Review: The Family Skeleton Series by Leigh Perry

Who thought a skeleton could be so charming?

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting series with twists that capture my imagination but still have the comforting characters that make a mystery a cozy. The Family Skeleton Series by Leigh Perry falls firmly in that category.

The series begins as Dr. Georgia Thackery, an adjunct professor of literature, returns to her hometown of Pennycross, Massachussetts. There she reconnects with her best friend from childhood, Sid. But Georgia hasn’t told her teenage daughter about Sid, mainly because he is living in the attic of her parent’s house. Oh, and he’s also a skeleton.

While it sounds more than a little crazy, Sid is not your ordinary set of bones. He walks, he talks, he has an affinity for bad jokes, loves Agatha Christie, and is an eternal optimist. He has been part of the Thackery family since he came home from a carnival with Georgia when she was a child.

Beginning with A Skeleton in the Family, Georgia and Sid partner together to solve murders. The big mystery tackled in the first book is the one the living have never been able to reconcile: who is Sid and where did he come from?

When I found this series a few months ago, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. A talking skeleton was a little strange at first, but I found myself rooting for Sid, especially when he and Georgia investigate his own murder. His character is fully fleshed out, so to speak, and he is able to express himself, something you might not expect when your face is a skull (did he really just roll his eye sockets?) As a harried adjunct faculty member never sure how long she’ll have a job, Georgia tries to make it all work for her daughter while making sure no one learns of the family secret living in the attic.

The stories are well plotted and the reading is easy, making it perfect for a lazy afternoon.

I just finished the fourth installment, The Skeleton Paints a Picture, and am looking forward to the latest, The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking, due out on September 24th. In all the books in the series, Georgia and Sid make a great detective team: she does the legwork while he sleuths through the dark corners of the internet where his looks don’t matter.

I recommend the Family Skeleton Series to anyone who loves cozies and is looking for a cast of characters a bit out of the ordinary.

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