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The Bone Vault (Alexandra Cooper #5)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  3,503 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and renowned former Manhattan prosecutor follows her Nero Award-winning The Deadhouse with a mesmerizing new Alexandra Cooper novel set at the crossroads of big money, high culture, and murder...

The Bone Vault begins in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's glorious Temple of Dendur, where wealthy donors have gathered to celebrate a controv
Paperback, 528 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Pocket Star Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Vicki Klemm
Jul 01, 2009 Vicki Klemm rated it liked it
I really like Linda Fairstein's books because she adds some of New York's history. In this book, I found out about the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum and the Cloisters. I have visited those museums and it was interesting to learn some history. Having read several of her books, I really like the characters and how they interact. I like that they play 'Final Jeopardy'. I learn something when I read these books and I am engaged throughout trying to guess "who done it".
Jul 23, 2010 Jerry rated it liked it
Better than Deadhouse, but still a chore to get through...

We've read all five of Fairstein's novels featuring Alex Cooper, her fictional Asst. DA for sex crimes of the NYC DA's office, the same job our author held for 25 years until her recent retirement. While the first three novels were pretty good, her fourth, "Deadhouse", disappointed all but her most ardent fans -- too much of a history lesson about an obscure NYC island, and too much silly action by our leading lady detracted from what te
In this book, we are taken behind the scenes of New York’s most magnificent and mysterious recesses of both the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and The American Museum of Natural History. A large and controversial new exhibit is set to combine the resources of both organizations, but has raised fierce opposition from some of the museum's elite. Assistant DA Alex Cooper is off duty for the evening, until the director of the Met informs her of the body of a young researcher that has been found in an a ...more
Jillian Fischer
Feb 02, 2016 Jillian Fischer rated it liked it
First, let me say that Linda Fairstein is a brilliant woman. She's a former prosecutor who dealt primarily with crimes of violence against women & children, & she served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan D.A.'s office for almost 30 years. She's a very bright woman with an enormous amount of experience, and an excellent writer, as well. Unfortunately, I am just not a big fan of the murder-mystery genre. It takes a special book/unique writer to snag my interest. Fairstein's b ...more
Carl Alves
Oct 05, 2015 Carl Alves rated it liked it
The setting for the murder that is at the center of The Bone Vault takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Alexandra Cooper is investigating the murder of a woman who used to work there. She was working on a modern bestiary that was a joint venture between the Met and American Museum of Natural History. Cooper finds the murder victim in a sarcophagus intended for an Egyptian princess. Setting plays a key role in this novel as much of the investigation takes place at the respective museums ...more
Apr 25, 2008 Bettynz rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this for a second time, and courtesy of my goldfish memory of books, it was all a nice mystery once more. I hunted it down, remembering the opening was set in the Temple of Dendur in the Met Museum, having just been there. Visual memory applied to books is a wonderful thing - brings it really alive. Always love Linda Fairstein, and forever wondering if/when Coop and Chapman are going to realise they are meant to be together. Not for another many books, anyway!!!
Aug 30, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#5 in the Alexandra Cooper series.

NYC ADA Alexandra Cooper series - "Coop" is an attractive workaholic in her 30s, ambivalent about her current relationship with an always-on-the-road NBC correspondent. While she's attending a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, new Met director Pierre Thibodaux pulls her aside and asks for help with a recent crisis: a customs security dog found that a Met sarcophagus ready for shipment back to Cairo contained the corpse of a young female researcher fro
Richard Brand
Oct 08, 2013 Richard Brand rated it liked it
Fairstein seems to have a great ability to educate and inform with her stories. This one was a long education about the whole subject of museums and their operation. The examples being the Met and Natural History museums in New York. The three main characters were active again, but Mike was less aggressive in his comments about Alex and there was less "love" for Alex in the story. I think they continue to be good reads
Jun 10, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I am enjoying these books so much. I love the bond between the three main characters, Mercer, Mike, and Alex. I like the behind-the-scenes glimpse that we get at the two museums that are prominent in NYC. I think the plots are realistic because there is an ongoing case but also other political, personal, and professional complications. A fun thing is that we learn cop slang.
Just when I go on a rant about this author's tired plotting, she pulls a book like this out of her bag: total museum fetish deliciousness. The ending made no sense at all at all at all, and the subplot was just in there because... editor called and reminded her? No idea. But hello MUSEUM PORN.

Four-star book with a three-star ending.
Jun 24, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
I love any book that mentions Oregon. And while I haven't done actual fact-checking on some of the stuff mentioned in this book, it seems so factual! It comes before the other book of hers I read and I do suggest reading them in order.

It's a good detective story. Without elaborating, I recommend.
Apr 29, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As another reviewer says, this installment is better than The Deadhouse, but I still feel like it got a little caught up in itself.

Things that I like about all the books:
- Alex's relationship with Mike & Mercer
- that they visit the same restaurants
- that we get insight into other cases outside of the major case of the book
- Alex's and Mike's Final Jeopardy bets

Things that I don't like that is in each of her books so far:
- History lessons (I like history more than the average person, but ofte
Jan 06, 2015 Sharon rated it liked it
This crime suspense novel was different than most others I have read. I liked it not because of the characters, but because I never realized the competition among museums and what they have stored in them in the warehouses and vaults that most of us have never even imagined. It was creepy in that sense, and makes me view museums in a different way. The story starts with a young woman who is found dead in a sarcophagus... which was supposed to have a mummified princess in it. It was a good story, ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Decent read. LOVED all the museum info and intrigue. The behind the scenes in big museums has always fascinated me. But the motive didnt do it for me
May 05, 2016 Sandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of police procedurals, New York City lovers
Recommended to Sandie by: A Novel Idea Bookstore
By Linda Fairstein
January, 2003

Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper leads a fascinating and diverse life. As head of the sex crimes unit in New York City with over 40 attorneys under her supervision, there is no lack for cases to solve. She often crosses paths with NYPD homicide Detective Mike Chapman as well as Mercer Wallace who is on the Special Victims Squad.

In one of the few evenings she spends away from the job, Alex attends a gala reception at The Metropolit
Jun 17, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that like mystery/and museum

Personal note-- to much history for me...but going w/3 stars
The Bone Vault begins in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's glorious Temple of Dendur, where wealthy donors have gathered to celebrate a controversial new exhibit.

An uneasy mix of scholarship, showbiz, and aggressive marketing, "A Modern Bestiary" will be
Aug 02, 2012 Leigh rated it it was ok
I read this book a few years ago when it was first published. I was interested in it because it was pegged as a mystery set in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. An Egyptian sarcophagus being shipped out of the museum is found to contain modern-day human remains instead of the ancient princess it was supposed to hold. Therein lies the mystery, which sounded very interesting.

I did enjoy reading and learning about the daily happenings inside such a pretigious museum, its talented and educated
Have mixed feelings about the 5th in the Alexandra Cooper series. I liked it more than the last novel mostly for the setting. A modern day body is found in a ancient sarcophagus just before it is sent to a museum in Egypt. Cooper and her detective pals are all set on solving the mystery. At first I loved the settings of NYC famous Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Natural History Museum. I enjoyed some of the background and behind the scenes of the museums. Then Fairstein seems to put WA ...more
This book was pretty good, good enough to keep me wanting to read further anyway. The dialogue was snappy and full of cop lingo, maybe too much in fact. It came off sounding forced at times (do people really talk that way?).

What really brought this book down for me was first of all the characterizations: I never really got a feel for any of the characters, and in fact I still can't tell two of them apart (Mike and Mercer). The narrator didn't have a very distinct voice and never really seemed t
Jan 18, 2012 Joy rated it liked it
The Bone Vault begins in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's glorious Temple of Dendur, where wealthy donors have gathered to celebrate a controversial new exhibit.

An uneasy mix of scholarship, showbiz, and aggressive marketing, "A Modern Bestiary" will be a joint venture of the Met and the American Museum of Natural History. With its IMAX time trips and Rembrandt refrigerator magnets, the "Bestiary" has raised fierce opposition from some of New York's museum elite.

Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper,
Synopsis: Following the critically acclaimed and top ten Best Seller The Deadhouse, Linda Fairstein now takes us behind the scenes of some of New York's magnificent and mysterious institutions in her most electrifying Alexandra Cooper thriller yet. The Bone Vault begins in the glorious Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where wealthy donors have gathered to hear plans for a controversial new exhibit. An uneasy mix of scholarship and showbiz. The exhibition has raised fierce oppo ...more
Jul 28, 2008 Christa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
The Bone Vault is another great book in the Alexandra Cooper series. As is typical for Linda Fairstein books, this was an intense, absorbing mystery involving prosecuter Alexandra Cooper and her detective colleagues, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace.

An ancient sarcophagus being transported from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is discovered to contain a murder victim whose demise was sometime in the last several months. Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is in a position to immediately become i
Suzanne Fisher
Feb 14, 2016 Suzanne Fisher rated it liked it
The author is head of the Sex Crimes Unit in the Manhattan DA's office. Her protagonist, Alexandra Cooper, is an Assistant DA. She's supported by a strong and appealing ensemble cast of police detectives. A young woman's body is found in an ancient sarcophagus being shipped from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to a museum abroad. The solution of the crime involves a lot of interesting background detail about museum work and pilfered treasures. Light and entertaining - plus I learned something.
Jan 23, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am not sure what it says about the quality of the mystery when all I can do is gush about the setting and the atmosphere. But I think the author does a great job of introducing people to parts of her city that very few ever get to see. The story was engaging and the characters were interesting. But what I enjoyed the most about it was the back-story on the Metropolitan Museum and especially the parts of the book involving the Cloisters. One of my favorite places to visit and I've always though ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-thriller
Alexandra Cooper #5

Alex's good friend Nina Baum is in town on business with a client setting up a business deal with a projected joint show with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. During an all-star evening presentation announcing the project, the director of the Metropolitan receives information that a sarcophagus being shipped by the museum to Cairo, Egypt, was opened in the process of being loaded for shipping, revealing that an ancient mummy was missing and a v
Maureen Huerter
Museum quality story

This mystery flowed swiftly from beginning to end. I appreciated the first hand experience of 9-11, it made the reality of being a part of that day gripping. Also the joining of the two major museums as a backdrop for the actual investigation was educational and enjoyable. This is one of my favorites of The Alex cooper series.
Feb 06, 2015 Georgene rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A gripping story that I found highly entertaining. I think because I visited both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Natural History Museum in New York City last April, I found this book more interesting than perhaps other viewers.

At any rate, this book held my attention and kept up my interest to the point I read it within ONE 24 hour period.
Aug 23, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
Linda Fairstein is a new author for me and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The main character is an assistant d.a. Named Alexandra Cooper, who works with a police detective named Mike Chapman. She's the head of the sexual crimes unit, but gets involved investigating a college professor's murder. I'm a big fan of Jonathan Kellerman's books and this reminded me of his style. I'll definitely read more novels by this author!
Well, it was okay. I didn't, personally find the motive to be compelling enough to merit murder, but hey! What do I know. The writing felt bloated to me, and while I didn't really figure it out it wasn't because of a clever plot twist, more like a grossly underdeveloped character. Also - lots of loose ends, but I will allow that maybe that is due to it being part of a series. I won't go out of my way to read another of Ms. Fairstein's books, but I'd read another for lack of a better selection.
Karen Hufman
Alexandra Cooper is an Assistant DA in New York. She starts out the evening at reception to introduce a new exhibit that will be between the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History and ends being shown a freshly dead body in an ancient sarcophagus. The case takes us to the bowels of both museums as well as one called Cloisters. She spends a lot of time investigating the case along with Mike Chapman and Mercer. I really enjoyed the story but the ending seemed a little rushed.
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Linda Fairstein (born 1947) is one of America's foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children. She served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002 and is the author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.

Like Fairstein, Alex ('Coop') Cooper is in charge of the Special Victims Unit of th
More about Linda Fairstein...

Other Books in the Series

Alexandra Cooper (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper, #1)
  • Likely To Die (Alexandra Cooper, #2)
  • Cold Hit (Alexandra Cooper, #3)
  • The Deadhouse (Alexandra Cooper, #4)
  • The Kills (Alexandra Cooper, #6)
  • Entombed (Alexandra Cooper, #7)
  • Death Dance (Alexandra Cooper, #8)
  • Bad Blood (Alexandra Cooper, #9)
  • Killer Heat (Alexandra Cooper, #10)
  • Lethal Legacy (Alexandra Cooper, #11)

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“I've just been around too much death today not to wonder why we find it appropriate to organize our festivities in and around the tombs of all these ancient cultures.” 2 likes
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