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Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It

(Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  46 reviews
When a human bone is found on a lonely stretch of coastline, a determined homicide detective and a reluctant scientist risk their lives when they join forces to bring a serial killer to justice.

Trooper Leigh Abbot has something to prove, both to herself and to the chauvinistic men in her department. She’s been assigned a difficult challenge: solve a murder where the only e
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published June 5th 2013 by Five Star
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Jen Danna Sorry, Laura, I never got an alert that you'd asked a question! My apologies.

Soft clothes are another term for 'plaincothes', so street clothes, as…more
Sorry, Laura, I never got an alert that you'd asked a question! My apologies.

Soft clothes are another term for 'plaincothes', so street clothes, as opposed to a formal police uniform. Detective tend to dress like this, for instance in a suit and tie, rather than in class police officer blues. I hope that helps!(less)

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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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I was so fortunate to win a copy of Jen J. Danna's debut novel,"Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It" (Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #1, through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest. Together with her partner Ann Vanderlaan, she has produced a suspenseful forensic thriller.

This is a story that’s dark and twisted, the crimes are brutal and not for the faint-hearted. This is a great read for fans of police procedurals and forensic thrillers. It is complemented by sufficient information on chain of ev
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This novel is the debut for Jen J. Danna, who along with Ann Vanderlaan, has written quite a compelling forensic thriller. The amount of information on body decomposition and bone aging is enough to satisfy any forensically inclined reader. The crimes are brutal, which is somewhat outside of my comfort zone, but when the madness is finally revealed, the scheme of it all is interesting indeed. From the discovery of a single bone, Trooper Leigh Abbott, with the help of forensic anthropologist Matt ...more
I’m anxious to get my hands on book 2 of this new series as I absolutely loved “Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It.” If the title doesn’t grab your attention, the synopsis alone should. Absolutely brilliant! It grabbed my attention right from the start keeping me engaged right up until the end – it was that great. This is a story that’s dark, twisted, suspenseful, intriguing, and even bone-chilling at times; a novel I seriously recommend you put on your “To Be Read” list. It’s definitely gruesome ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A new to me authors! And a favourite type of book for me - forensics!

I like the format these authors chose. Every chapter teaches a new short lesson on salt marshes - love that part.

The book was relatively fast paced, but there were some draggy places that I found a bit repetitive. I understand why the authors were doing this - stressing some important points, I guess.

The main characters - Trooper Leigh Abbot and Dr. Martt Lowell - were well defined and very likable. Matt's grad students were al
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this first book in the series. Leigh and Matt make a formidable team and I look forward to seeing all the main characters fleshed out *snort* in the future. (Had to add some bone hunter humour in there).
I enjoyed the bits of salt marsh info tossed in along with a fairly gruesome kiiler. The expected ending was not disappointing even if Trooper Abbott forgot that her cellphone can act as a flashlight in times of crisis.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a great read for fans of police procedurals and forensic thrillers!

The elements I enjoyed the most are:

1) strong female protagonist (state trooper) and an honorably discharged Marine that now works as a forensics expert. This unlikely pairing sends sparks flying, and not just for the criminals either!

2) strong character development - I really liked how the authors handled the two lead characters and their emotional development, as well as a strong secondary cast of characters!

3) suspen
Rachel Valentine
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I got this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Leigh Abbot must solve a mystery, but she only has a single bone. She manages to get Matt Lowell and his grad students to help her, though, and eventually they manage to find not only the body of that victim, but also bodies of other victims. The two are determined to find the serial killer and make sure he is punished for what he did. However, by doing so they end up putting themselves in danger. Will they be able to find out who is respon
Rose Jenkins
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Only when I had to leave for a cousin's cousin's son's send-off do before he goes to boot camp. (We have really extended family ties here in Perry County.) But got back to it as soon as I got home and didn't get up until it was finished.

5 Stars!!

The descriptions of the setting, the action and the characters were so in depth that the "real world" disappears. The amount of research in preparation for this book must have been staggering.

The dialogue was natural and flowing.

I l
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a way to make a debut! I am a voracious reader, and LOVE mysteries, murder mysteries, and crime novels. Authors Jen J. Danna and Ann Vanderlaan have a talent for writing AND and a talent for crafting a gripping, interesting, and twisting story! I did not want this book to end! Each line was a pleasure to read. Never have I said that about another novel. I am saying it here, simply because it's the truth.

"Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It" is an excellent book. When recommending books to othe
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own, kindle
I've wanted to read this for awhile, but my library doesn't carry it. So with some gift card money from my generous husband, I treated myself.
I wished I'd saved my money. I was pretty disappointed in the story, the storytelling, the cliched characters, and the banal horror show at the end. If I had gotten it from the library vs. bought it, I would have never finished it.
Jehaenah de Ramos
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was a really fun read. I love the plot of the story and how the author add that subtle romance between Matt hand Leigh and yet still able to portray that both them are serious on what their doing.... The story was so realistic that it made me realize how cruel human beings can be.... Anyways this was a really fun read and I finished reading the book in two seatings.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Where do I categorize this? Police procedural, light on procedure? Mystery, but not really? Romantic suspense, but not terribly suspenseful.. except that last part. Written well enough to keep me reading, and I can see where this could build into a nice little series, but it needs more... substance.
John Mccrory
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very exciting book to read. kept me wanting to see what happened next. Only took me a day to read this one. Highly recommended. well worth your money to purchase. Will be getting the next one this author writes. enjoy.
Sharon Rozier
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! The book was more than I expected. More please!
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love books that are all about the characters, about people. I love mysteries and science fiction and fantasy and straight novels, but people and relationships are at the heart of my favorite stories. Partners, parent/child, lovers, neighbors, friends, siblings, coworkers. And in my experience, there are two kinds of character-driven books. Ones where the relationships are explored when the characters are apart and ones where all the fun happens when they are together. For instance, a romance w ...more
Mystereity Reviews
This book has been buried in my wish list forever, and facing a lack of books to read I was in the mood to read, I finally bought it. And overall, it was a great, fast paced read but I had a couple of problems with plot holes and TSTL moments.

Leigh Abbot, a Massachusetts state trooper, is assigned to investigate a bone found in a beaver dam. (No word on if the person who found it said DAM IT! which is a shame.) Enlisting the help of a forensic anthropologist, the gushingly described hunky and we
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect when I first started 'Dead. Without a Stone to Tell It'. I was engaged quickly by the world of authors Danna and Venderlaan have created. I especially loved that each chapter heading gave me gentle guidance with definitions of terms pertinent to the surrounding environment and into the much needed cooperation between detectives and forensic anthropologists. There is a dynamic cast of secondary characters that add depth and humor to the storyline. It held my interest ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have been waiting for this book since its it was just a thought and idea. The authors do not disappoint. The only issue I had besides that it ended was that there were a few passages of what seemed like over lengthy description. The characters were believable and the mystery was well place and not to simple. I am exited for the next one.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a really good book. I liked the characters, the settings, the story. Any fans of forensic mysteries will not be disappointed. The details were so specific, and the descriptions of the setting made me want to go see the actual location, it sounded so pretty. This is the first book in a new series, and I'm really looking forward to the next one in the series!
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a free book from Goodeads Firstreads. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were believable and the storyline kept me engrossed. Look forward to reading more from this author. I recommend this book.
Alanna Pfeifler-McKee
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent start to this series. I adored Leigh and Matt and very much look forward to their journey in the rest of this series.
Deborah Gebhardt
Good read, good pace and great introduction to a team that works well together and a couple who quite possibly have found each other.
I really wanted to like this book, but it came across as a combination of a Lifetime Movie of the Week and an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

The characters are fairly one-dimensional. Leigh is a trooper trying to prove herself to the misogynists in her local Homicide Department. Matt, a forensic anthropologist, has something to prove to a frenemy-colleague of his. Matt and his graduate students are asked to assist when bones are discovered near a crime scene.

The science is okay and the leads a
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange title, Good book!

Leigh convinced the professor to help her with her mystery bone. Will he help or .... her case and finding the rest of the body. Good book and smart twists and science.
Patrica Hanson
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting forensic mystery
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had high expectations when I started reading ‘Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It’. I was hoping for a solid murder mystery that engaged me on multiple levels. For me, that list is long: a ripping good yarn, science to match the crime solving, accuracy in the detail, well edited (a gigantic bugbear for me!), an usty relationship between the main protagonists, real well rounded characters, a strong sense of time and place, excitement, tension and a strong investment in the outcome.

‘Dead, Without
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My first reaction to this novel was the unusual title which conjured up a image of a grave site with no marker. This first impression is magnified to the nth degree when the reader delves into the story. First, I must start with the authors. Jen J. Danna is a specialist in infectious diseases and works as part of a research group at a Canadian university, while Ann Vanderlaan is a retired research scientist. Their backgrounds bode well for the incredible story that evolves from the finding of a ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had won a copy of the fourth book and enjoyed the characters so decided to start at the beginning. I think I lost some of the tension in the personal relationships knowing how they are a ways into the future, but still very enjoyable. Leigh Abbot is a State Trooper working Homicide in her father's old unit. The good old boys don't like that she is a girl or that she is good. Matt Lowell is a vet with PTSD and a forensic anthropologist. When a single bone is discovered Leigh turns to Matt to he ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally starting this book i was a bit turned off. I wasnt super into reading it. This im ashamed to say was because i was judging a book by its cover. Well not so much its cover but by its name. A title should roll off your tounge and be easy to tell your friends about it should be intrigueing. This one is just a mouth full of annoyance to me. With that being said the book once i got away from the title was actually really good. I got into the scene of the crimes fast. I felt a connection to ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Got a slow start but really picked up after that. Intriguing story line with lots of twists and turns, but some twists were a bit obvious and sucked out the suspense of the moment. Really liked the main male lead being a vet and that he had PTSD. Nice to see this important topic covered in fiction. Also thought dealing with a female detective in a male dominated job with the chauvinism was also great to see. Psychological element of the killer was really interesting to read about. A bit graphic ...more
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A scientist specializing in infectious diseases, Jen works as part of a dynamic research group at a cutting-edge Canadian university. However, her true passion lies in indulging her love of the mysterious and thrilling through her writing. With her partner Ann Vanderlaan, Jen writes two series: the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries—suspenseful mysteries with a smart, scientific edge, and the FB ...more

Other books in the series

Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries (5 books)
  • No One Sees Me 'Til I Fall (Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #2)
  • A Flame in the Wind of Death (Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #3)
  • Two Parts Bloody Murder (Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #4)
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