The Comfort of Distance
The Boxwood Torso
Where the Blood is Made
By: Ryburn Dobbs
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 16 and up
Sebastien Grey doesn’t like CSI. According to him, it’s “improbable.” In the real world, you can’t put a skull in a machine and then have the person’s 3-D face float above the table–although that would be cool. Real forensic anthropology is much more mundane…
…unless your Ryburn Dobbs.
Sebastien Grey is a super sharp forensic anthropologist with severe social anxiety issues, and he’s also the star of Ryburn Dobbs’ three debut novels: The Comfort of Distance, The Boxwood Torso, and Where the Blood is Made. (Who else appreciates great titles?!) I love discovering good books, and I love discovering new authors that deserve to be known. I was super impressed with these books, and I predict big things for Ryburn Dobbs!
The Comfort of Distance introduces us to Sebastian Grey, a brilliant forensic anthropologist from San Francisco who takes careful notes of his social anxieties so he can report them to his therapist at their next meeting. He prefers to stick to himself and his comforts…until a phone call from his detective brother in South Dakota presents him with a forensic mystery that’s too curious to ignore.
I mean, who wouldn’t be pulled out of social self-isolation by the discovery of an unexplained human skull?
Thus begins a series of mysteries to solve and bad guys to catch across three stand-alone novels, all thanks to Sebastien Grey’s Sherlockian sleuthing skills involving human bones, an uncanny application of common sense, and really clever writing from Ryburn Dobbs.
I found the application of forensic science fascinating, and I loved the slow-build tension that pulled me through the pages to the “Oh! Now I get it!” endings. A side benefit was seeing Sebastien Grey learn to manage his anxieties to form relationships with his family–and maybe even a bit of romance on the side!
I appreciated the PG content that’s atypical for procedural crime mysteries. There’s some PG level language and non-graphic descriptions of murder and death. No sexual content.
Best for 16 and up.