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Naming the Bones    by Louise Welsh order for
Naming the Bones
by Louise Welsh
Order:  USA  Can
Felony & Mayhem, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A delectable choice of words, along with the brilliant usage of those words and lovely descriptive passages allow the reader to gently drift onto the pages of this new British mystery by Louise Welsh and to become a part of Naming the Bones as an interested bystander - a bit player, not integral to the plot but able to eavesdrop on the happenings.

And what happenings! Glasgow, until recently, had the highest rate of alcoholism in the world. And Professor Murray Watson and his cohorts did their utmost to help Glasgow retain that title.

Murray is doing research into the life of little-known poet Archie Lunan, who drowned at an early age off the coast of Lismore, an island off the western coast of Scotland. Murray wants to write a book about Archie to prove to the world that it lost a true talent on his death.

Many questions are to be answered – one of which is the reason Archie, an amateur sailor, would embark on his own into a rough sea in a small vessel. Carelessly or deliberately?

Murray's complicated life engages the first chapters as it slowly leads to his trip to Lismore, where he hopes to interview Archie's lover who still lives there. She had refused to see him, but fate seemed to require Murray to try in person to glean facts about Archie's life. A clever denouement answers Murray’s questions and leaves him ambivalent about finishing his biography of Archie Lunan.

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