Title: Jingle Bones

Series: Sarah Booth Delaney

By:  Carolyn Haines

ISBN: 1250089069 (ISBN13: 9781250089069)

Website: http://www.carolynhaines.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra  

Spoiler alert**                 


Sarah Booth just wants the perfect Christmas holiday. Even with the dissolution of her engagement, she refuses to lose her Christmas spirit. But when Theodora Prince–an ex classmate and current Pastor’s wife–comes calling with a year-old case and cash upfront, Sarah Booth must find the truth about the boys who ruined last year’s Christmas pageant in time to stop them from doing it again. (Goodreads)


To start off the holiday season I picked up Jingle Bones by Carolyn Haines in order to satisfy my passion for Christmas mixed with my enjoyment of cozy mysteries. Jingle Bones is the 15.5 book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series and the first book by this author that I have read.

The book begins with Sarah gathering cedar for homemade garlands. A definite holiday vibe! I could just visualize Sarah on her horse, Reveler, gathering the cedar… As Sarah approached Dahlia House (the family home), she noticed that a black sedan was approaching the home. The driver was Theodora Prince, wife of the minister of the Final Harvest Church. She came to see if Sarah (a PI) could track down enough evidence to name one of the Rush children as the hellion who stole the baby Jesus from the crèche at the prior years’ Christmas pageant. Theodora was hoping to ban the Rush children from the pageant this year but without proof from the prior year’s mishap – nothing could be done.

To begin with, the premise had me chuckling to no end. Trying to get enough evidence on a couple of young “hoodlums” from their shenanigans the prior year was just too funny. Surprisingly, Sarah takes on the case and her reward is a wad of cash big enough to fund her very own Christmas gala! There is also the local resident ‘haint’ (a type of ghost or evil spirit from the Carolina coast), Jitty, who is on hand to watch over (and boss) Sarah. 

One item that has me pausing on this story…the twins’ behaviour and the lack of repercussions for their really bad actions.


The boys managed to injure (or kill or kidnap) a person or two, use of explosives which caused a car to crash, abusive to animals (boo!!!), etc. Where were the parents are why were there no consequences for what these two boys did? Money and youth should not excuse such horrific behaviour, at least in my mind.

Case or cases were solved, a bit of romance and a number of chuckles. Basically (except for my tirade above) – an enjoyable novella with a holiday theme to get the reader in the mood for the holiday season.