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The Bone Orchard

(Mike Bowditch #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,156 ratings  ·  323 reviews
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a fishing guide in the North Woods. But when his mentor Sgt. Kathy Frost is forced to kill a troubled war veteran in an apparent case of "suicide by cop," he begins having second thoughts about his decision.

Now Kathy finds herself the target of a government inquiry and
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,156 ratings  ·  323 reviews

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Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was ok

In this 5th addition to the 'Mike Bowditch' series, the hunting/fishing guide investigates the shooting of his former mentor. The book can be read as a standalone.


Sergeant Kathy Frost and her partner, Maine game wardens, are forced to shoot a badly disfigured Gulf War veteran, Jimmy Gammon, in self-defense ("suicide by cop").

However, Jimmy's family and friends, as well as other veterans are infuriated by the incident.....and a few days later Kathy is shot and badly wounded.

It so happens th
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
'It was called "the bone orchard" because there was a family cemetery hidden amongst the roots of the trees. The mossy gravestones were so weathered, you could no longer read the names of the dead.'

Although this is #5 in a series, it works perfectly well as a standalone. The Bone Orchard was a great read, and I didn't feel as though I had missed out on anything that would have enhanced it further by not reading the earlier books.

Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a
Chris Gager
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
My brother gave me three Doiron books for Christmas and it looks like this(#5) will be the first one for me. As soon as I finish the doorstop I'm reading now. Tonight?

Finally got started on this and I'm enjoying it. Plenty of real Maine grit and atmosphere(it seems to never stop raining) and accurate locations. I don't live in the areas cited in this book, but I have some familiarity with them. I was in the Maine Med E.R. just a few weeks ago ... I have a few nits to pick with some of the author
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is the 5th book in the Mike Bowditch series. I've a read a few of them but not all of them. This series falls between 3 and 4 stars. I like the plots the most. This author creates a good story and he includes subplots too. He can weave it all together nicely and I like that there is always something going on.

The MC was a bit of a 'sad' character in this one, but things always seem to work out for him. There were many different characters in this one, but even the ones with the shortest rol
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Mike Bowditch has left his job as Maine game warden and he's working as a fishing guide. He also acts as caretaker of a large lodge in return for a luxurious cabin and extra money to supplement his fishing excursions. He learns that Sargeant Kathy Frost, his mentor, shot and killed a war veteran in self defense while answering a call. Kathy had Bowditch's back on numerous occasions and she refers to him as Grasshopper. Bowditch heads to Kathy's home to see her and runs into a shooting ...more
Sharon Mensing
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mike Bowditch is growing up. His job as game warden implies that he might be older than he is, but the previous books in the series have made it clear that he's still got a lot of maturing to do. After all, he's still under 30. As THE BONE ORCHARD opens, Mike has left the service and become a bearded, long-haired, fishing guide. He's caretaking the remote mansion that featured in book MASSACRE POND, the previous book in the Bowditch series, and just sort of generally being irresponsible. His bo ...more
Peggy Strack
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read crime novels, but the Mike Bowditch series was highly recommended to me by a bookseller. I'm glad I listened. The Bone Orchard moved along swiftly with suspense, emotion, and superb storytelling. I read it in two days because I could not put it down. I look forward to reading the other four novels in the series. ...more
Sep 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Anyone who has not read this series would be well advised not to start with this book. This almost felt like some kind of bridge. It cleaned up things from the past and set the stage for the next book. I do like this series and will continue but I didn't find this book as enjoyable as other fans did. My reaction was that it was bumpy--not the smooth transtions I've come to expect. ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Paul Doiron has done it again! I think this is the best of his books so far ... despite his leaving a conventional mystery format (Mike Bowditch, his main character, has turned in his badge so is no longer an official crime fighter and, in a sense, is now amateur sleuth with contacts and experience.) This twist also gives him a lot of freedom to explore possibilities, and his own life and relationships. Characters from earlier books walk through the pages of THE BONE ORCHARD, bringing readers up ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read all the Bowditch books and I continue to enjoy the development of the characters. Paul Doiron writes as if he's dissecting an onion. Layer by layer we are witness to the growth(or lack of it) in Mike Bowditch and all the characters.

I appreciate the knowledge of Maine that Doiron uses to describe this vast state. I'm from "away", as they say here, and like the snippets of information tucked into these books.

I'm a fan, and can't wait for the next installment in the life and times of Mike
Fredrick Danysh
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
After Matt Bowditch leaves the Maine warden's department, his immediate supervisor and mentor is involved with a suicide-by-cop incident a wealthy veteran. These she is shot and almost killed. Matt becomes involved as he tries to locate who tried to kill his friend. This is a good who done it set in Maine. ...more
Steven Meyers
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After three years as a Maine game warden, the 27-year-old Mike Bowditch quits. It’s springtime and he’s now a fishing guide. In the two months he’s been out of law enforcement, Bowditch has let his close-cropped hair grow long and he must be some kind of Chia Pet because he’s already sporting a beard. The story takes place during a period of overcast skies with long periods of rain. Mr. Doiron’s fifth adventure about Bowditch holds up like the previous installments. Each book is a self-contained ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
My mom found this book at a Dollar Store and she picked it up for me. I didn't realize it was part of a series until I started reading. I hate joining a series in the middle. But...

I enjoyed the writing. Doiron really has a feel for setting the scene.

What I didn't like was that the bad guy came out of nowhere. There were barely a couple mentions, most not even including his actual name, so when his full name was revealed, I was like "Huh? Who's that?"

I may try another one, just to see if the plo
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is late May and Mike Bowditch has recently done what some in the Maine Warden Service have long wanted---he quit. These days he is working as a fishing guide. That decision had many consequences some of which were obvious and some that were not. One of the not so obvious ones, at least to Mike, was the fact that he wasn’t available when his friend and mentor Sargent Kathy Frost needed him the most. Instead, she was with a rookie officer when dealing with the call about a troubled veteran who ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Three things besides the plot and characters that I really like about Doiron:

1. His character has a sense of smell. This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but it isn't--at least to me. I am getting so very, very tired of books that are written as though they were movies. Sight and sound only. No smell. Mike Bowditch has a nose and knows how to use it! :)

2. No annoying sound track. I am also very tired of writers who go into excruciating detail about every single song the main character
This is the newest addition to the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Doiron. I recommend starting at the beginning of the series and working your way through to the Bone Orchard. However, I've found that the books are enjoyable as well from any starting point. If you enjoy the outdoors, relish the challenge of a complicated human experience, and like becoming involved in solving "the doer of the deed" crimes, then this one is most satisfying. The books are set in Maine and revolve around the life of ...more
One of those books I really wanted to like. I'd had the audio in my glove box if I ever ran out of books on a trip--and that's just what happened. I've listened to others and liked them okay, but either I wasn't in the mood or this is a better book than audio. In it's favor it has a great sense of place--Maine woods--seen through the eyes of a former game warden who couldn't put up with the rules. And my major problem was I just didn't like him. The book is reminiscent of those by C. j. Box (gam ...more
Sharon Huether
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mike Bowditch got tired of being a game warden. So he just quit and was working as a river guide. He was still the same "Mike". When an emergency came up. Who was the first one on the scene it was Mike. A very dangerous situation came about when a female warden was shot. Mike was there and saved her life. He had an idea who the perpetrator was and went after him. It wasn't hard to be reinstated as a Maine Game Warden. I love how the author draws the reader into each scene. You feel like your in ...more
Chad Preston
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by Paul Doiron!
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved the setting (Maine northwoods) and character development.
Catherine Woodman
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Mike Bowditch is getting over the death of his mother from ovarian cancer and his departure from the game warden business. He is now working as a hunting and fishing guide, keeping his own hours and spending more time outdoors. He is somehow calmer than he has been in the past books. His former mentor is involved in a suicide by cop situation with someone that he knew and liked but hadn't seen since he got back from his deployment. Then his mentor is targeted and he gets full on involved in solv ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paul Doiron keeps on getting better and better. This installment was wonderfully written, and traveled up and down Route 1 - and Interstate 95 - from as far south as Portland and as far north as Presque Isle. His Maine descriptions were terrific, as were his knowledge of the flora and fauna of Maine's springtime. The story was believable and interesting, the mystery unfolding at just the right pace. Can't get enough! And it ends with him finally taking his future into his own, more mature, hands ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mike Bowditch has a short fuse, and that often puts him into an adversarial situation. This happens often in this book, but at the end, I feel he has mellowed some. I enjoy the Maine location of these books. The descriptions of the locations put you right there. I am looking forward to the next Bowditch adventure.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another great story. I think I need to buy this whole series to add to my permanent library. I really enjoy reading about the wilderness of Maine and the interesting situations Mike Bowditch gets himself into.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This series just keeps getting better and better! I look forward to continuing to follow Mike Bowditch in Maine.
Brenda H
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars. review to come
Suzanne Holdridge
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd from this series I’ve listened to. I listen on my way to and from work. It is so good I brought it in my house to continue listening.
Quintin Reitzel
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was very happy to see Paul Doiron had written another book in the Mike Bowditch series about a Maine game warden. (In Maine, game wardens are full law-enforcement officers, with all the powers of state troopers: “They are the ‘off-road police.’”)

Mike, 27, was a game warden for three years, but he recently resigned to become a fishing guide in the rugged outland Down East. (In Maine, “Down East” refers to the coast of the U.S. state of Maine from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border.) Mike had
Ray Palen
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Many people considered Jimmy Gammon a hero. He served his country valiantly in Afghanistan and returned home. Those who knew him before he enlisted saw the change in 'Jim'. One night he got high on booze and pills and pulled a shotgun on a pair of cops. The ruling was suicide by cop.

It is this unfortunate death that lies at the center of Paul Doiron's latest Mike Bowditch novel, THE BONE ORCHARD. Jimmy was an acquaintance of Mike's. The real issue is that one of the cops that shot Jimmy is Mike'
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Paul Doiron is the author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including THE POACHER'S SON, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and the Maine Literary Award for "Best Fiction of 2010." PopMatters named it to its Best Fiction of 201 ...more

Other books in the series

Mike Bowditch (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch, #1)
  • Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, #2)
  • Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch, #3)
  • Massacre Pond (Mike Bowditch, #4)
  • The Precipice (Mike Bowditch, #6)
  • Widowmaker (Mike Bowditch, #7)
  • Knife Creek (Mike Bowditch, #8)
  • Stay Hidden (Mike Bowditch, #9)
  • Almost Midnight (Mike Bowditch, #10)
  • One Last Lie (Mike Bowditch, #11)

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