Review: Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson

Description (from cover):

“Cumbria, England, 1783. The tomb of the first Earl of Greta should have lain undisturbed on its island of bones for three hundred years. When an extra body is discovered in the ancient crypt, however, Gabriel Crowther and forthright Mrs. Harriet Westerman travel to the Lake District to investigate.

Gabriel Crowther’s family, marked by its own bloodied legacy, bought the Greta’s land long ago. His brother was hanged for murdering their father, the Baron of Keswick, and Crowther has chosen the safety of seclusion and anonymity over estate and title for thirty years.

Now, Crowther and Mrs. Westerman, who is fleeing her own tragedy, find a little town caught between new horrors and old, where ancient ways challenge modern justice. In Island of Bones, Crowther discovers that his haunting past will not stay buried, and the lure of the mystery–a broken heritage, a secret history–brings him home at last.

As the New York Times Book Review said, ‘Robertson’s enjoyment of the period and her characters is infectious,’ and like the first two adventures of Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther, Island of Bones is historical suspense at its best.”

My thoughts:

         I have read both Instruments of Darkness and Anatomy of Murder, the previous two novels in this series and I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan. So for some reason I decided to pick up the third, Island of Bones, hoping that the series had gained some momentum or something, and was left seriously disappointed. I am still trying to figure out why this series has such rave reviews. Am I missing something here? This series should be everything and more to me as it is a historical mystery set in England and features the same type of characters that work for me in other series. Yet, this series for some reason always seems to fall flat and I get frustrated at myself for thinking that it’s going to get better. I think it might be time to hang it up.

       I did like the fact that this book neatly wraps up Mr. Crowther’s strange and mysterious past pretty neatly and I think that’s about all I like with this one besides the time period and setting. Mr. Crowther to me seems to much of a Sherlock Holmes knock-off. He has the same egotistical manners and the aloofness that Sherlock Holmes is well known for and he shares the same intelligence that makes them well renown in their fields of study. Mrs. Westerman’s character seems to drive me to distraction. It’s almost like the author is trying too hard to have a woman that is out of the ordinary for her time period. Sure she’s a spitfire and doesn’t take any crap, but for some reason it doesn’t all flow together and make a character that I enjoy reading. She tends to annoy me more than make me like her.

      Really, I am still over here scratching my head trying to figure out why people are claiming that this is the historical mystery of the year. This story lacks a great plot, lacks great characters and seriously left me wondering when the thing was going to end. I couldn’t wait to finish it and not for a good reason or a lack of trying to get into the story or the series. I was bored with the whole book and to be completely honest, I felt the same way about all the books of this series. Perhaps I am missing something here, but for the life of me I can’t figure it out. This book does not come highly recommended from me, but I do insist that you try it for yourself and don’t just take my word for it. Hey, it might work for you where it didn’t even come close for me. A very, very disappointing read.

      Some might call this review harsh, but honestly, I would be very mad at a friend who recommended this book to me. I don’t want anyone to pick up this book and think it to be something it’s not because I sugarcoated my review. I am not that type of person and yes, sometimes I am brutally honest, but hey that’s just who I am and what I expect in my reviews.

Overall Rating: 1.5

Title:  Island of Bones
Author:  Imogen Robertson
Series:  Crowther and Westerman Mystery #3
Publisher:  Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date:  October 11, 2012
Pages:  384
Genre:  Historical Mystery

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

10 thoughts on “Review: Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson

  1. Honest reviews are the best! If I read this I'd probably agree but I won't be because I read Instruments of Darkness and wasn't impressed so don't plan on reading any further in the series.


  2. Personally, I quite enjoyed the first book in the series and plan to read the rest, but can understand why the series wouldn't appeal to everyone. No matter that my thoughts on the series differ from yours, I always appreciate an honest review. If you don't like something it's definitely best not to pretend otherwise.


  3. That statement is so true! Thanks so much for sharing that. That's one of the things that fascinates me the most about reading, that two people can read the same book and totally get something different from it. It's a beautiful thing. Thanks for stopping by.Kimberlee


  4. I suspect the beautiful cover and genre probably drew you in. So sorry you were disappointed. Loved your honesty!My problem as a reviewer is that if I don't like the book, I cannot finish the book. If I stop reading, I don't feel it is ethical to write a review. So I usually inform the publisher that I will not be posting a review. So kudos to you for finishing a book you didn't enjoy…


  5. I have a thing where I like to see what happens even if the book is terrible. I'm weird like that. Now sometimes the book is so awful I can't even stick it out the end. I also got this one from the library so I had no obligation to a publisher or anyone else. I just like to post what I think about everything I read. Thanks for stopping by.Kimberlee


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