The plot of Buttons and Bones provides an intriguing framework for a mystery. Ferris has clearly researched US World War II history. The setting and secondary characters provide an interesting glimpse of life in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the pace of the novel is very slow. There is much more chatting than action. The solution to the mystery is too obvious to develop enough suspense.

While remodeling a lakeside cabin, Betsy Devonshire and her friends Jill and Lars Larson discover a skeleton in the root cellar. The trap door to the cellar has been concealed by several layers of linoleum flooring. Based on evidence at the scene, local detectives assume that the deceased is a German POW who escaped from an internment camp that operated nearby in the 1940s. As Betsy conducts her own investigation, she begins to suspect a case of mistaken identity. (PRIME CRIME, Dec., 222 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Roseann Marlett