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Ruth Willmarth


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Mad Season
Harvest of Bones
Poison Apples
Stolen Honey
Fire and Ice
Mad Cow     Nightmare
The above 5 novels in print, and now
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The Losing


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The Pea Soup

Agatha Award 2006
Best Children's/YA Novel
Down the Strings
The Great Circus
    Train Robbery

Agatha Finalist


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Nancy Means Wright

Harvest of Bones

Harvest of Bones Book Cover
Hardcover - St. Martin's Press

Harvest of Bones Book Cover
Paperback - Author's Guild

One fall, Zelda, the least charming cow to ever appear in print, escapes the pasture on Ruth Willmarth's Vermont farm and unearths a human finger bone with a ring on it. With her neighbor Fay Hubbard and Colm Hanna, an undertaker and police detective, Ruth tries to find the identity of the skeleton fragment while she cares for her family and struggling farm.

Read Chapter One of Harvest of Bones.

Reviews & Comments:

Wright's second mystery, following Mad Season (1996), combines a finely wrought mystery with some superb local color. The autumnal New England landscape and the feel of changing seasons are captured perfectly, as are the rigors of attempting to farm thin Vermont soil. The book's multiple mysteries are demanding and carefully presented, and the realistic, sympathetic characters prove engaging, regardless of age, occupation, or moral outlook. Wright melds setting and character with the skill of Stephen Dobyns in his Saratoga mysteries. John Rowen - Booklist

Wright (Mad Season, 1996) again pits small-town Vermonters against outsiders in this well-wrought tale of past crimes haunting the present. Ruth Willmarth, deserted by her handsome farmer husband, is beset on all sides. She has the farm to manage, a teenaged daughter anxious for her parents to reunite, and there are suspicious doings next door, where Fay Hubbard has turned the Flint farm into a B&B. After Ruth's farmhand finds a buried fingerbone, Fay's dog unearths a skeleton missing a finger. Hartley Flint, the daughter of Fay's landlord, arrives with her befuddled Great Aunt Glenna, who identifies the skeleton as her former husband whom she may have murdered. Ruth's occasional suitor, Colm Hanna—real estate agent, cop and mortician—discovers that Glenna's ex is alive in Manhattan. Establishing the skeleton's identity and cause of death hinge on solving a 20-year-old puzzle. Meanwhile, the police investigate a poisoning at Healing House, a home for abused women, and the suspicious behavior of the dead woman's husband as well as that of old Alwyn Bagshaw, whose property abuts Healing House. Although Wright relies on some coincidences to resolve the mystery, she evokes a strong sense of place and creates realistic characters coping with human—and humorous—problems. Publishers Weekly

...vividly offbeat characters and warm accounts of life on the farm...a solid follow-up to Wright's promising first outing (Mad Season, 1996). Kirkus Reviews









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