Friday, October 29, 2010

Buried Diamonds by April Henry

book cover

Buried Diamonds
by April Henry

ISBN-13: 978-0373265329
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Worldwide Mystery Library
Released: June 2005

Source: Bought at a library book sale.

Book Description from Back Cover:
When former vanity license plate inspector Claire Montrose finds a valuable diamond ring embedded in an old stone wall, she's uncovered more than lost jewelry - she's just unwittingly exposed a fifty-year-old murder.

Claire's octogenarian housemate, Charlie, recognizes the ring with shock. It belonged to Elizabeth Ellsworth, a woman who broke off her engagement fifty years earlier, then killed herself. All the "old gang" believed Elizabeth had returned the ring, so how did it get buried inside a stone wall?

As half-century-old questions resurface about the incident, Claire discovers more about the terrible secrets Elizabeth kept--and why someone wanted her dead. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more Claire realizes that someone believes old crimes must stay all cost.

My Review:
Buried Diamonds is a mystery with a historical element since there were flashbacks to events that occurred in 1952 and 1944. While the mystery was interesting and the solution not obvious, the clues weren't as subtle as they could have been. However, it felt realistic that Claire and the others didn't figure it out sooner. Like real people, the guilty person let slip things they shouldn't have yet Claire and the other characters "heard" what they assumed was meant rather than what was actually said.

The characters were varied and sometimes quirky. The suspense was created by tension in personal relationships and from physical danger. The setting details did a good job of bringing the story alive in my imagination.

There was a very minor amount of bad language. It was implied that most of the characters were having unmarried sex, but there were no sex scenes. Overall, it was an interesting mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter Two
Detouring around the flattened carcass of a dead crow, reduced to not much more than feathers, Claire Montrose ran past Portland's Gabriel Park. At every fourth step, she exhaled just as her right heel hit the ground, the rhythm automatic. It was interrupted by a high-pitched squeal that penetrated past the buds of her headphones, startling Claire and temporarily blotting out Tori Amos singing about a man and a gun. Looking over her shoulder, Claire saw a toddler coasting to the bottom of a short orange plastic slide, her chubby arms raised in triumph.

Claire returned her attention to the road, just in time to narrowly miss stepping on the body of a plump squirrel. She leapt over it and then stopped for a moment, jogging in place. The squirrel looked whole and unharmed, if you didn't consider the fact that it wasn't moving and that its black bead eye never blinked. There wasn't any blood that she could see. Overhead, telephone and power lines laced the sky. Poor thing must have lost its footing. Maybe it was only stunned. For a moment Claire imagined the squirrel getting to its feet, shaking itself, and then scampering off.

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