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The Bone is Pointed (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, #6)
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The Bone is Pointed (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte #6)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  419 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Jack Anderson was a big man with a foul temper, a sadist and a drunk. Five months after his horse appeared riderless, no trace of the man has surfaced and no one seems to care. But Bony is determined to follow the cold trail and smoke out some answers.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 1984 by Collier Books (first published 1938)
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La Tonya  Jordan
Sep 28, 2016 La Tonya Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Mystery Book Group Carmel, In Library
Shelves: good-read
Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is a half-caste. His mother is an aborigine and his father is white. Given the choice to live a life as an aborigine or a white person. He chooses the latter. He is proud of the fact he has solved all of his cases. To Napoleon Bonaparte, who is called Bony, this represents the intellect of the aborigine and dispels the myth that aborigines are inferior to whites.

Jeffery Anderson has disappeared and the case is five months old. Bony is sent by his superiors
Oct 01, 2011 Bev rated it liked it
The Bone Is Pointed is the sixth novel in Arthur W. Upfield's detective series featuring Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the second of the these novels which I have read. In this outing Bony is called to the bush country where a man went missing five months ago. Few people really care what happened to Jack Anderson. He was a cruel man with a nasty temper...a man who wasn't afraid to use his whip on those who crossed him. Have the bush men exacted revenge for his beating of one of their own? ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Roberta rated it it was amazing
I have read all the "Bony" books before, but in this mystery the natural features of the Australian Outback are vivid and gritty. The migration of the rabbits (world gone mad) and the Aboriginal "pointing of the bone" make this like a lesson in natural history and anthropology. Done with the ever charming detective Napoleon Bonaparte, who's ancestry is part European and part Aborigine. Fascinating. Was there a TV series made based on these books? Arthur W.Upfield is the Tony Hillerman of Austral ...more
Mary Stanton
If you haven't discovered Arthur Upfield--well, you'll love his setting. It's Australia in the 30's with a half-aborigine detective named Napoleon Bonaparte. The best of this series is THE BONE IS POINTED.
Jun 06, 2017 John rated it really liked it
Way out west, a man has disappeared. No one seems to have liked him. Bony arrives on the scene and is hit by a feeling of unease. Is he being followed, and by whom? Soon Bony is mentally struck down, knowing the bone has been pointed. Will Bony get his man, or die in the attempt. Obviously he doesn't, but as usual the story grabs the reader and just doesn't let up.
Jun 14, 2017 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I love this series and this protagonist. Of the Napoleon Boneparte books, this is my favorite. I love the setting as well, and the element of the supernatural.
Vallery Feldman
Feb 03, 2017 Vallery Feldman rated it it was ok
At one time I read a lot of Upfield and was hoping to enjoy this one. However, I found the book very slow and Boney no longer as appealing a character as before. Maybe I have outgrown this series.
Oct 07, 2015 Eastendleo rated it liked it
Arthur Upfield was a British Australian in a time when British was understood to mean white. His character for his mystery series, Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, is half Aboriginal.

As a detective novel, it works. Some of the Australian background is taken for granted and could have done with a bit more explanation. Some of the topography and vegetation is named but leaves no impression for those of us unfamiliar with their reality.

What detracts from the story (or did for me) is the race politics.
Nov 15, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#6 in the Napoleon "Bony" Bonaparte series. Bony is the son of an English mother and an Australian aboriginal father. This tale of mysterious doings on a pair of stations (ranches) in the rural Australia of the 1940s is fascinating. Bony makes it a point that he has never failed to solve a case and he has never quit one until it was solved. When he is assigned to find what happened to a fence rider who disappeared in an epic rainstorm five months earlier he must utilize all of his knowledge of b ...more
Timothy Ferguson
Oct 25, 2012 Timothy Ferguson rated it liked it
Oh, such a complicated book for what’s basically a simple detective mystery. It’s the first in the Bony series I’ve listened to, and I enjoyed it immensely except for a disquiet through the whole thing on the matter of race. Are Bony’s feelings of internalised inferiority (due to having a black mother) meant to represent that author’s opinion? Are they meant to show how some black people felt at the time? Can you really admire a hero (and otherwise he’s far more personable than, say Hercule Poir ...more
"In this country colour is no bar to a keen man's progress providing that he has twice the ability of his rivals. I have devoted my gifts to the detection of crime, believing that when justice is sure the community is less troubled by the criminal. That I stand midway between the black man, who makes fire with a stick, and the white man, who kills women and babes with bombs and machine guns, should not be accounted against me. I have been satisfied with the employment of my mental and inherited ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Rusty rated it it was amazing
This is an author recommended by one of my friends on Paperback Swap and he does an awesome job of crafting an exciting mystery. The main character is Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, half Aboriginal, who is sent to discover what happened to a man who disappeared checking fence and the herds. Much is included about Aboriginal culture and practices which adds to the tale itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bonaparte, his investigation and experiences. Yes, he discovers what happened to the man and why. To
isabelle de leeneer
Nov 30, 2013 isabelle de leeneer rated it it was amazing
I love the whole series written by Arthur Upfield, a pseudonym for two cousins who wrote these wonderful stories happening in the deep Australia, in the fifties. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, who's mother is aboriginal and father is white, who is very unconventional in his methods and is at its best in the great open spaces where only farms and sheep and horses can be seen, takes us with hime to discover this country and the farmers with their hard life. Just by reading these stories, I wanted t ...more
Alaina Sloo
Jan 06, 2013 Alaina Sloo rated it really liked it
A wonderful series detective novel series, written from the 1920s to the 1960s. Most of the books in this series are set in or near towns or stations in the Australian bush. The books offer a wonderful sense of place and culture of the time, good mysteries to solve, and a half-aboriginal, half-white police detective called Napoleon Bonaparte, a character in the Sherlock Holmes mold. A few of the Napoleon Bonaparte books are set in larger towns or cities, but I think the books set in the bush are ...more
Mahmoud Adly
Mar 18, 2012 Mahmoud Adly rated it liked it
I wish I could finish reading to the very end of this novel. But unfortunately the language of most characters was taking time to understand than concentrating with other details. Writing with the local Australian accent was not suitable for me. But in general it was a great plot with many details to distract the inspector (or after all, the reader), plus the beautiful description of the scenes.
In the first 5 books in the series, Bony works undercover. In this one everyone is aware that he is a (police) detective looking into the disappearance of a man several months earlier. The man's horse came back without him and no one has seen him since.

The sections about the rabbit migration are going to give me nightmares!
Carol Colfer
Feb 07, 2016 Carol Colfer rated it liked it
Most of Upfield's Bony stories include interesting insights into aboriginal culture. This one brings the rancher/farmers together with the neighbouring aborigines in a complex plot. As usual, Bony uses his observational skills to solve the puzzling murder.
Sue Law
Jan 20, 2017 Sue Law rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
I really enjoyed this mystery. Bony is sent to Western Queensland to investigate the disappearance of a man which happened 5 months previously. Were the local aboriginal tribe responsible? If not who are they protecting?
Jun 26, 2007 Jesse rated it really liked it
Shelves: bony
Arthur Upfield writes some intense mysteries, and he is uncanny at keeping the perpetrator a secret until the very end. The Bone is Pointed deals with many Australian aboriginal mysteries and is my favorite of his many books.
Elizabeth Robinson
A reader will learn a lot about the Australian outback by reading this book. Published in the 1940's, it's somewhat dated but well-written. The protagonist, Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, is a fascinating character.
William Doonan
Feb 07, 2013 William Doonan rated it really liked it
I had never heard of Upfield until a friend told me about him. This is a very good book, dated, for sure, and loaded with the languages and prejudices of the time in which is was written. But it was a blast to read.
Oct 21, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is, in Australian lingo of the mid-20th century, a "half-caste." That is, he is half-Aborigine and half-white. Arthur Upfield might not have been the best mystery writer ever, but he did challenge white Australian stereotypes about the Aborigines.
Apr 09, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was in High School, it was a book on my English reading list. I enjoyed it then and some 40 years later this book still managed to keep me enthralled. With the plot being set in outback Australia this just added to the enjoyment and it was a great mystery read.
Peter Metcalfe
Jan 26, 2012 Peter Metcalfe rated it really liked it
the first book of Upfield that i read and one of many by the original man of mystery in the Australian landscape
Aug 15, 2012 Drury rated it really liked it
I love the use of 'native' Aussie 'things', the names of the natives, the description of the landscape, the rabbits, the boning...
Jul 29, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Aboriginal shaman uses sympathetic magic in an attempt to harm Bony. This story goes into tribal beliefs and their interactions with whites in greater depth.
Russell L
Oct 03, 2016 Russell L rated it really liked it
A book about Australia.A good one,but it has quite a few Australian words and phrases.
Jul 10, 2012 Bonnie marked it as to-read
Shelves: newman, mystery
Inspector Bonaparte #6
Feb 21, 2010 Sharron rated it liked it
Shelves: australia
One of Upfield's better efforts because it evokes the Bush so well.
Mary Bennett
Aug 17, 2016 Mary Bennett rated it really liked it
This was a fun mystery because of all the aborigine culture detail and interesting protagonist. The author really provided a great sense of place.
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Aka Arthur Upfield

Arthur William Upfield (1 September 1890 – 13 February 1964) was an Australian writer, best known for his works of detective fiction featuring Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte ('Bony') of the Queensland Police Force, a half-caste Aborigine.

Born in England, Upfield moved to Australia in 1910 and fought with the Australian military during the First World War. Following his wa
More about Arthur W. Upfield...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • The Barrakee Mystery (Bony, #1)
  • The Sands of Windee (Bony, #2)
  • Wings Above the Diamantina (Bony, #3)
  • Murder Down Under
  • Winds of Evil (A Scribner Crime Classics)
  • The Mystery of Swordfish Reef
  • No Footprints in the Bush
  • Death of a Swagman
  • The Devil's Steps
  • An Author Bites the Dust

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