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DI Joe Plantagenet is missing his girlfriend Maddy, but duty calls when a young girl is found murdered in Singmass Close near Eborby Cathedral. The girl has been strangled and one of her toes removed. Strangely a doll with a similar injury has been left at the scene. This is only the start of some sinister and spooky events which may or may not be connected to another series of murders 50 years ago.

I found the story gripping and very readable. Joe himself is an interesting character as is his boss Emily Thwaite whose daughter has an imaginary friend who is dominating her household. With a convicted child murderer escaped from prison and a growing number of young girls disappearing into thin air they both have more than enough to deal with without their personal lives getting in the way.

This is a well written crime story with a hint of the supernatural. Eborby (York) is as much a character in this series as the people themselves and its Medieval buildings and traditions provide an element of the supernatural to add to the crimes. I enjoyed it and was sorry when I had turned the last page. I look forward to the next episode in this series.
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on 7 June 2017
book as new
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on 10 March 2012
Not a heavy read, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I liked the characters and the plot is not too easily detected.
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on 29 February 2016
This is my second "go" at this series. When I read the first Joe Plantagenet book (Seeking the Dead) I thought it lacking in characterisation and certainly in police work "detecting" but decided to give Playing with Bones a try...it didn't fail to "keep up/down" with the first. Joe and Emily seem to miss so many clues that you have to wonder why the author put them there in the first place? Why put the clues in front of them just to be missed! . During interrogation clues are given by those interviewed - and missed...the officers, when discussing the case even speak about said clues and dismiss/ignore them out of hand or don't even refer to them. When a search of a house is undertaken a body in a freezer is missed even though a team of police has been called to - guess what -search! That is until they are told about the body next day and then a"thorough" search is made! Just one stupid error after another. A young girl played quite a large part in the story and following her gaining her freedom so little was made about it. Even the body in the freezer was just skimmed over. Emily's homelife? Who cares? We don't get to see any of it just the same old well-worn formula of her complaining about working late, looking harassed but still a "mother" clutching her huge bag. I don't care about Joe & Maddy either...a non-event really. The Kindle version of Kate Ellis's novels don't come cheap (they should) so I don't think I will try another Joe Plantagenet crime novel. I have given the book 3 stars as the story-plot could have been good with a bit more thought and "police work".
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2013
Kate Ellis never fails, be it a Joe Plantagenet novel or Wesley Peterson murder mystery. This is the second in the Joe Plantagenet series, building well on the first to reveal more about JP and DCI Emily Thwaite supported by the enthusiastic Jamilla and the rather bored Sunny. The plot centres around murders of teenage girls in Eborby where a doll is placed near the body. The question is could the Doll Strangler of the 1950s still be alive and carrying out further murders after a long gap or is this a copycat crime? Very atmospheric reconstruction of the crime scenes make for harrowing reading. JP and ET become very rounded characters with detailed descriptions of what is happening in their private lives. ET has a very sympathic and supportive husband in Jeff but Joe is still troubled by the death of his young wife and his life outside of his work is lonely and the reader feels his pain. Tiny detail such as Joe crossing himself by every body make him a fully alive character whom the reader must admire. I would hate to have to decide which I prefer - this series or Wesley Peterson. Both are gripping page-turners.
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on 5 July 2015
Enjoyed the book but do wish Kate Ellis wouldn't give towns such stupid fictional names - eborby being the worst - we all know it's York so why change the names ???
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on 12 April 2010
I have been an avid follower of Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson books so I felt I had to try her new Joe Plantagenet books too and although I must admit the former series is better, this book was a pretty good read. The story has a good use of creepy supernatural elements (ghostly children in a lonely road where several murders have been committed), a nice blend of suspects, many with a secret to hide and a hero in Joe that I think everyone can relate to. Like most of Kate's stories, it's not some much a whodunit but a what was done, which means that there are several strands of the plot to follow. My only complaint is that some of the characters lack the depth which she usually, making some of their motives slightly weakA Painted Doom (Wesley Peterson Series). All in all, a good read which will leave the hairs on the back of your neck raised.
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on 6 April 2010
All I can say is WOW what a book.... this is the first ever Kate Ellis book I have read & I loved it... I actually read it in 2 days, its a "can't put you down book" as your gripped by every page..... a must read for murder mystery fans...... I will certainly be buying Kate's other titles.....
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on 15 August 2013
Joe Plantagent is a new series from Kate Ellis. Just as enthralling as the Wesley Peterson series. I am now collection both these series
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on 23 May 2016
i enjoy kate ellis books they are a easy read and well crafted but not as much depth as some writers
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