Reviews – Written in Bone & Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

Posted February 20, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 8 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reviews – Written in Bone & Everyone in My Family Has Killed SomeoneWritten in Bone by Sue Black
Published by Arcade on February 21, 2023
Genres: Science / True Crime
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association ALCS Gold Dagger for Nonfiction—
A tour through the human skeleton and the secrets our bones reveal, from the author of All That Remains

In her memoir All That Remains, internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist Dame Sue Black recounted her life lived eye to eye with the Grim Reaper. During the course of it, she offered a primer on the basics of identifying human remains, plenty of insights into the fascinating processes of death, and a sober, compassionate understanding of its inescapable presence in our existence, all leavened with her wicked sense of humor.

In her new book, Sue Black builds on the first, taking us on a guided tour of the human skeleton and explaining how each person's life history is revealed in their bones, which she calls "the last sentinels of our mortal life to bear witness to the way we lived it." Her narrative follows the skeleton from the top of the skull to the small bones in the foot. Each step of the journey includes an explanation of the biology—how the bone is formed in a person's development, how it changes as we age, the secrets it may hold—and is illustrated with anecdotes from the author's career helping solve crimes and identifying human remains, whether recent or historical. Written in Bone is full of entertaining stories that read like scenes from a true-life CSI drama, infused with humor and no-nonsense practicality about the realities of corpses and death.

I really enjoyed reading this book! My family is probably glad that I finished it since I wouldn’t stop talking about it on the days that I was reading it. Of all of the classes I took in college, the ones that have stayed with me are the ones dealing with the anatomy of the human body. For some reason, it has always been fascinating to me. I jumped at the chance to read this book and found it to be both informative and entertaining.

I liked the way that the book was laid out with each chapter being dedicated to a section on the body. The author uses real cases to illustrate the topic being discussed which I found incredibly interesting. A few of the situations that were highlighted in the book were stranger than anything that I could imagine and I enjoyed the explanations regarding how science could both identify an individual and their cause of death. I felt like the author presented the information in a manner that would work well for the average reader.

I would recommend this book to others. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this book was definitely my kind of book. I applaud the author for sharing parts of her own life and for giving me something to think about. I would not hesitate to read more of Sue Black’s work.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reviews – Written in Bone & Everyone in My Family Has Killed SomeoneEveryone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
Published by Mariner Books on January 17, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Knives Out and Clue meet Agatha Christie and The Thursday Murder Club in this “utterly original” (Jane Harper), “not to be missed” (Karin Slaughter), fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery.

Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it is the truth. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate.

I’m Ernest Cunningham. Call me Ern or Ernie. I wish I’d killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

Have I killed someone? Yes. I have.

Who was it?

Let’s get started.


My brother

My stepsister

My wife

My father

My mother

My sister-in-law

My uncle

My stepfather

My aunt


I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The title definitely grabbed my attention but I also found the story quite compelling. The story is told from our narrator, Ernest’s point of view. As we work out way through the book, we learn some background of all the members of the Cunningham family while working to save the case of a much more recent murder. This was a locked room mystery that broke the fourth wall which was exactly the something a bit different that I had hoped it would be.

Ern is an author. He writes books about how to write books for the most part. As he tells this story, he takes time to stop and talk to the reader about why he presents the facts in the manner he does in this book. Ern is attending a family reunion at a remote ski resort. This reunion coincides with his brother’s release from prison. Ern may be a big reason why his brother went to prison in the first place so he is not the most popular relative at the reunion. It doesn’t take long for the first body to show up and Ern decides that he needs to figure out just what is really going on.

I really liked the way that this story is told. I thought it was fun that Ern talked directly to the reader and I really liked his character. I was hooked by the mystery right away and couldn’t wait to find out exactly what was going on. Ern’s family was an interesting group of characters and I liked the way that we learn a bit about each of their histories as we work our way through the book. There was plenty of excitement and twists to keep the story very interesting.

I would recommend this book to others. I found this to be an entertaining and somewhat unique mystery featuring a quirky cast of characters. I would definitely read more of Benjamin Stephenson’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Mariner Books.

8 responses to “Reviews – Written in Bone & Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

  1. I have Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone on my TBR list. I’m glad it turned out to be as entertaining a read as the title implies.

  2. I don’t read much non-fiction but I do love forensic sciences and the process of solving real-life murder mysteries. I like the sound of both books. I’ll look and see if there are library audios. Great reviews, Carole!

  3. Great reviews you have there. It looks like you really enjoyed these titles. I don’t read much non fiction, but I am happy that it worked so well for you.

  4. Verushka

    Benjamin Stevenson is an Aussie author, and this title has been on my radar for a bit but I haven’t got around to it yet. It’s definitely one that has left an impression on readers thus far — and breaking of the fourth wall really has me curious about this.

  5. I’m adding both of these to my TBR though I’m especially interested in Written in Bone. I love nonfiction that really keeps my interest and that I want to talk about.