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Old School Bones [Paperback]

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Item description for Old School Bones by Randall Peffer...

Winter in a New England prep school brings term papers, wet snow, and the suicide of a young black student. Except Liberty Baker's friends are convinced she couldn't have taken her own life, and Liberty's faculty advisor, Awasha Patterson, believes them. She is desperate to believe any theory that Liberty's death was suspicious--Awasha turned the girl away the night of her death. If Liberty had been suicidal, Awasha had missed the signs.

But how to prove it? No one in the school wants to think that it could have been a racially-motivated crime; vague whispers of school-sanctioned secret societies are quickly stopped by the headmaster. Awasha can't let it rest, her guilt is consuming. So she seeks out help from a man she knows understands guilt--a man so sensitive, so compassionate to others, that it ruined his career as a defense attorney with one fateful case. Awasha finds Michael DeCastro on his father's fishing boat, and Michael knows from the moment he sees her that he's about to be haunted by another injustice. And he knows he'll give everything of himself until the spirits of the dead lie in peace.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   312
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 15, 2008
Publisher   Bleak House Books
ISBN  1932557865  
ISBN13  9781932557862  

Availability  0 units.

More About Randall Peffer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Randall Peffer is the author of eight nonfiction books, most with a nautical angle, as well as nine crime/suspense novels. His first book, Watermen, is a documentary of the lives of the Chesapeake's fishermen. It won the Baltimore Sun's Critic's Choice Award and was Maryland Book of the Year. His novel Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues was a Lambda Award finalist and has been optioned for film by producer Barr Potter of Tripod Entertainment. The son of a career naval officer, Peffer holds a 100-ton masters license and has logged over one hundred thousand miles at sea, mostly in traditional working vessels. Peffer teaches writing and literature at Phillips Academy, Andover.

Randall Peffer currently resides in Boston Boston Boston And.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Women Sleuths

Reviews - What do customers think about Old School Bones?

Page turner  Aug 17, 2008
As an educator, I am always looking for a great read during the summer. I picked up Old School Bones and could not put it down until I finished this exciting and captivating mystery. Set in a prep school, the story unfolds with great characters, action and insights into the "old school" relationships and culture at private schools. I starting reading as we motored through the Cape Cod Canal and never even put it down, even when I was on watch off shore, sailing to Maine. This was my favorite read of the summer. Mary Long
Peffer Delivers Again  Aug 15, 2008
Randall Peffer has followed up his kinky and edgy Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues with a rewarding sequel for his new age Paladin, disallusioned ex-district attorney, Michael DeCastro. The rich, off-beat setting of the murder mystery is in a blue blooded boarding prep school much like the one the author navigates every day. Teen-something dialogue and mind-mapping is hard to do right and the author nails it. The characters are nutty and true, the smell and taste of place unmistakably Cape Cod and the Islands; the heroes are flawed, smart, and real. Buckle your seat belts and find out who done what to whom. A master storyteller operating at the top of his craft.
Old School Bones  Aug 4, 2008
Michael DeCastro was formerly a defense attorney who now fills his time working on his father's fishing boat. But the entreaties of Awashonka "Awasha" Patterson, faculty adviser and Director of Minority Affairs at a New England prep school [once a boys' and a girls' school now integrated into one coed school, albeit still filled with sexist and racial prejudices] convince him to investigate the death of Liberty Baker, a young black student. The authorities have ruled it a suicide - she was found dead in a bathtub with her wrists slit - but Awasha and Liberty's dorm-mates think she was murdered - she had been the recipient of a racially charged death threat.

Apparently the girls had been investigating the existence, many years before, of secret societies at the school, banned 50 years ago, but whether or not they actually ceased to exist is another question. Now, with Liberty dead, the other girls feel threatened as well. And when the remains of, apparently, another student are discovered, that threat seems more real.

Old school ties are surely more benign than old school bones, but not necessarily.

There are various ethnicities which come into play - African-American, Native American, Portugese [Michael's father is referred to as a Portagee], Asian. Michael is a man haunted by his last case, to which frequent references are made [a bit more than necessary, to this reader, the point having been made and made again]. Awasha asks for his "counsel," saying "You know the legal system, how the police work, how to get their attention. You know what questions to ask to help us find Liberty's killer." And this time he wants to see justice done.

The writing, at times poetic, is at others unconvincing and clunky. As well, there are flashbacks by way of italicized passages, their references for quite a while obscure, and frequently as each chapter starts the characters involved in the action are not identified, making for initially more confusion. Despite these reservations, I found myself pulled into the book, which ultimately was a fast and interesting read, with unusual characters and a plot unlike any other I've read recently, surely not a bad thing.
New type of detective  Jul 14, 2008
I really liked this dark and fast paced mystery. Michael De Castro is a new kind of protagonist. The lawyer/detective/fisherman is an introspective, sensitive man who adds a deeper than usual dimension to the mystery. I'm looking forward to meeting him again in the next novel of this series.
Light but rich  Jul 8, 2008
This book is light enough for a summer read but rich enough to satisfy. It is a story of intrigue in a New England private school with the issues of race, class and culture intertwining with murder and secrecy. The parallels drawn between the communities of Portuguese immigrants in New Bedford and Wampanaug natives on Cape Cod add an extra dimension to the drama and excitement of the central mystery.

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