Jeanne Matthews
The Top End of Australia is
a land teeming with crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and curious Aboriginal myths.  It's a strange place to choose to end one's life, but that is what Dinah Pelerin's wealthy American uncle has done.  Dying of cancer, he has summoned his entire family -- current wife, ex-wife, assorted children and niece to a comfortless lodge where he intends to rewrite his will and commit suicide with the aid of a rogue Australian physician with whom he shares a mysterious history.

Dinah sees this time with her uncle as a last chance to learn the truth about her father, who died during the commission of a felony when she was a child.  But when she arrives, she discovers that the truth has darker ramifications than she'd bargained for. Her artist brother thinks he's possessed by the spirit of a snake god who is moving his hand metaphysically across the canvas; her uncle is obsessed with a woman he married but could never possess; the rest of the family is seething with resentments; and a man none of them claims to know is murdered on a nearby island, impaled on the back of a sea turtle.

A wannabe anthropologist with a passion for mythology, Dinah tries to sort out the complicated song lines of her own ancestors while struggling to solve not one, but two, bizarre murders.

Bones of Contention

Published by Poisoned Pen Press,

Scottsdale, AZ

Available in:

Hardcover: ISBN 978-1-59058-728-7 

Trade Pbk: ISBN 978-1-59058-730-0

Large Type Pbk: ISBN 978-1-59058-730-0

Available in bookstores on June 1st, 2010

"Bloody murder in a country house in the Ozzie outback, featuring the most dysfunctional family since Cold Comfort Farm..."


- Dana Stabenow, Edgar-winning author


"Jeanne Matthews� Bones of Contention has it all: clever plotting, corkscrew twists, and lively, entertaining characters. And then there�s the bonus of the Australian locale - and lingo - both of which are laid out for us with verve and wit. What Matthews has done, and done cleverly, is to take that most traditional and charming of murder-mystery settings, the country-house party, fill it with Americans instead of Brits, plop it down in the wilds of Australia�s Northern Territory, and invest the whole thing with an unmistakably modern sensibility. It's a first-rate debut...."


- Aaron Elkins, Edgar-winning author of Old Bones

Satisfying Manor House Mystery Just in Time for Summer Reading

By Andrew Kennett

"Move over Agatha Christie; there is a new mystery writer on the block, and her debut novel shows that she has the skills to become the new queen of the Manor House mystery. Bones of Contention by Jeanne Matthews is a fantastic read, well-paced with interesting characters and an abundance of plot twists.

This novel could easily become one of the hits of the summer..."