When Kate McBride finds the family housekeeper badly injured at the bottom of a ravine at Bramblewood, her uncle's woodsy estate in the NC mountains, the woman claims she was pushed. Could this have something to do with Bramblewood's mysterious past? Murder and intrigue are served up with scones and tea as Augusta, with a bumbling apprentice in tow, steps in with heavenly assistance.  Augusta and Kate get to the "bones" of the matter when a skeleton is unearthed at a family reunion.
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Kate McBride is going to her North Carolina hometown for a family reunion. Kate and her husband are separated. Their ten-year-old daughter, Josie, resents this arrangement as well as lots of other things. Relieved that their daughter is able to stay with a cousin once they arrive in North Carolina, Kate will hopefully have a little breathing room from her personal pressures. With Kate's parents visiting in England, she enters their empty house alone but wasn't by herself very long.

We meet many members of Kate's family. Cousin Violet is probably the most eccentric one of the lot. As her self-proclaimed name implies, she likes to wear purple. Because her real name was Ida Claire, she decided to choose a name more to her liking. Cousin Burdette is a boisterous one, probably Kate's closest relative. He discloses that a skeleton has been found. Strange happenings are there but one of the strangest is an angel.

Augusta, the guardian angel, is visible to Kate at various times. Mostly, this angel is of great comfort with her wisdom and words. Words of comfort are greatly needed when too many bodies appear and too many incidences occur.

When a strange moaning noise is explored, Ella, the injured housekeeper is found. Suppositions of why she was hurt and whether she was pushed to her fall have the family in frenzied conversations. Another source of conversation is Belinda, who is Uncle Ernest's new romantic interest. Even though it is rumored that she is sweet and shy, apparently not everyone is in favor of this relationship.

Kate tries to find out some answers: who is responsible for Ella's fall, what can she do about her ten-year-old daughter avoiding her and why doesn't her estranged husband call.
I like the way the author sets up the plot and gives the readers many options to ponder. This is a sweet story where many of the good people have a struggle but most of them win.

Rita Ratacheck