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Carved in Bone (Body Farm #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,676 Ratings  ·  772 Reviews
A woman’s corpse lies hidden in a cave in the mountains of East Tennessee. Undiscovered for thirty years, her body has been transformed into a near-perfect mummy. Clueless, the local police enlist the help of Dr Bill Brockton, renowned anthropologist and founder of the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility – the Body Farm. When Brockton’s autopsy disclos ...more
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published March 27th 2008 by Quercus (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is the first in a now established series by the writing team of Bill Bass, a real forensic professor at the University of Tennessee, and Jon Jefferson, a writer and reported. You can definitely tell this is a first effort. I found some of the humor and dialog to be a little immature and clunky in several places. I also found it difficult to believe that this widower is suddenly being seduced and fawned over by not one, but two college girls. Really??? Not too believable.

The mystery part was
Dec 25, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sensational first book in the series by the author known as Jefferson Bass. While not only laying out a comprehensive explanation of forensic anthropology for laymen, but also creating a great story, the author is able to keep the reader interested from beginning to end. Explaining things while still moving the story forward is a great skill. Doing so while keeping characters developing, the setting realistic and the plot from going stale sets this book apart from many others I have read. Whil ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Alondra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alondra by: Bill
Shelves: books-i-own
4 Stars

Awesome read. Really enjoyed this new series.

All about forensic anthropology, which was more interesting than it sounds. There are more twists and turns than the Jersey Pike.

Dr Brockton is brought in to solve an old murder and finds that someone wants to stop him dead in his tracks. With the aide of his students and Art, who happens to be a kick-ass cop, one of the top criminalists, at that.

The entire time I read the book, I never had a clue as to who was the good guy. Just when you th
Kristen Elise
Where can you find a world class research institute, decaying bodies, Skoal spitting rednecks, underground caves and steamy romance all within a mile of each other? Carved in Bone, of course!

Author Jefferson Bass is himself a fascinating character. Too bad he doesn't exist.

Bass is a hybrid between writer Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass - the forensic anthropologist who founded the notorious "body farm", a three acre breeding ground for rotting corpses in backwoods Tennessee. In fact, the area is
CARVED IN BONE (Forensic Mystery-TN-Cont) – G+
Bass, Jefferson – 1st book
Harper, 2007- US Paperback- ISBN: 9780060759827
***Anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton is summoned to a Tennessee mountain town where the local sheriff and deputy take him to see a mummified corpse of a young woman. His first task is to find out who she is and how she died. And then he has to find out who killed her while not dying himself.
*** I liked this book. The protagonist clearly knows his forensics but is down to earth, g
Oct 02, 2013 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. I got this book as either the free Friday Nook book or it was the daily find and I paid $1.99 for it. Either way, I am happy I did not make a huge investment in this book. It barely scraped by at getting 2 stars from me. It is not that the writing is bad, but the editing is horrendous. This book has no idea what it is supposed to be (I seem to be coming across that a lot in books of late)- is it a thriller, a procedural, a story about small town dynamics? Not to say that a book can't be all ...more
May 04, 2012 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good! The author takes you step-by-step in the scientific processes and gives great, easy to understand background information so you don't have to worry about knowing anything about Forensic Anthropology to be able to enjoy this book. Infact, the story is presented in such a way that you actually learn true information as you go along and in a very fun way, if I may add. The discriptions of the places Dr. Brockton goes really comes to life in your minds eye because it is so wel ...more
Sue Smith
Jun 18, 2013 Sue Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good introduction of characters and what will hopefully be a long and interesting series of murder and mystery. I do like the fact that the author is -in fact- an actual author duo, one being the primary writer and one who is an actual scientist and was a key reason why the 'Body Farm' actually exists. It makes for a much more interesting read actually, as you know it's based more on truth than on fiction. So what you're shaking your head at (because it's out of the realm of yo ...more
Not sure what put me off about this one, which I got as a Free Friday ebook from Barnes & Noble, and would not otherwise have read. It might be that the protagonist had the usual Robert Langdon/Mikael Blomkvist trait of being an emotionally damaged middle-aged man who is irresistible to much younger women. It might be that the character I suspected of obstructing justice from the beginning was, in fact, obstructing justice. Or maybe it was the multitude of oddly placed tertiary characters, w ...more
Along with his partner Dr. Bill Bass, Jon Jefferson manages to weave some very technical information (you learn a lot about skeletal anatomy) into a story of murder and revenge in the hills of Tennessee. Not a whole lot of twists, but the characters are compelling enough to keep the pages turning.

I enjoyed reading this book, although it wasn't near as interesting as the crime scene investigation workshop I attended conducted by the author, Jon Jefferson. After hearing him describe what it was li
Jan 19, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
really liked this book, much easier to read then Kathy Reichs. Believable characters, and much more likeable than the aforementioned series. Awesome forensic sceince, and local colorful folks. Will be wantin' ta read more o' these.
Not for the squeamish, The Body Farm grabbed my attention from the get- go, and never let go until the end! I read it in one day. Fortunately this book was suggested to me by my GR friend Michael, as a candidate to read in my Road Trip USA Challenge, for the state of Tennessee. I am so glad I followed his advice. I will definitely be adding this series to my "must read" list.

There are so many elements within this book that ring true. Jefferson Bass is the pen name for two talented individuals w
I started this book out with a lot of eye rolling because it seemed to fall into the same traps of many novels written by experts: too much professional detail without enough true writing skill, and too much hokey dialogue. But the writing really grew on me, and although the writing choices make it clear it's written by a professional forensic anthropologist, you can't deny that the details are incredibly interesting. The humor and relationships between the characters felt more charming and real ...more
I thought this would be more about the Body Farm itself and was disappointed, but I needed an easy read, pure fluff, which this was. The situations described were unrealistic and not particularly interesting or suspenseful. The personal back story really had no connection to the primary plot. Based on this one, I won't rush out to read more Jefferson Bass books, despite his "pedigree." He should have stuck to forensic anthropology. I have read worse and more predictable books, though!
John Wiltshire
Oct 11, 2015 John Wiltshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jefferson Bass is the pen name of two men who co-authored this series of books. One is a writer (Jon Jefferson), one a scientist (Dr Bill Bass), the founder of The Body Farm--the nickname for the forensic anthropology research establishment in Tennessee. The book is about Dr Bass and his work, but as a fictional character called Dr Bill Brockton. It's hard to wrap your head around, and if asked I'd have predicted that the book would be a mess. I'd have been very, very wrong. This book is incredi ...more
3.5 stars

I definitely enjoyed this book enough to continue the series. I didn't find the resolution to the mystery particularly surprising and found the protagonist to be a bit of a jackass at times. That said, many of the supporting characters were great and the forensic science as applied to the story was incredibly interesting. If you love shows like forensic files, medical detectives or even the show CSI, don't hesitate to pick up this page turner.
A generally enjoyable, well-paced forensic mystery set in Tennessee. Some of the story line was a bit convoluted, but overall, I enjoyed very much. I liked the setting, the interest in the Body Farm and hope more of that aspect is covered in future stories. The characters are interesting and the story held my interest throughout. I look forward to reading more in the series. Flesh and Bone is up next
If I could work with anyone right now it would be Bass! He is my all time greatest male mentor!
I admire his work both at "The Body Farm" and in the literary field. I believe that his research and contributions in forensics is and will be monumental in sovlving the mysteries of both life and living; and death and dying for centuries to come.
May 16, 2014 Cherei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Morrow had recommended a later book written by Jefferson Bass that sounded so good.. I had to buy it. But, before I started reading it.. I wanted to start with some of the earlier novels. This is the book I chose to download first. Such a fast paced, tantalizing thriller.. that it carries the reader to the very end sitting on the edge of their seat the entire way! To think.. this book is written by the man who brought us the REAL body farm. There's no made up hokum junk science in this b ...more
A body is discovered deep in a cave in Cooke County and forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton from Knoxville is called in to examine the scene. After returning to the Regional Forensic Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, he and his assistant Miranda examine the body to determine who she is and how she died. They discover a bit of evidence on the body that might help determine what happened and tie her death to a particular someone.

As Doctor Brockton soon discovers, many of the
Mar 31, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the Body Farm series, however, I read it after I had read #2-Flesh and Bone. There are major reference and plot development in Flesh and Bone coming out of this book that I found it necessary to read Carved in Bone to appreciate the events of book #2. I would recommend this series, particularly if you like CSI and medical dramas (You need to start with book #1, unlike me).

Dr. Brockton runs the Body farm at the University of Tennessee. The Body Farm is a unique research
Kathy Davie
Jan 09, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
First in the Body Farm mystery series revolving around Dr. Brockton at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

My Take
Oh, god! I do love how Bass started this. He sets you up thinking one thing in the Prologue and switches completely by the first chapter. His character, Dr. Brockton, is interesting. He's got a wicked sense of humor and some personal issues and it's a good thing that he accepts a joke on himself...turnabout is fair play. That said, I found this story more clinical and detached t

This is written in part by the real-life founder of the Body Farm research facility in Tennessee, Dr. Bill Bass, which is what initially drew me to this series. I was warned ahead of time that this series got off to a rocky start, but was told it would get better later in the series. I knew who the killer was by the time I was about a third of the way through the book, which was kind of disappointing. And I tried to overlook some odd storyline developments, like the fact that the main c
May 29, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The 1st half was a lot like reading a college textbook, interesting because of the subject matter, but boring! Definitely, not a page turner of a book, until half way through. The geography of the locale is described in detail, the layout of the UT campus, and the eastern Tennessee border, etc. But the author never describes the main character very well, is he middle aged or an old man. I never could quite figure that out. But he seems Andy Griffenth's-ness . So old.

Then out of the blue comes th
Apr 21, 2009 Sunnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forensic based crime fiction has become very popular in recent years. CARVED IN BONE is a worthy entrant in this sub-genre. Not only is it chock full of scientific details of forensic anthropology in easily understandable terms, it is also one terrific yarn. The characters have depth and the setting is so well described it is easy to visualise.

I loved the book and found myself reading aloud passages that describe some of the forensic procedures, much to the chagrin of some of my family.

If you’ve
Feb 07, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If you live around Knoxville, TN and watch the news then you more than likely have heard of Dr. Bill Bass, the "Bass" in the writing team of Jefferson Bass. Dr. Bass is a former professor of forensic anthropology at the University of Tennessee (my alma mater!) and founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, affectionately known as the Body Farm. His professional work has influenced both Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell.

Carved in Bone is the first in a series of bo
Maureen DeLuca
This is more of a 2 1/2 star read- very technical book and it reads more of a text book feel. Very hard to get into the characters- even though I wanted to soooo badly. The idea of the story/book could be a very good one, with perhaps a different author. There were times, I was bored- I was never a text book type of gal !!
3.5 stars

This is an interesting murder thriller. I've read better, I've read worse. I'll probably read another of Bass' books since this is his first one.
I found this first book in this extensive series to be a good read. It is definitely a debut novel, with some of the attendant problems. They won't stop me from reading the next and hoping for improvement!
Angela Sollom
A little on the unbelievable side but not bad.
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Jefferson Bass on FACEBOOK

Jon Jefferson

Bill Bass

Jefferson Bass is the pen name of Jon Jefferson, writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, renowned forensic anthropologist. Jefferson and Bass have collaborated on 2 nonfiction books and 6 crime novels; their 7th novel, The Inquisitor's Key, will
More about Jefferson Bass...

Other Books in the Series

Body Farm (10 books)
  • Flesh and Bone (Body Farm #2)
  • The Devil's Bones (Body Farm #3)
  • Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4)
  • The Bone Thief (Body Farm, #5)
  • The Bone Yard (Body Farm, #6)
  • The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm #7)
  • Cut to the Bone (Body Farm, #8)
  • The Breaking Point  (Body Farm, #9)
  • Without Mercy (Body Farm, #10)

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“The morgue looked deserted, though in fact it was never unattended.” 1 likes
“My God, is this a date?" Jeff had asked when I asked if I could bring her along.
"I don't know," I said. "She might still be happily lesbian.”
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