Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #1)” as Want to Read:
Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,398 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 2nd 1999 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Them Bones, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Them Bones

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 30, 2016 Courtnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, mystery, cozy, 2016, march
Tabloids, mini-series, Coke, and Halicon.

This book is dated.

I was surprised that Sarah Booth didn't light up a cigarette with her whiskey at night in her empty, cold, Southern plantation house. I mean, how can you be a lady without your Virginia Slims?

Well, I guess that's because Sarah Booth isn't a lady - she was raised a Daddy's Girl, which is the name for society gals in the town of Zinnia, Mississippi, but with her minor in theatre, her time in New York and her financial destitution, it's
Apr 25, 2008 Deanna rated it liked it
This was a fun read! Decent writing, the story moved along at a nice pace. Sarah Booth Delaney falls somewhere in between Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone. She's not as much of an acident prone scatterbrain as Stephanie Plum, and not as dull as the mostly business Milhone. If you are a fan of either of those series, as I am, you should like this one. Amusing characters, interesting plot full of twists, a little romance and a ghost... sounds like a good read, ...more
Aug 28, 2014 Yodamom rated it really liked it
Sarah Booth was raised in the South as a Daddy's Girl. She was to be a wife, a society player, a pretty arm piece for her husband. You don't always end out on the same path you start on, and Sarah Booth's life took a sharp left turn. Her parents died early, her finances cut short she is reduced to poverty and the possible loss of her family estate if she can't find some major cash soon. Her ghostly advisor comes up with an idea to dognap one of her old rich acquaintances little dog Chablis. This ...more
I feel that I should put this book in the category of guilty pleasures. I know in my heart that it is not the kind of book that a woman about to celebrate her mumble-mumble birthday should be spending her time reading, and, yet, frankly, it was a joy to read! Sort of a Fifty Shades of Grey without all that nasty BDSM. There was a bit of hot and heavy sex but it was more alluded to than explicit, which is only proper in a story about a genteelly-bred Southern woman.

Sarah Booth Delaney of Zinnia,
Oct 04, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
I started with the first book in this series and I am glad that I did. Sara Booth Delaney has proven to be a very enjoyable character and I look forward to reading more of her adventures. She is over 30, unwed, unemployed, broke, and about to lose the family plantation. In order to save face and the family home, she comes up with a scheme to kidnap one of her fellow "Daddy's Girls" dog, Chablis for a ransom that could buy her some time with the creditors. I didn't much care for her plan, but I ...more
May 31, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ian by: Lisa
With the bank threatening to foreclose on the home that has been in her family for more than 100 years and repossess her car, the wolf is definitely at the door for Sarah Booth Delaney. The resident ghost at Dhalia House suggests she dognaps and holds for ransom Chablis, the canine appendage of Tinkie a wealthy woman in the upper class of Mississippi Society.

After the successful dognapping, Tinkie comes to Sarah for help in getting her dog back. Feeling a little guilty she returns the dog and p
Karyn Niedert
I really didn't know what I'd think of "them Bones", but after finishing the book in less than a day it seems I'm hooked.

Sarah Booth Delaney is a well-bred Southern girl at the end of her financial rope. The last in a long line of Delaneys, her hopes to hold on to family manse Dahlia House start looking up when she steals (borrows) her moneyed friends' doggie Chablis for ransom. With the pooch returned and Sarah's money in the bank, her friend asks her to look into a long ago love who may be ret
Jun 30, 2010 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, humor
Sarah Booth.. of Zinnia Mississippi’s aristocracy, though her parents were unorthodox… with a mother who worked on getting people to care… raised around ‘Daddy’s Girl’ , girls who would someday be women of wiles, knowing how to wield their feminine power… and though Sarah knew the rules, she opted out… after her parent’s accidental death, she finishes college, tries (and fails) to become a star in New York, and returns home (at age 33) to Dahlia House … to her roots… but she’s about to lose her ...more
May 06, 2015 Georgette rated it it was amazing
I have at least five of this series that have been in the TBR pile on the bedroom bookshelf..What was I thinking? I absolutely loved this first one for many reasons.One being the rich content that makes up this book, as well as the main protagonist, an Ole Miss Southern Belle, Sarah Booth Delaney, a bit of an outlier when it comes to her former stereotype in the Daddy's Girls(DG's) clique...which is what endears me to her most...never, ever typecast someone as starting out as cut from the same ...more
Aug 10, 2009 Vickie rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book. I can't believe it's taken me this long to find this series. Sarah Booth Delaney is a Daddy's Girl, a group of privileged young ladies whose only real goal in life was to marry well and live a life of leisure. Sarah Booth jumped that ship and went to New York after college (Catching the male was an entire course of study for Delta girls and Ole Miss was the preferred hunting ground) to become an actress. That didn't pan out so well and she came home to Zinnia ...more
"I wondered if any other Delaney woman had combined theft and baking."
This is Sarah Booth Delaney. Poor Sarah was unwed, unemployed, over 30, flat broke and fixing to lose the family plantation. Whats a girl to do? Well Jitty, Sarah's great-great grandmothers nanny (who just so happens to be a ghost) had plenty of ideas. She needed to marry a man who was well off and fast!

I really enjoyed this book. Carolyn Haines has some great characters that made this a really fun read. I found myself laugh
Apr 02, 2013 Kristin rated it liked it
A quirky cozy-mystery with a GRITS flair. I'm left wanting to follow Sarah Booth into her continuing adventures. Check it out! :)
Oct 14, 2016 Caroline rated it really liked it
I started this book because my good friend told me about The Book of Beloved and how she was excited to read it because she loves the Sarah Booth Delaney series. We have similar tastes, so I decided to read The Book of Beloved and I loved it. Then, as luck would have it, the author came to the Wetumpka Public Library to speak and sign books. I really enjoyed meeting her and hearing her speak about her inspiration for her books. I was able to borrow the first book in the Sarah Booth series from ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I picked up on this book as a sort of cross-reference in a cosy-genre library mystery, so I decided to read it. Almost gave up halfway through but the last 50 pages saved it for me. The bones of the story are good, and the end rocks but the wrapping you have to slog through to get there is a bit WTF?

Handsome rakehell returns home, suspected by the whole town of killing at least his mother if not both parents, and incarcerating his inconvenient sister in an expensive, well-furnished loony bin.
More than anything, this book reminds me of an early Stephanie Plum set in the Deep South. Sarah Booth Delaney (and yes, they mostly call her Sarah Booth ---and that is so Southern) has fallen on hard times and is in danger of losing the family home that's been in her family for generations. She more or less kidnaps her friend's little dog and then 'rescues' it for the ransom in order to get enough to stave off foreclosure. The friend is grateful (and Sarah Booth at least has the good taste to b ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, mystery, series
Set in Mississippi (in the delta area), the author makes wonderful use of setting. Sarah Booth Delaney lives in Dahlia House, her family's plantation home, but is having cash flow problems and is behind in paying her mortgage. Not to mention she's unmarried and over 30.

With the help of her great-great-grandmother's nanny's ghost, she concocts a scheme to ransom her friend's dog, Chablis, for money. Somehow, after Sarah Booth becomes the go between between her friend and "the kidnapper", she gets
Oct 13, 2013 Gina rated it really liked it
Them Bones by Carolyn Haines.

This is the first book by Carolyn Haines that I've read. I really enjoyed it, the lead character Sarah Booth Delaney is a strong, smart woman. I love the tongue-in-cheek descriptions of 'Daddy's Girls', 'Buddy Clubbers', and 'Cagey Ol' Rednecks' and small-town politics.

Sarah Booth did not follow the usual path for a 'Daddy's Girl', she actually finished college with a degree then left Zinnia, Mississippi to try her hand at acting in New York. Now she's back and fac
I continue my project of reading a mystery set in every state. The
other requirement is that it be by an author I haven't read before. I
chose the first in Carolyn Haines' series set in the Mississippi
Delta, THEM BONES. What an enjoyable book, and it also reinforced my
understanding that every region of our country (and our world) has its
beauty and those who love it, even if that place sounds like hell on
earth to me! (I don't like heat and humidity.) Actually, THEM BONES is
set about this time of ye
I just finished this first installment in the Sarah Booth Delaney series. I liked the book a lot, but it did seem to be rather unevenly paced. It dragged for long moments, then slammed along at a breakneck speed, even though Sarah Booth (now she's got me double-naming, as if I was from the south!) isn't finding any bodies or such stuff. Most of the action being looked into happened twenty years ago, but somehow it keeps affecting the present to the point of murder. Old dogs want to lie silent, ...more
Oct 28, 2010 Lindsey rated it really liked it
This was a tremendously fun book. It's a murder mystery, not much gore, and big on personality. The characters are varied, and the women in particular stand out, although the male characters blurred a little for me.

The high point of the book is definitely the protagonist, Sarah Booth. The author does a great job of making her an individual without condemning the society that raised her. She consistently uses the elements of southern gentility that suit her and rejects the rest to genuine and amu
Aug 07, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
A friend of mine recommended this book as I was looking for something fun to read. This book was definitely fun. Set in the Mississippi Delta, the main character, Sarah Booth Delaney, is ornery and head-strong--everything Southern belles aren't supposed to be. Some knowledge of southern culture helps understand the background I think, but is not required to enjoy Haines' wit or sarcasm. As a first book in a series, I think Haines does a nice job developing the main characters as well as the ...more
Nash Norden
I started the series last year with the ‘Bone Appetite’. I wasn’t aware that it was the tenth book of Sarah Booth Delaney’s series. So I decided to go back to the first book where Sarah Booth’s life as a P.I started.

Them Bones is a fun cozy mystery with a hint of paranormal in it. The character, Sarah Booth is unwed, unemployed, broke and hunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, Jitty. It started with her decision to kidnapped Tinkie’s dog in an exchange for ransom – a despera
THEM BONES (Amateur Sleuth-Zinnia-MS-Cont) – G+
Haines, Carolyn – 1st in series
Bantam, 1999-Paperback
Sara Booth Delaney is trying to save Dahlia House, the antebellum family home, where she lives alone, except for Jitty, the ghost of her great-great-great-Grandmother’s nanny. She gets some money by taking her friend’s dog, sending a ransom note and pretending to rescue him. In turn, her friend wants Sara to find out who killed Hamilton the Fourth and his wife in separate, supposed, accidents.
Dec 03, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I really enjoyed this book. I am from the South, not the SOUTH South, but South enough to appreciate some of the references in this book. It definitely gives a good atmosphere and really builds the setting, especially when it comes to Dahlia House.

The mystery in it is excellent. There were enough twists and turns in it to satisfy the 'whodunnit?' in me.

The ride along the way was pretty fun too.

It is safe to compare Sarah Booth Delaney to Stephanie Plum in the sense that they kind of fell into
❂ Jennifer
Jan 08, 2011 ❂ Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I've seen this book on the bookstore shelves for years and always picked it up, but then put it back down again. The whole dog-napping bit seemed too stupid to me. But it's really such a very small part of the book - literally less than a chapter, and the rest of the story was quite good. I really enjoyed the characters - the author painted them very clearly - and the setting of the Mississippi Delta really came to life and added to the mystery of the story. I didn't see the end coming and was ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
The first book in what appears to be a successful and popular mystery series, I thought the description of these books sounded fun: something along the lines of Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya sisterhood. Well it just didn't do it for me. Maybe the other books in the series are better...? But I got bored with this one and not sure if I'll read any more of them. There are other mystery series I like better.
Emily M
Really fun mystery series set in the South. The main character is smart and fun, plus she talks to the family ghost, so you know she's good people. Less dopey than Stephanie Plum and less dull than the "A is for Alibi" woman, Sarah Booth Delaney is a Daddy's Girl who jumped the tracks to become her own woman. I hope the series continues for a long time.
Sep 02, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it
Sarah Booth Delaney needs to save the farm. With no source of ready cash, she and her resident ghost hatch a plan to kidnap her friend Tinkie's treasured Yorkie. After "solving" that mystery, Tinkie hires her again to solve an old murder. This is a funny and entertaining story. Think Stephanie Plum in the sticks.
Jul 07, 2011 Shala rated it liked it
I had a hard time with this book. I wanted to finish it, so I kept reading but the characters were just a little too much for me. I'm undecided whether or not I will continue with the series.
Oct 07, 2011 Pamela rated it liked it
Fun, but not very well written and poorly plotted.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #1)
  • Defending Angels (Beaufort & Company, #1)
  • Pick Your Poison (A Yellow Rose Mystery, #1)
  • A Hoe Lot of Trouble (A Nina Quinn Mystery, #1)
  • Death On Demand (Death On Demand, #1)
  • A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)
  • Tempest in the Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery, #1)
  • Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mystery, #1)
  • Haunting Jordan (A Port Chatham Mystery #1)
  • Thyme of Death (China Bayles, #1)
  • Candy Apple Dead (A Candy Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Sketch Me If You Can (A Portrait of Crime Mystery, #1)
  • Buzz Off (Queen Bee, #1)
  • An Uninvited Ghost (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #2)
  • Fundraising the Dead (Museum, #1)
  • The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #1)
  • Button Holed (Button Box Mystery, #1)
  • The Mournful Teddy (A Bear Collector's Mystery #1)
A native of Mississippi, Carolyn Haines is the author of over fifty books in multiple genres. She was named the 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award and is the recipient of the 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

Haines teaches fiction writing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Active in animal rescue, she has twenty-one "critters" —horses, dogs and cats.
More about Carolyn Haines...

Other Books in the Series

Sarah Booth Delaney (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Buried Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #2)
  • Splintered Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #3)
  • Crossed Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #4)
  • Hallowed Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #5)
  • Bones To Pick (Sarah Booth Delaney, #6)
  • Ham Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #7)
  • Wishbones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #8)
  • Greedy Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #9)
  • Bone Appetit (Sarah Booth Delaney, #10)
  • Bones of a Feather (Sarah Booth Delaney, #11)

Share This Book

“Forest Gump had it wrong. Life is not a box of chocolate; it's a kaleidoscope. In the flip of a wrist, realities are shredded and the world takes on a totally new shape.” 14 likes
“My rhythm was joined with that of the Mississippi seasons. To change would shift everything inside of me...” 3 likes
More quotes…