanne Matthews is a writer you most definitely want to follow - HER BOYFRIEND'S BONES is one of the best introductions to an ongoing series that I have encountered in years and years of reading. And I would not hesitate for a nanosecond to urge you to pick up any of Jeanne Matthews books.
You won't be disappointed.
In addition to the usual devices mystery writers utilize to keep us from guessing the outcome of their stories she used wonderful humor and juxtaposition. Who would ever think that someone named Thor Ramberg could be an important character in a mystery set on the Greek island of Samos; land where the myths of Heracles abound?
While this story acknowledges ancient Greek custom including reliance on metaphor, it deftly delivers us onto a Greek Island replete with cell phones and modern family and economic dysfunction. It details political proximities and events that are current.
"Her Boyfriend's Bones" transports at different levels, always being faithful to solving its mystery. It is not a long read but it did give me a fresh point of view while it piqued my curiosity further regarding the Aegean Sea, Greece and Turkey.