Skulduggery by Carolyn Hart
When anthropologist Ellen Christie admits an unknown young Chinese-American man to her apartment, she unwittingly opens the door to adventure, suspense and danger that upends her ordered life. The young man has come to her, because of a newspaper story labeling her as “the bone lady,” for an opinion about a fossilized skull. He admits he is being followed and there may be some risk. Ellen is intrigued and agrees to follow him to where the skull and other fossils are hidden. In a hidden room off a Chinatown alley the anthropologist recognizes the skull as the long-lost fossil known as Peking Man. The discovery is interrupted by a man who turns out to be Dan Lee, the young man, Jimmy’s, older brother. His entrance is followed by the entry of two thugs who attack and try to steal the fossils. As Ellen and Dan fight off the attackers, Jimmy uses the confusion to slip out with the fossils. Both sides search for Jimmy with unforeseen results.
The elements of a classic suspense novel are well presented here; an enterprising and bold protagonist, tight plotting, quick pacing, successes followed by ever bigger problems and surprises. But Carolyn Hart adds more. She provides information about a little-known American subculture as well as social commentary and fascinating international history.
The author has a long and successful career writing in a number of genres but I was not aware of the series of suspense novels she has written before I read this. I look forward to tracking down the other novels.
What is your favorite Carolyn Hart novel?