A Skeleton in the Family


Most families have skeletons in their closets…

Moving back into her parents’ house with her teenage daughter had not been Georgia Thackery’s “Plan A.” But when she got a job at the local college, it seemed the sensible thing to do. So she settled in and began reconnecting with old friends.

Including Sid. Sid is the Thackery family’s skeleton. He’s lived in the house as long as Georgia can remember, although no one, including Sid, knows exactly where he came from and how he came to be a skeleton.

Sid walks, he talks, he makes bad jokes, he tries to keep Georgia’s dog from considering him a snack. And he manages to persuade Georgia to let him leave the house. But when she takes him to an anime convention—disguised as a skeleton, of course—he sees a woman who triggers memories of his past.

Now he is determined to find out how he died—with Georgia’s help. But their investigation may uncover a killer who’s still alive and well and bad to the bone…


Series: A Family Skeleton Mystery (Book 1)


Fans of:  EJ Copperman

Being an adjunct English professor means that Georgia Thackery and her daughter Madison are never in one place for long enough to put down roots, so when Georgia’s given the opportunity to spend a year teaching in her hometown, she jumps at the chance. Even better, her professor parents are away on sabbatical, which means she and Madison will have a place to live that’s nice, familiar, and rent-free.

There’s a hitch, though:  living in her childhood home means that Georgia’s eventually going to have to tell Madison about Sid – the walking, talking skeleton who’s lived with the Thackerys since Georgia was little. And while she’s busy figuring out how to make that introduction, she’s also got to help Sid determine who he was in life and how he died. Because for the first time since he reanimated, Sid’s starting to remember things – things that seem to indicate he was murdered.

I confess:  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I cracked the cover on this book. I read the back cover copy, saw that one of the main characters was a walking, talking skeleton, and thought, “Is there any possible way this premise could carry a novel, let alone an entire series?” My suspicion was no, but I’ve been in bit of a reading rut lately, so I decided to give it a go. And you know what? I’m incredibly happy that I did. A Skeleton in the Family is the first in Leigh Perry’s new Family Skeleton Mystery series, and if you’re looking for a fresh take on the paranormal cozy, you’ve met your match. The pace is quick, the story is fun (SO many groan-worthy bone jokes…), the mystery is clever, and the character work is strong. What ultimately won me over, though, is just how genuinely heartwarming this tale is. Yes, some of that heart is a byproduct of Georgia’s relationship with her daughter, but the single most touching thing about A Skeleton in the Family is the friendship between Sid and Georgia.

Georgia’s never known Sid as anything other than a skeleton – and an animated one, at that. Regardless, when it becomes apparent that somebody murdered her best friend, she’s outraged, and she becomes determined to avenge his death. And that reaction – that instinct – does more to inform their relationship than an entire chapter of exposition ever could.  There’s such love and such loyalty between the two, and their relationship is so complex and so nuanced, any concerns I had at the outset about whether the premise could carry a series are gone. And the incredibly sweet and poignant tale of how Sid came to be with the Thackerys? (I flat-out refuse to spoil this for you – you really need to read it for yourself.) Icing on the cake.

Reviewed by Kat