As contrary as it seems to reference charm and murder in the same sentence, Kylie Logan's The Secrets of Bones blends them wonderfully. The second in Logan's Jazz Ramsey series (The Scent of Murder) finds Jazz recovering from large life losses. She finds solace in her Airedale puppy, Wally, who she's training to be her next Human Remains Detection partner, and her job as administrative assistant to Sister Eileen Flannery, principal of St. Catherine's Prep Academy for Girls.
Assembly Day at St. Catherine's is a yearly highlight, with prominent women professionals giving talks to the girls. When one presenter doesn't show, Jazz is pushed into service, borrowing a trained HRD dog, Gus, and putting on a performance on the allegedly haunted and always locked fourth floor. During the demo, Gus finds more than Jazz bargained for, signaling at the access door to an old heating system. Behind the door are human remains, desiccated and partially plastic-wrapped, wearing the cross of Bernadette Quinn. Bernadette, a staunchly religious and difficult teacher, sent a resignation letter to St. Catherine's three years ago and never returned.
With Sister Eileen in the crosshairs, Jazz tries to find the truth of Bernadette's disappearance and death, bringing her back in contact with homicide detective Nick Koselov, her former lover. The lack of much on the dog front is offset by winning characters, an intriguing mystery in the traditional style, fun dialogue and a pace that makes this small town in Ohio, even with a murder, a charmingly entertaining place. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review