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Inherit the Bones: A Mystery (Detective…

Inherit the Bones: A Mystery (Detective Gemma Monroe Novels)

by Emily Littlejohn

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This was quite an interesting story that attempted to connect 2 different crimes. I really liked the main character, who had a lot of spunk and had a really good backstory. There were a bunch of other characters that were also introduced, but I wish the author had spent more time in developing relationships between them and Gemma; most of them were pretty well explained but some (like the one with her boyfriend) were really not developed at all, which was a shame. The story itself had a good pacing and I found myself intrigued as to how everything would come together. I also love everything to do with circuses, so having that be a part of the story was a little treat for me! The story itself was going really well but the ending was a bit rushed, and clichéd. As usual, the perp spills the beans on everything, but the explanation wasn't as well formed as I liked. Overall, this was an interesting story that had good pacing and a strong main character so I give this a 3.5/5 stars.

For more reviews, visit: www.veereading.wordpress.com ( )
  veeshee | Jan 29, 2018 |
This is a debut novel that doesn't read like one. Emily Littlejohn has a beautiful, lyrical writing style that captivated me from beginning to end. She's also created a nuanced main character that I definitely want to read more about. Gemma Monroe's parents were killed in a car wreck, and she was raised by her grandmother who is now in the grip of dementia. Gemma is pregnant, and her partner is off in the wilds of Alaska on a geological survey. Their relationship is complicated; Brody is a man Gemma loves deeply, and she trusts him with her life-- she just doesn't trust him with her heart. So she's got all sorts of personal troubles compounded by being forced to work with a fellow officer whose ethics have been questionable on more than one occasion.

Inherit the Bones has a fascinating premise that kept its hooks in me throughout the book, but it's one you can't really talk about for fear of giving things away. Whodunit was easily deduced by me this time around, but with the character of Gemma, the storyline, and the way Emily Littlejohn writes, I didn't care. I'm looking forward to more. ( )
  cathyskye | Sep 19, 2017 |
Gemma Monroe has a good life in Cedar Valley, Colorado. She has a job she enjoys with the local sheriff's office. She has family that she loves, and she and her partner are awaiting the birth of their first child. Now if she could only trust her life-partner and her colleagues, things might be as close to perfect as possible. While Gemma deals with her lack of trust issues with her life-partner and colleagues, she must deal with a murder case that seems to open the proverbial Pandora's Box of secrets in her hometown. The murder of a young man with the traveling circus was strange, and the case becomes even more bizarre when the identity of the dead teen is revealed to be none other than the previously presumed deceased son of the mayor. Gemma realizes that the victim's disappearance three years earlier is probably related to his murder, so she begins to dig into his background and family. Strangely, her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, warns her away from the grandfather of the victim. Gemma is then relegated to partnering a senior colleague on the case rather than leading the investigation. Adding to the overall strangeness of this case and investigation, Gemma is finding notes and messages in an attempt to get her to stop her investigation and then the newest deputy is severely injured in a hit-and-run accident. Is it possible that this murder could be tied to the town's previously unsolved murder cases from 30 years ago?

I found Inherit the Bones to be a fast-paced and wholly engaging read. I enjoyed the small-town environment, the angst from Gemma's relationships with her life-partner, grandparents, and colleagues, not to mention the murder and its investigation. Yes, obviously there's a lot more going on in Inherit the Bones than a current murder and its investigation, but you'll have to read the book to find out for yourself. I enjoyed reading about all of the characters, especially the circus folk. The small town of Cedar Valley and its history is just as important to the story as the characters. Inherit the Bones is filled with quirky characters, plausible scenarios, and intrigue upon intrigue that kept me reading until the end just to find out whodunit and why (no, I'm not going to tell you who did it or why . . . read the book!). Inherit the Bones is the first in a series by Ms. Littlejohn and I'm looking forward to reading more about Gemma Monroe in the future.

Review originally posted on 12/28/2016 at: http://www.thebookdivasreads.com/2016/12/2016-book-453-inherit-bones-by-emily.ht.... ( )
  BookDivasReads | Dec 28, 2016 |
Gemma Monroe is a police detective in a small town nestled in the mountains of Colorado. Early in her career, while skiing, Gemma found the long-buried bodies of two young boys who disappeared in the mid-1980s. The boys were murdered; their killer never found; and their disappearance and the subsequent crime has haunted the town. Now, in the present day, Gemma is called upon to investigate the gruesome murder of a teenage circus worker who was part of a circus traveling through town. Soon though, Gemma will come to realize that this murder is connected to the disappearance of the boys. She'll uncover a dark past that haunts her town--and discover that someone desperately wants her to leave the past alone.

This was an excellent and well-plotted mystery novel. The story reels you in immediately and never lets you go with its strong, complex narrative. Gemma is a likeable, fairly deep, and interesting lead character. I took to her quickly and found myself wrapped up in her life. Gemma is six months pregnant - something you don't always find in detective novels, and you see her grappling with not only the case, but her personal life. Working in a small town, she finds quickly that she can't really trust anyone, and Littlejohn gives us good insight into her squad dynamics. She also captures small town living fairly well. This is a town wrapped up in its past, unable to move on from a web of secrets and lies that have tormented it for years.

Indeed, the secrets continue to unfold, but in a completely believable manner, which I really appreciated. I guessed a part of the plot early on, but there were still so many pieces to the story that I was very much riveted until the very end. There's a strong supporting cast here as well, without the usual simple stock characters who sometimes support a rural detective. Goodreads is telling me that this is the first in a Gemma Monroe series, which I hope is true. While I think the series could hit a wall--as many others do--with the small town aspect (only so much murder and mayhem can happen in a small town: see Linda Castillo's excellent Kate Burkholder series, where you eventually start to fear for the poor townspeople of Painter's Mill), but I would certainly love to see more of Gemma.

Overall, a well-done mystery. Originally rated at 3.5 stars, but pushing up to 4 as I write this review and realize how much I enjoyed it. Always nice to have a new face in the mystery world.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 11/01/2016. ( )
  justacatandabook | Dec 5, 2016 |
Inherit the Bones is Emily Littlejohn's debut novel - and the first book in the Detective Gemma Monroe novels. (I always enjoy getting in on the ground floor a new series!)

Littlejohn opens up the book with a pretty topical crime - clowns. Well, only one clown - found viciously murdered when a travelling circus stops in town. But when the identity of that victim is discovered, old crimes, old cases and old fears are reignited. Two young brothers were abducted and killed years ago in Cedar Valley. Gemma was the one who found those bodies also - deep in the Colorado woods. The killer was never found - but lives on in infamy as The Woodsman.

Gemma is such a great protagonist! Gemma has made her home in the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado since she was a child and is now part of the police force. I was immediately drawn to her in the first few pages. She's intelligent, determined, no pushover - and six months pregnant. (I had a Fargo moment when I read this.)

Littlejohn has set the stage for the next entries in this series - the settings and descriptions of time and place have given me a solid mental image of the town and surrounding area. Littlejohn makes her home in Colorado - and the details drawn from a personal view add much to the book The supporting cast of characters are well drawn and fleshed out. We get to know the rest of the police force. Finn is the partner forced on Gemma - I enjoyed their banter and struggle to build a functional working relationship. Littlejohn gives Gemma an interesting personal storyline as well. Her partner (and the baby's father) does not make an appearance until the final pages of the book, but we learn of their troubled relationship as the book progresses.

Littlejohn's plotting is quite inventive. There are many suspects to choose from, but she kept me guessing until the last bit of the book. Well done! I really enjoy solving the crime along with the detectives, putting the pieces together as they work through the clues. There's some really great creepy suspense filled scenes as well.

I'm looking forward to seeing what other cases Littlejohn comes up with for Gemma and the Cedar Springs force. And now that Gemma has a child, it will be interesting to see how she handles being a parent with being a detective. ( )
  Twink | Nov 8, 2016 |
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"Secrets and lies can't stay buried forever in Cedar Valley. In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town's meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep. Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost forty years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe's investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley's future. Six-months pregnant, with a partner she can't trust and colleagues who know more than they're saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried. Beautifully written with a riveting plot and a richly drawn cast of characters, Inherit the Bones is a mesmerizing debut from Emily Littlejohn"--… (more)

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