Review: Dr. Ellen Christie, a San Francisco-based anthropologist, has visions of academic stardom when a stranger brings her evidence that he knows the location of a collection of bones thought to be those of the lost "Peking Man" in Skulduggery, a newly reissued edition of a novel by Carolyn Hart, first published in 1984.
In 1941 the Chinese government, fearing an invasion of the Japanese army, placed the ancient bones in two wooden crates and arranged for their shipment to the US for safekeeping. They were never seen again. In 1980, Jimmy Lee calls upon Christie with a skull, which she believes is, indeed, part of the missing Peking Man bones. Finding the skeleton(s) would be of immense scientific interest; of course, the bones would also be worth a small fortune to those, who would pay much to obtain to. While Christie follow Jimmy to the location of the ancient artifacts in Chinatown, she loses track of him and he disappears. She enlists the aid of Jimmy's brother, Dan, to help find him … before someone else does.
Skulduggery is a relatively short (175 pages), fast-reading, action-packed adventure mystery. A combination of historical fact — the bones remain unfound to this day — and modern (for mid-1980s, when it was originally published) fiction, the storyline is well-developed and populated with an interesting cast of characters. An enjoyable book worthy of being rediscovered, as it were, by a new generation of mystery readers.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Skulduggery.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided a copy of Skulduggery for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death Walked In
William Morrow (Hardcover), March 2008
ISBN-13: 9780060724054; ISBN-10: 0060724056
The Devereaux Legacy
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), February 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616147044; ISBN-10: 1616147040
Location(s) referenced in Skulduggery: San Francisco, California
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Skulduggery by Carolyn Hart
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: November 2012
List Price: $13.95