On a rainy August morning, Annie Summers, a 24-year-old Texas Tech University graduate student, discovers a human skeleton in a trench her crew is excavating at the Yellow House Canyon archaeological site near Lubbock, Texas. By the time she reports the discovery to homicide detective Matt Danner, it’s obvious she’s uncovered a murder victim.
Annie tells Matt, “I think our man was a tough, beer-drinking, twenty-seven-year-old, left-handed bull rider, who drove a Ford pickup, was married but played around, and somebody didn’t like him, probably his wife.”
Matt looks at her sternly. “And you say you haven’t dug him up yet?”
Annie shrugs. “I just dusted him off a little. I didn’t want to bother you if he was ours -- Paleoindian or Apache or whatever.”
Matt enlists her help in the investigation which becomes more complicated as their relationship develops into a romantic one.
Digging Up Buck is a thought-provoking, wickedly humorous novel which explores the power of love to distill truth, justice, and redemption from the darker side of human experience.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10
Plot: When a graduate student studying archaeology discovers a human bone, a murder investigation--and a romance--ensues. Rhode delivers a light mystery with an archaeological spin.
Prose: Rhode's prose is solid, effective, and inviting. Elegant and smooth narrative pacing allow readers to become fully immersed in the mystery and the budding romantic connection between the protagonists.
Originality: The pairing up of a detective and an intrepid graduate student who knows her way around an excavation site, brings a quality of freshness to the mystery.
Character Development: The central characters share undeniable chemistry. Rhode's capable, quick witted heroine is one readers will hope to hear more from in future books.
Date Submitted: August 11, 2019