Old Bones Lie by Marion Todd

Title: Old Bones Lie (Detective Clare Mackay #6)

Author: Marion Todd

Published on: 7 July 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Old Bones Lie is the sixth book in Marion Todd’s Detective Claire Mackay series.

The story begins with two couples – Kim and Alan, Debbie and Gav, having a get-together lunch. When the door bell rings for the second time, Kim thinks it is the delivery guy again, with the missed fried rice order. But it isn’t. Two men wearing dark jackets and balaclava on their face hold the two couples at gunpoint. They tie the women’s hands, put a scarf over their heads and take them away in a van. The men are given a task and warned that if they contact the police, the women will be brutally harmed.

Clare Mackay arrives at the station to receive news of a prison van gone missing. Two prison officers and a convicted jewel thief were in the van. The thief was given parole to attend his uncle’s funeral. There was an issue with the GPS so the prison officers said they will update at regular intervals via phone. But their phones are not reachable.

One of the missing officers is Clare’s partner Chris’ cousin. Since it is a conflict of interest, Chris is given a missing tractor case. Clare has a new partner, an overly enthusiastic sergeant named Max. When Clare and Max turn to the missing officers’ wives, they learn the wives have also gone missing.

Maggie White, a shop attendant at a jewelry store identified Paul from a line up and it ultimately lead to his conviction in the jewelry heist. When Clare and Max go to the jewelry store, they are told Maggie is on leave. They visit her rented cottage only to find her dead body in the garden shed.

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Old Bones Lie is an engrossing and completely gripping police procedural. I haven’t read the previous books of this series but I had no trouble following the recurring characters’ side stories.

The story begins with the kidnapping of two women. Then we have Clare learning of a missing prison van. Then comes another missing link – the wives of the missing prison officers are nowhere to be seen. Chris is worried about his cousin – the convicted thief might have planned an escape and the prison officers found themselves in the midst of it. This might also mean that the prison officers are grievously harmed or worse. Or, maybe they were in cahoots with the thief… It can go either way.

When DCI Ben is handed over the case, Clare is not happy. She’s asked to solve Maggie’s murder while Ben will handle the missing prison officers’ case. She feels Ben is hiding something. There are times when Clare feels sidelined and there comes a time when she’s sent back from a possible crime scene. Clare’s partner Chris is not happy for being taken off the case. To add to her owes, her new partner, Max, is like an overly enthusiastic puppy – eager to impress. He makes good coffee though. As the story ends, Clare realizes Max might be trying hard to impress, but his interviewing skills are above par. He gets the job done.

The mystery behind the missing prison officers, the jewelry heist and convicted thief, and Maggie’s murder kept me guessing till the end. Clare wonders if these three crimes are connected. If so, it might mean that Maggie (who was a witness in the heist) was in cahoots with the thief. Hmm! That doesn’t sound right. After all, it was her statement that put Paul behind bars.

I absolutely loved the writing. Excellent character portrayal. Without any doubt, I will say Clare is my favorite character in the story. At the beginning, Max was a tad annoying like but as the story proceeded, I changed my opinion about him – he had his own way of getting suspects and witnesses to talk freely with the police.

If you are looking for a riveting police procedural, I recommend you to give Old Bones Lie by Marion Todd a try.


I received an ARC from Canelo and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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