Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About Carolyn Haines
As to the horses, I have three. But no cows. I'm a little too tenderhearted. If I had a herd of cows, they'd live with me until they died of old age. But I do have the horses, Miss Scrapiron, a Thoroughbred, Mirage, a half-Arabian, and Cogar, a Thoroughbred-Connemara cross.
In the dog department, I have my very own Sweetie Pie, a red tic hound; Maybelline, a tall beagle; Zelda, a husky; and Rosie, a red dog. All of the dogs are strays, as are the cats, Miss Vesta, Gumbo, Poe, Chester, and Maggie.
A lot of people ask me how I started writing about the Mississippi Delta. My hometown, Lucedale, is way down in the Southeast corner of the state. That section is called the pine barrens, and it lives up to its name. Pine trees are a cash crop, and thousands of acres were once owned by the big paper companies. It's a world very different from the Mississippi Delta.
My first visit to the Delta was as a photojournalist. I went to Parchman State Prison to do a newspaper story. Parchman was notorious at that time, and I can still remember the terrible desolation I felt when I looked out and saw mile after mile of heat and cotton. But the Delta also has fabulous wealth. And it has the blues. I knew then, at the age of 21, that I would one day write about that land of stark contrasts and strange beauty.
Sarah Booth and Jitty came to me in tandem, arguing just as they do in the books. When such fully developed characters visit a writer, it's truly a gift. I didn't know Sarah Booth was a private investigator-in fact she didn't either-until I'd started writing the book (Them Bones). Now, it's become my challenge to give her interesting cases to solve.
Before I wrote fiction I worked for nearly a decade as a journalist. That experience has been invaluable as a writer. It was a fabulous life for a young woman, and I had some terrific adventures. I once covered an armed robbery on horseback and on another occasion had to climb a tree to cover a hostage situation in a graveyard. It's a good thing I was a tomboy growing up.
Along with riding my bicycle, building forts in the woods with my brothers, playing baseball and touch football, and getting into mischief, I also spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She lived with us when I was a child, and she was a wonderful storyteller. She'd emigrated from Sweden when she was six, and she had a host of stories that kept me riveted for hours.
Many of the stories my grandmother told were ghost stories. When she really wanted us kids to be good, she'd recite that James Whitcomb Riley poem, "Little Orphan Annie." We'd be terrified to even let a hand dangle off the bed, so we were very, very good! During spend-the-night parties, I often repeated Grandma's stories to my friends, usually ending in a squealing, writhing heap of girls trying to find an adult to protect us. But my true love was mysteries. I devoured them as a reader. As early as high school I started trying to write short mysteries.
Prior to the Bones series, I wrote Summer of the Redeemers (1994) and Touched (1996). Though they were published as general fiction, they both contain strong mystery elements. But it wasn't until Sarah Booth stole that dog that I realized I had hold of a real mystery. I've spent the last five years in the company of the Zinnia crowd, and I have to say I've had a great time.
Customers Also Bought Items By
Carolyn Haines's Independent Bones is the next novel in the series that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.
When Dr. Alala Diakos, a visiting professor of Greek literature, comes to teach at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, it doesn't take long for controversy to follow. With her fervent feminist ideals and revolutionary leanings, she quickly earns the admiration of many—and the ire of others. During a speech in the park, in which Alala tries to organize the women of Zinnia to demand equal pay, the crowd gets unruly, with men heckling the professor. And when PI Sarah Booth Delaney finds a sniper rifle and scope in the bushes, she begins to worry that there are more than fighting words at stake.
Sarah Booth calls her boyfriend, Sheriff Coleman Peters, who offers the protection of the Zinnia police department, but Alala rejects him, saying she has no use for the law or men. And when a notorious domestic abuser is found dead the next day, suspicions turn to Alala herself, who was overheard bragging that she would take him down. Tensions deepen when connections are drawn between Alala and two similar, previous deaths.
But Sarah Booth doesn't want to believe Alala is a murderer, and when the professor shows up at Sarah Booth’s doorstep, asking her to find the real criminal, Sarah Booth embarks on a case stretching across the Delta. Yet Alala remains at the center of it all, and Sarah Booth can’t help but wonder if the killer has been with her all along...
WHO HAUNTS LOFTUS MANOR? For Tommie Sykes inheriting Loftus Manor in Wetumpka, Alabama, is both a blessing and a curse. The beautiful old estate holds potential as an inn, and the legend that it’s haunted may be a boon. But the whispers that it’s cursed? Not good for business or Tommie’s health.
Harley Jones has lived on the estate as groundskeeper for the past five years. He and the former owner, Samuel Loftus, found friendship and good company over games of chess and a glass of Scotch. Harley never believed Samuel’s rambling ghost stories about the manor. That is, until Samuel committed suicide and Tommie showed up to claim her inheritance. Now the strange happenings have him second guessing himself and following the lead of a strange black cat named Trouble.
Rumors of ghosts and hauntings have Trouble on red alert. A ghostie is one thing, but murder is another kettle of fish for the black cat detective. The game is afoot and he’s on the job—finding clues and pushing Tommie and Harley toward romantic awareness—with his usual flair and keen observations of the “bipeds.”
Spunky southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney tackles a string of strange accidents while celebrating the holiday season in Carolyn Haines's cozy A Garland of Bones
Sarah Booth has traded in hosting this Christmas season for a road trip with her besties. Each little Delta town has a special Christmas activity, and Sarah Booth’s bff and detective partner, Tinkie, has arranged to rent a limo for the gang and drive to Columbus, MS, to stay in a B&B. Visions of Christmas shopping, parade floats, and romantic rendezvous are already dancing in their heads.
But Christmas cheer soon turns to Christmas fear when, at one event after another, people keep getting hurt. Christmas karaoke gets ugly when one singer’s microphone gives her an electric shock. A party during a historic home tour ends with a fall down the stairs for one of Columbus’s most disreputable “players.” And when the woman who hires Sarah Booth to find the villain behind the so-called accidents is nearly killed with an arrow during a holiday mumming, Sarah Booth knows something more sinister is at work.
The Christmas bells are ringing hauntingly in Columbus this year, and Sarah Booth and Tinkie—with a little help from hunky Sheriff Coleman Peters, of course—are determined to catch the wrong-doers and ensure they receive nothing but coal in their stockings.
The Devil's Bones is the latest novel in the series from Carolyn Haines that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.
As Sarah Booth sees it, Easter weekend is a time to celebrate life in all its many forms. So when the newly-pregnant Tinkie invites her and Cece on a girls’ trip to Lucedale, Mississippi to celebrate that spring has officially sprung, Sarah Booth can’t resist. Plans include facials, food, and a trip to the incredible Garden of Bones—a miniature Holy Land with recreations of all parts of the Middle East—for their Sunrise Easter Services led by biblical scholar, gardener, and creator of the Gardens Daniel Reynolds.
Unfortunately for Sarah Booth and the gang, someone doesn’t seem appreciate this season of new life. Easter morning has just dawned when the trio find themselves at the Mount of Olives—with a dead body at their feet.
Reynolds identifies the dead man as local lawyer Perry Slay, who was well known for his sly and underhanded dealings. Perry had rubbed plenty of people the wrong way, and now it looks like someone has rubbed him out…
Because being a PI apparently means never being on vacation, Sarah Booth and her friends must now find a way to resurrect the truth from a list of suspects as long as the River Jordan, reveal the devil in disguise, and—if they’re lucky—find a moment to enjoy a few chocolate bunnies before more bodies pile up like pillars of salt.
When local bookseller Tammy Lynn is attacked at the site of an impact crater, Trouble realizes he must protect his human and solve the mystery of the Silk Stocking Killer.
Aiden Waters, a local deputy, has tracked the SSK to Wetumpka. Since his wife’s murder, Aiden won’t risk romance, but when Tammy is endangered, everything changes. Especially their hearts.
No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state—or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to raise some cash.
But soon Sarah Booth’s walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she’s hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself . . . and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.
Professor Olive Twist has come to Zinnia, Mississippi to study a mysterious grave wherein lies the Lady in Red, a perfectly preserved and stunningly beautiful but unnamed and unclaimed body. Olive claims she can not only identify the corpse, she can also prove the woman's scandalous role in the nation's history. Olive takes it a step too far, though, when she starts connecting elite Zinnia families with the same scandal.
Dander up, Zinnia's society ladies know only one way to handle Olive: they call on the private investigative services of Sarah Booth Delaney. But Olive's real agenda is clear as Mississippi mud, and when Sarah Booth discovers a present-day dead body, she knows there's more than just family pride and Southern heritage at stake. If she can't find the murderer and fast, it might just be Sarah Booth's life on the line next.
Carolyn Haines pulls out all the stops in Smarty Bones, the next charming, sassy, Southern-fried Sarah Booth Delaney mystery.
USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines will once again delight readers with Charmed Bones, the next sparkling Sarah Booth Delaney mystery.
Zinnia, Mississippi is rife with quirky characters, but the arrival of three sister witches—and their intention to open a Wiccan boarding school—sets the small town on its ear. And bodies begin to accumulate as a result. Faith, Hope, and Charity Harrington are sexy and smart. They’re setting up their boarding school in an old dairy—a piece of property with tremendous development potential. And they’re standing in the way of “progress,” according to some in the town.
When young Corey Fontana goes missing, Delaney Detective Agency is hired to find the youth—who’s well known as a local hooligan. His mother, Kitten Fontana, who is married to the kind of land development, believes the witches have abducted her son and makes no bones about it. She’s willing to pay hard cash to find her son, especially if she can implicate the witches in his disappearance.
When Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner, Tinkie Richmond, find Corey, unharmed, it is only the beginning of a series of events that include midnight dances under a full moon, love potions, and murder. Are the sister witches criminals… or victims? Do they truly have magical powers, as they claim? Sarah Booth and Tinkie must find the answer before more people are harmed.
USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines will once again delight readers with the next sparkling Sarah Booth Delaney mystery, Rock-a-Bye Bones
Sarah Booth Delaney knows the perfect way to begin recovering from both the recent attack on Scott Hampton’s blues club and her broken heart. She’s going to host a Thanksgiving feast for all of her friends at her ancestral home in Zinnia, Mississippi. But one bitterly cold night with the holiday just around the corner, Sarah Booth awakens to the insistent ring of her doorbell. She opens the door to find a newborn baby in a basket sitting on her front porch…and a pool of blood slowly seeping out from the basket. Before she can respond, an engine guns and a dark vehicle takes off.
After the police and a doctor ensure the baby is otherwise safe and healthy, Sarah Booth calls Tinkie Richmond, her partner at the Delaney Detective Agency. They know they need to do everything they can to find the baby's mother...even if they are starting to fall in love with the baby themselves. But as they track the baby's mother, Sarah Booth soon begins to suspect the woman might have been in danger; in fact, she might have been running for her life. And following in the woman's footsteps, Sarah Booth might find her own life on the line next.
Sarah Booth Delaney's fiancé, Graf Milieu, has become depressed while recovering from a severe leg injury, but Sarah Booth knows just how to help him heal. She's arranged a romantic getaway for the two of them at a lovely beach cottage on Dauphin Island off the Gulf Coast. On the first day of their island adventure, they take a historical tour led by Angela Trotter, a young woman well-versed in local lore, including rumors of pirate treasure hidden somewhere on the island. In fact, Angela confides to Sarah Booth and Graf that her father, a sailor and treasure hunter, was murdered just when he thought he was closing in on the treasure. Angela's convinced that the wrong man was imprisoned for her father's murder, and she manages to persuade Sarah Booth to take the case. And Sarah Booth soon realizes that there's much more going on than meets the eye. With untold amounts of treasure offering plenty of motive for murder and a fiancé falling deeper into depression, Sarah Booth's peaceful island vacation is quickly spinning out of control.
In Booty Bones, Carolyn Haines will once again delight readers with her trademark blend of clever plotting, witty prose, and Southern charm.
Ambrose, once a famous man of southern letters, is planning a comeback: a delicious tell-all with a bitchy ex-model as his “biographer.” As he taunts his dinner guests with the news that his book will blow the lid off Zinnia’s darkest secrets, it becomes plain that each and every guest has a secret—and wants Ambrose to keep it. When the morning-after mess includes a bloody corpse and the manuscript of the biography disappears, Sarah Booth goes digging for answers. But many who hold them are six feet under—or soon will be—and if she doesn’t tread carefully, she could join them any day now. . . .
Despite the wishes of her overprotective fiancé, Sarah Booth Delaney can't give up her detective work, no matter how dangerous it becomes. It's too much a part of her. On this case, avoiding danger might be impossible—she's on the trail of a porn-star-turned-psychic operating from a haunted estate on the edge of town. Medium Sherry Cameron promises to reunite grieving family members with their dearly departed, but it seems vaguely suspicious that Sherry will only accept emotionally vulnerable and tremendously wealthy clients. Aging billionaire Marjorie Littlefield fits the profile perfectly—her daughter died in a tragic accident as a young girl, she's been estranged from her son for decades, and she's planning to leave her considerable inheritance to her cat.
Convinced she's uncovered a scheme to separate a lonely woman from her fortune, Sarah Booth talks her way onto the estate as a maid, where she finds Marjorie and several other wealthy eccentrics ready to commune with the dead. Between chores, Sarah Booth explores the estate, mingles with the other staff…and finds a few dead bodies. But which guest or staff member might be the killer? Even Jitty, Sarah Booth's personal haint, won't tell until Sarah Booth has uncovered all of Sherry's well-kept secrets.
With spooks and charlatans around every corner, Sarah Booth is the only PI in the southlands who can put an end to this elaborate scam in Bonefire of the Vanities, the charming twelfth entry in Carolyn Haines's sparkling series.