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Brooklyn Bones (Erica Donato #1)

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  134 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In Brooklyn Bones, a crime of the past comes much too close to home when Erica Donato's teen-age daughter Chris finds a skeleton behind a wall in their crumbling Park Slope home. Erica - young widow, over-age history Ph.D candidate, mother of a teen, product of blue-collar Brooklyn - is drawn into the mystery when she learns this was an unknown teen-age girl, hidden there ...more
ebook, 270 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Poisoned Pen Press
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(showing 1-29 of 249)
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Mar 02, 2013 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
I loved this book. It was a teensy bit predictable (I just mean that I guessed it before the end), and the ending was a bit too nicely "wrapped up," but the characters and the rest of the story made up for it. The person who read the book was quite good, and really gave life to the characters. I'm looking forward to more books in this series!
Jan 13, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brooklyn Bones is scheduled for release in early February. This is a Poisoned Pen Press publication. The author is Triss Stein. I recieved this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Erica Donato, a young widow and mother of a teenage daughter, is renovating her house a little at a time. Her friend Joe is helping her do the work and has hired Erica's daughter,Chris to help him out a little. One afternoon, while knocking down a wall, Chris makes a gruesome discovery. The skeleton of a teenage
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This is the first novel in a new series known as the 'Erica Donato Mysteries.' The question posed is 'What did you think?' The answer is a resounding Great Great and more Greats. This book caught me up in the plot on paragraph one in Chapter one and held me until the last paragraph on the final page.

This was not a cozy genre book, but a true classic mystery novel. We have a young widow, Erica Donato trying to raise a fifteen year old, Chris, while finishing up her Doctoral in History, trying to
May 06, 2013 Nora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It felt a bit ponderous trying to get where it was going. Predictable. Not a bad try. I'd like to read some later books to see if the talent develops.
Dec 30, 2015 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brooklyn Bones by Triss Stein is expected to be released on February 5, 2013. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy for my Kindle. This book takes place in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. (which added a fun little element to the book for me as everything felt so familiar to me). It centers around a single mom named Erica Donato and her daughter, who, while doing some remodeling of their home discover the skeleton of a young girl buried deep within the walls of their home years ago. The m ...more
Gloria Feit
Feb 21, 2013 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erica Donato has a difficult personal life: Her mother has passed away, she is estranged from her father after he moved away to Arizona with the new woman in his life, her husband died in a tragic accident at age 26, leaving a 24-year-old widow and three-year-old daughter, now fifteen, and she is trying to raise a teenage daughter on her own. Erica is a historian, in grad school, and working in a museum on a part-time internship, receiving a small paycheck and getting academic credit for the wor ...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: It began with a sobbing phone call from my daughter, the kind of call every parent dreads.

Erica Donato's teenage daughter, Chris, has been helping the contractor with the renovations on their old Brooklyn brownstone. She calls her mother in hysteria because she just found a skeleton when tearing down an old wall. The skeleton is of a young girl, and from the looks of the other items with her, she's been holding her teddy bear since sometime in the 1970s.

The police seem to think that
Lynne Perednia
Erica Donato is making a life for herself and her daughter, going to grad school, working part-time in a museum and renovating their Park Slope home. She misses her husband, who died too young, but she treasures her friends and family. What was a quiet life is shattered when the renovaters, including her daughter, discover the bones of a teenage girl, cradling a teddy bear, hidden in a wall of the house.

Soon, Erica and her teenage daughter, Chris, are encountering strangers threatening them in t
Apr 28, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-new-york
Erica and daughter Chris have lived in their house in an ungentrified corner of Brooklyn for years, but it's time to do some renovating. The last thing they expect is to find a skeleton in the wall. Busy with her PhD program and her internship, Erica nonetheless can't stop wondering just who was hidden in the wall...As her life spirals out of control, she realizes that all the odd things that are happening are somehow linked to that body.
Maria McGrath
I really wanted to like this book, and some aspects were all right. The Park Slope setting seemed pretty accurate, and of course gentrification is a hot topic. Even the reflections on 70s counterculture were okay, but the writing was stilted, and the protagonist was only somewhat likable, and the coincidences were two far-fetched. Also, two bottles of wine for a two-person picnic? Huh?
Feb 02, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting story, with a lot of historical details and an amateur sleuth.

What would you do if your home remodel unveiled a corpse, and you had the wherewithall to determine who was in the right place at the right time? Despite threats, Erica sends her daughter off to camp and keeps digging until the lid blows off the case.

Along the way there is romance and drama.

I enjoyed the process and would look forward to more adventures in Brooklyn.

I received a free copy of this ebook.
Joan Mueller
Nov 15, 2014 Joan Mueller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent murder mystery
It brought together elements of investigation while in the midst of the hubris of a single working mother's life. Good portrayal the words just flowed
Sep 30, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this mystery and Brooklyn setting...I think our historian character should have many, many adventures. C'mon, Triss Stein, write faster.
Jan 12, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
A Mystery that takes us through the Life of Historian Erica Donato.. Her Daughter and past lives of others keep showing up... Lots of moments brought me back to Park Slope in Brooklyn NY....Curious about Book 2...
Feb 08, 2016 Darla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic mystery, who done it!
Anne Hawn Smith
Sep 20, 2013 Anne Hawn Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, own, read-2013
I listened to this on a 600 mile trip and it held my attention. The story is about single mother and her 15 year old daughter who live in an area of Brooklyn which is being renovated. In the process, a skeleton is found in a bricked up fireplace. Both the mother and daughter are intrigued by the bones, especially because it was a young teen who was buried with a teddy bear and some other personal effects. Looking into the history of the house, the two find that there is information that someone ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A skeleton found during a renovation leads to more crimes while the house owner searches for answers and tries to stay on top of life's responsibilities. I enjoyed the story more than I thought based on the title. While this isn't a tame murder mystery, the story could almost be more about life than than it is about crime and the author seems to care more about constructing a believable plot than writing for shock value. I would read the next book in the series.

This book contains alcohol use and
May 03, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave careful consideration to the number of stars I gave this book and finally settled on 3. 4 for the story and 2 for the poor editing. The story was well crafted and held my interest. The characters were pretty well crafted with just a couple minor exceptions. Unfortunately the editing errors were a constant distraction with the overuse of commas particularly annoying. I will be on the lookout for more Erica Donato stories by Ms. Stein. Hopefully with better editing.
Dewayne Stark
Oct 07, 2013 Dewayne Stark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chastity Druga
This book was well written although it wasn't edited very well, a lot of typos. This book was not what I expected. I thought it was gonna be more of a mystery but it was more of a story of a middle-aged widow and her daily life with an actual Skelton buried in her fireplace wall. Not much of a mystery at all, at least not the ones I'm used to reading.
Liz V.
Feb 22, 2013 Liz V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giveaway from Dru Ann at

Excellent story, well told, about a widow trying to cope with work/school, a teenage daughter, family and friends, and house renovations. The latter reveal skeletal remains of teenager.

My only quibble about this book is with proofreading.
Leslie Angel
Dec 02, 2015 Leslie Angel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Picked this up because it takes place in my old Brooklyn neighborhood. Unfortunately, the reader is so many steps ahead of the protagonist that I came to think she was TSTL. IOW, too predictable.
May 06, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice...being from Brooklyn it was nice to read something about home. Interesting characters & good read. 04/26/13
Jun 29, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystery solving PhD student who solves the case with archival research-my kind of novel.
A quick, easy read. I liked the characters that she came up with.
Terrie Moran
Dec 06, 2013 Terrie Moran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great look at Brooklyn today with a nice little neighborhood mystery.
Shirley Lally
May 09, 2013 Shirley Lally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast moving. Good tie in of Interesting cast of characters.
John Machata
Readable, but contrived. Too much artifice.
fun female detective and her daughter
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Other Books in the Series

Erica Donato (3 books)
  • Brooklyn Graves (Erica Donato Mysteries)
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