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GRAVE CONSEQUENCES

By: Dana Cameron
Avon Books, New York
November 2002 (pb)

Last year I reviewed the first Emma Fielding archaeology mystery and stated that I hoped we could look forward to a long and productive career for Dana Cameron as an author.  I am very happy to report that she has, with the recent publication of Grave Consequences, continued this fledgling series at a very high level of quality.  Once again she has created believable three-dimensional characters; she has placed them in an interesting archaeological context—this time it’s a 12th Century Benedictine abbey not far from London; and once again Emma soon finds herself in the midst of in investigation of forensic mayhem. 

Not long after her arrival at the abbey site, Emma begins to doubt the wisdom of her willingness to aid a colleague’s excavation project.  One of the prime objectives of the dig is to discover the burial of the sainted abbess, Mother Beatrice, a near-mythic character revered by both the Christian community and New Age Wicca’s.  But the search for Mother Beatrice is nearly eclipsed by the discovery of a murder victim from the mid-twentieth century and then the corpse of a very recently murdered young woman had gone missing from the archaeological crew excavating Marchester Abbey.

With great skill and cunning, Dana Cameron weaves connecting threads among and between these tragedies.  As in the earlier novel, the author deftly and unobtrusively demonstrates her understanding and appreciation of the intricacies of archaeological fieldwork; but even more so than in the earlier Site Unseen, Ms. Cameron searches the human psyche and the myriad of motivations that can move reasonably decent people to do unreasonably indecent actions.

In closing, I can only again say that I anxiously await the next Emma Fielding mystery!

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*MVAC Educational Programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
*This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.