A new Australian writer in the historic/cosy crime category. There seems to be no end to the passion for historical crime, but this one adds an interesting new twist. 

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.57.41 PMDr Elizabeth Pimms isn’t happy. She has to give up her dream job as an archaeologist to come home and look after her extended family – three grandparents and two younger siblings – after her father died. That involves taking a job in the library where her father had worked and trying to balance her love for her siblings against her resentment. She doesn’t always manage.

When she has an opportunity to get involved in archeological work – examining 17 skeletons from a history-making Olmec site in Mexico – she grabs it.  But certain aspects of the work and her colleagues don’t add up. Soon she is caught up both in the mystery of those 17 deaths 3200 years ago, and the possibility of that her present-day colleagues are acting illegally.

Dr Pimms, “inter millennial sleuth”, is a newcomer to Australian crime/mystery and is already set for a series. She fits squarely into the cosy end of the crime market, with a lot of time spent on multi-cultural family (the grandparents are Welsh, Chinese and French), food (there are recipes), friends and a touch of romance. Owen has studied archaeology, palaeogenetics and library management and clearly knows her stuff. The story is light and engaging, though the plot and the dialogue have a few clunky moments.

Book published in November 2015

This review first appeared in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine.