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Bones of the Barbary Coast (Cree Black #3)

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  486 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In this thrilling novel set in two periods of San Francisco history, Cree Black confronts the mystery of one of the strangest victims of the Great Quake.

Bert Marchetti, an old family friend of Cree's and an SFPD homicide inspector, has asked Cree to help investigate a human skeleton recently unearthed in the foundation of a fine Victorian home—apparently the bones of a vic
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Bloomsbury USA (first published July 18th 2006)
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Donna Radcliff
Apr 23, 2011 Donna Radcliff rated it it was ok
The third in the Cree Black series, this book had very little to do with the first two books. It wasn't scary or even a little suspense-filled. And a book about a paranormal investigator should have something, well, paranormal about it. This was more a mystery/csi....thingy. It's like the author decided he wasn't happy with the paranormal angle and did a 180 to PI/historical researcher. The susporting cast from the first two books were conveniently elsewhere (Joyce had a family emergency,Paul we ...more
Apr 25, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-read
Escapist fiction just for fun. This one looks like it's a blend of police procedural and a ghost story with possible echoes of 'The Elephant Man'. Or so I thought when I started listening to the audio book. I found the book fascinating for it's contrasting points of view and the underlying character study showing how easily people mistakenly classify others and misinterpret or infer motivations, actions and intentions based on limited and often faulty perceptions.

For me the narrative is thought
Michelle Conrad
Mar 22, 2013 Michelle Conrad rated it did not like it
No, no, no! First book in this series was amazing! Second book is...okay. This third book was a totally new premise. Someone listened to their publisher more than their heart. Boo...
May 03, 2010 Maddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006-reads
PROTAGONIST: Cree Black, parapsychologist
SETTING: San Francisco, today and 1880s
SERIES: #3 of 3
RATING: 4.75

It’s the rare reader who can put their biases aside and approach a book with complete objectivity. Upon reading the background information on Bones and the Barbary Coast, I was certain that it was a book that was not going to work for me. For one thing, the lead character had paranormal abilities. I am the ultimate realist and very intolerant of supernatural elements in my reading. Secondl
Sep 15, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it
Some of San Francisco history combined with a mystery.
Tim Titolo
Jan 06, 2011 Tim Titolo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This is the third book in the series by Daniel Hecht. The first and second, City of Masks and Land of Echoes introduced Creitia Black - Cree - a paranormal investigator with certain special qualities that enable her to sense oddities of nature.

Bones occurs in San Francisco where Uncle Bert, a retiring detective, is trying to solve one last big crime surrounding the bones found in a house being refurbished by new owners. The bones are strange and reveal a mis-shapen creature with werewolf charact
Dec 18, 2008 Kathy rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
It had its moments, but somehow never really grabbed me. That might have been partly due to the narrator of my audio version, whose voice seems a little flat to me in a long book.

There were multiple story lines, a couple in the present and one in the past, and they were only loosely connected for most of the book. The psychic aspect in the first two Cree Black novels wasn't used in this one; instead, a diary provided the glimpses into the past. The diary passages and the ending where the presen
May 27, 2016 Jenna rated it liked it
2016 Book 29: interestingly, this book starts out with a construction crew finding skeletal remains in a house in the Pac Heights neighborhood in San Francisco undergoing massive renovations by new owners. I started reading it this week on the very same day a coffin was discovered in a house in San Francisco undergoing massive renovations by new owners. This is last in the Cree Black series and my least favorite, despite the setting. I'd actually go 3.5 stars on this one. Less ghost and psychoth ...more
May 08, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
This is the third Cree Black novel and is set in San Francisco. As Cree works with her "uncle", who is a SF detective close to retiring, she makes discoveries that unravel an old family secret. It all starts with a skeleton that is found in the basement of a home that is being renovated. The skeleton is taken to the morgue and it has misshapen bones, causing Cree and the medical examiner to want to know more about who it was. Cree finds an ally in an Xray tech, but he and her uncle have a long-s ...more
Nov 24, 2010 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Cree Black is a trained psychologist, who delves into investigations of the paranormal. I really enjoyed the first two in this series, this one didn't grab me quite as much, but was still an enjoyable read. Takes place in San Francisco, and alternates between present day, and the days of the Barberry Coast (red light district) in in San Francisco of the 1880's. Cree is requested to help in solving the mystery surrounding the skeleton of what appears to be a "wolf-man" found in the foundation of ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
During renovations of an old San Francisco home, contractors discover a deformed skeleton buried in the rubble. The police dismiss the find when they realize the bones date to the 1906 earthquake, but a retiring officer who wants to tie up all his open cases before hanging up his hat asks his forensic anthropologist friend and PI neice to try to find out the dead man's identity.

The PI is of course Cree Black, paranormal investigator, but it is clear from the start that this case does not involve
May 19, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is the third in the Cree Black series. The modern day discovery of the bones of a possible "wolf man" buried in the rubble of a historical house takes us on a historical trip to the hey-day of the San Francisco gold rush and criminal elements of the Barbary Coast. I am enjoying this series ... I love Cree and her attitude ... I enjoy the peripheral characters and I really enjoy the historical aspects woven into these stories. I read these slightly out of order and am now looking forward to ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Danie rated it did not like it
This third novel in the Cree Black series was incredibly disappointing. Honestly it wasn't a bad story, but I would never classify it as a "thriller". There was nothing suspenseful or thrilling about it. There was also nothing about it that tied it to the two other Cree Black novels. Those were enjoyable, although odd. But this book lacked any of the paranormal and "ghost stories" that the series is supposedly based upon. In my humble opinion this should have been it's own story with it's own ne ...more
Eh. Bones of the Barbary Coast was ok. Certainly the weakest and least entertaining of the three Cree Black novels. I listened to this on audiobook, and it was narrated by Anna Fields, who is an excellent narrator. She executed the voices and accents demanded of her by this novel in a very smooth, relaistic manner, and while I wasn't so into the story this book was telling, I did enjoy Anna Fields' narration.
Yvonne Mendez
Aug 23, 2012 Yvonne Mendez rated it liked it
This is more of a 3.5, the story was good it went to the past in San Francisco's gold rush days and would come back to the present when Cree Black was trying to figure out what happened back then. While in the past I've enjoyed the Cree Black stories, this one seemed too slow at times, had a very whiny tone and a disturbing crush - a bit Woody Allen and his step-daughter. My favorite part came at the end with the best metaphor for life and death that I've ever read.
Nov 13, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, detective
The first book I read by Daniel Hecht. It's definitely a good read, although I find the ending a bit disappointing - it lacks closure. it's also weird that the leading charactre, Cree, is introduced as a paranormal investigator / detective, but nothing 'sixth sense related' happens throughout the story. Nevertheless, this book is worth reading if you like a mysterious tale set in the Victorian era.
Oct 19, 2012 Lynne-marie rated it it was ok
Okay, so this time Cree and author Hecht really creeped me out. I found the novel so unsettling that although I was 83% of the way finished, I just quit, archived it and don't intend to revisit it. I know that getting distressed and upset is some people's idea of fun, but it's not mine. Too bad, because Hecht had walked a nice line between suspenseful & ghoulish in the previous two Cree books, which I mostly enjoyed.
Mar 14, 2013 Daisy rated it did not like it
Shelves: listened-to, kindle
When I am reading I love good characters, would rather have good characters than a good story. Probably why I become so addicted to some series. The story was the thing that made me finish this one as I hated all the characters. I had the need to finish this however to see how the story was going to play out. Boy was I glad when it ended! On top of everything it was an unsatisfactory ending, muddy with too many unanswered questions. Will not be looking for the other two in the series.
May 20, 2008 Paul rated it did not like it
In Michael Hecht's first Cree Black mystery, City of Masks, he introduced a compelling main character, gave her the ability to sense the tortured spirits of the dead, and put her in a compelling situation in which that ability is invoked.

However, in Bones of the Barbary Coast, and Land of Echoes, Cree's character development is limited, and her role in the stories becomes that of a passive observer. Bottom line for these last two books...Booooring.
Cheryl Plozizka
Werewolf bones

There were several philosophical slants in this story that were quite interesting. How does the way we think about things change when we face death? Is it more normal to be civilized or to be ruled by base instincts? Very thought-provoking read. However the telling of the story took longer than needed.
Sep 06, 2015 Jane rated it did not like it
An interesting story concept, but a little too far out there for me. Found myself skimming through the Victorian journal sections, because the writing was too determinedly Victorian female and fussy. Found much of this book too wordy. The wolf man was a bit much for me.
Researching pre-Quake San Francisco was interesting.
Jul 27, 2016 Tracy rated it liked it
As usual, a well-written and sometimes powerful read.

But. The story itself isn't what I've come to expect from the author. There were a lot of Feels and personal demons... but the mystery itself wasn't resolved (to my satisfaction).

I'm certainly not abandoning the series. Just not loving this one.
Deb W
Nov 18, 2012 Deb W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Hecht never disappoints me. He seems to always tie together our past with our present, giving a great view into the human psyche while he weaves a good story with characters one can relate to, even if they are not always likable. I read everything of his I come across, and will continue to look for him.
Jan 07, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Fine audiobook for doing chores. Kept wondering when Cree would actually use her special gifts to talk to a ghost. Never happened. Also kept waiting for some kind of Romance to happen. Author kept cranking up the intimate moments between Cree and Ray but nothing ever happened.
Lots of juicy descriptions of how wild and lawless SanFrancisco used to be.
Apr 04, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Again, listened to this via MP3 and I will forever sing the praises of Anna Fields for her amazing performance. I didn't like this book as much as I have the first 2; the ending had little closure. Other than that thought, another great book by Daniel Hecht.
Jun 05, 2010 Sharonm rated it really liked it
Excellent characterization. Were bones discovered in the basement of a San Francisco house a werewolf? Cree doesn’t use her “ghost hunter” skills here, but focuses on understanding the living. The story is really about what is hidden behind people’s public exterior.
Jun 27, 2009 Melanie rated it really liked it
Set both in the "Wild West" days of San Francisco's history and in modern day SF, the jumping back and forth is smooth and seems without effort. The story drew me in wanting to know more. The defination of a good detective/mystery story.
Cindy Alexander
I enjoyed the other books that I've read by this author much better than this one. It had some elements that were disturbing to me, so I had to walk away from it for awhile. The outcome was well worth coming back to it, though.
Apr 04, 2011 J rated it liked it
I liked the story, I enjoyed the link to the past giving us a little taste of
what the San Francsico of the 1800's was like. There was a hint of supernatural
that kept me guessing through the whole book. I also enjoyed the twists and turns
of the story and characters.
Sep 11, 2012 Malia rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
Oy. I didn't think i would make it through the long sections of flashback to Victorian SF. Everything was so... woe is me and swooning and exclamation points. Ick.

The rest of the story was just meh.

My advice is to read the first two Cree Black stories and just pretend this one doesn't exist.
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