Aspiring scientist Arabella Holmes doesn't fit the role of a 1900s lady. Her father, Sherlock, landed her a position at the Mütter Museum to pursue her dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her father calls a "Boneseeker."
Henry Watson’s two-fold mission at the Mütter Museum is to join their team of forensic anthropologists in unearthing unusual antiquities and to watch over Arabella. If only he could get her to speak to him, instead of hurling knives in his general direction. Assigned to a most secret expedition to investigate a mysterious skeletal hand discovered in upstate New York, Arabella and Henry are soon caught in a scientific debate, and the search for the truth may have deadly consequences for those involved.
Are the bones from a Neanderthal? Or are they living proof of fallen angels known as Nephilim?
Watson and Holmes must put aside their differences, trust their instincts, and rely on one another to survive to uncover the truth.
*This is a new version of a previously published edition
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. If her ancestry tree is true, she is a descendent of the House of Stuart.
Growing up my parents and I watched anything that had to do with Sherlock Holmes, so picking this one up was a no brainer. This is a tale that follows Bella, Sherlock Holmes’ daughter, who has landed her dream job at the museum. But when the skeleton remains were found they bring her and Henry a age old mystery to solve, and also bring them both into a dangerous situation too. There are people who don’t want the truth found out. It was all entertaining and kept me turning pages.
Bella was a intelligent young girl, one who doesn’t believe that things should go unexplained. She didn’t really act the way girls her age during this time period would act, she is kinda socially awkward but had this sassy side to her too. I found her to likable and I enjoyed watching her banter back and forth with Henry. Now Henry is a little different than I expected too, but in a good way. These are the next generations of the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson’s and I think I was expecting them to be just like them, but I am glad that they weren’t. I enjoyed the fact that they were their own person, and they were well developed. Actually all the characters were.
This was a neat concept, seeing everything through the eyes of the daughter of the famous Sherlock Holmes and the son of John Watson. We get to know so much about both of the main characters, and it was great and I enjoyed the relationship between Arabella and Henry, it was a little back and forth at times with neither of them really wanting to admit they feel anything for each other. But there was some steamy tension so you know they are into each other, but this is also a time when you don’t put everything all out there, it isn’t proper. There is plenty of action and adventure where solving with solving the mystery, but it wasn’t easy with all the twists that were thrown there way. The mystery of the bones was the best part for me. The Mutter Museum was completely fascinating will all the the strange and unique artifacts. There are some things left unfinished and I hope there are more books and I will be on the lookout.
Boneseeker is one that fans of historical mysteries and a little bit romance along the way will enjoy.
Whilst Stalking Jack the Ripper was set on 1880s, Boneseeker is on 1910s.
, an aspiring Scientist, isn't like any other girls of the society. Introvert? Maybe. Anyway, she prefers the company of bones rather than people. As the only daughter of the infamous Sherlock Holmes, that's not at all surprising.
, (yep, son of Dr. John Watson) has two mission on working at Mutters Museum: to join the team of forensic anthropologists and to watch over Arabella who secured a job at the said museum with the help of her father.
Honestly, this book has a very promising plot. The idea of pairing Sherlock and Watson's children romantically and also as the next generation of badass detectives was just amazing and very much intriguing. Throw them in an adventure that involves an unearthing of bones that might be of giants or Nephilims, added to the awesomeness of the idea of this story. It has a touch of paranormal in it, depends on how you see it.
Sadly, it didn't deliver as I expected it should.
The Characters were okay. I understand Arabella's impulsiveness and stupidity sometime because of her state. She's not normal. What do you expect of Sherlock's child? That sociopath raised her. Dr. John Watson has a big part and loved the idea of seeing him as a father to Henry. And yeah, there's Henry. I found him lame. The story was told with Bella's and Henry's POV and whenever it is Henry's turn, it is impossible not to find one of these words: fear, afraid, panic, control, pause, mute. Maybe i'm exaggerating but I was expecting a hero who's at least not feeble. He seems handsome as Bella mentioned it everytime she saw him in ever effing scene. Anyway, his character just isn't that appealing for a hero in this kind of story. And all his lameness involves Bella.
The romance became annoying as it turned out Bella and Henry would be acting like Lovesick teenagers who can't be together because of this and that. The mystery lose its appeal as the story goes by.
Also the writing did bother me. The first thing I noticed is the abundance of dashes (-). Unnecessary italicized words and it's in first person POV. There should be lesser, right? There are also distracting sentences that need a little more editing.
Anyway, there are parts that i really liked that's why it still got three stars from. I love the last part specifically.
Hope you guys give this a chance. But I really hope the second book is so much better. I want Henry to grow up as a character.
Enjoyable start to this series. Arabella Holmes is not like other females of her time. She has a wonderful analytical mind. It seems her friend, Henry Watson, is the only one who understands her. This is a fresh take on the Holmes and Watson story with a new generation.
This book contains elements that I love... suspense, Nephilim, mystery, and a little romance. I also love that the characters are children of two beloved literary characters, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Arabella Holmes is a young woman before her time. She is strong, intelligent, and working in an environment dominated by men., She does this in a time when it was not admirable to do so.
Henry Watson is the calming force for Arabella (similar to what his father was to Sherlock). He has been in love with her for years, and now that they are older it is harder for them to hide those feelings. He is a great champion and protector, even when the person he is helping does not want him to do so.
If you love Sherlock Holmes, mystery, and a little of the paranormal. You should definitely give this book a try. It does contain kissing, innuendo, and non-graphic violence.
Source: I received an electronic copy for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I know I will sound very shallow when I say this, but Boneseeker's gorgeous cover is what first attracted my attention. I was even more excited once I read that it featured Sherlock Holmes' daughter and John Watson's son as protagonists in a story obviously full of science. I'm not going to lie, I might have squeed out it in enthusiasm!
Arabella Holmes was exactly like her father: impulsive, curious and had a brain whose wheels kept turning 24/7. She had a huge passion for science, especially for studying bones, and she used the museum that she worked at as a means to exhibit that intense love that that she has for science. However, she ran across multiple obstacles given that she was a woman in a time period that frowned upon any sort of involvement of girls in a man's job. That, however and thankfully, didn't stop Arabella from speaking out her thoughts and doing what she loves. She did come across as a bit rash and hasty when it comes to certain situations and she had an uncanny ability to get into dangerous situations. Despite it being slightly frustrating for me as a reader, when I think of it, I don't think Arabella would have been Arabella if she didn't have those personality traits. It also helped that Henry Watson was there to balance her out. We are provided with both of their points of views and it was nice to have both of their sides of the story, especially because Henry was much calmer character than Arabella and provided moments of rest from Arabella's thoughts. He was highly intelligent, but had a more open view about the world, which he eventually passed on to Arabella as well.
As expected, Arabella and Henry have a romantic relationship. They have been friends for a long time and now that they were all grown up, they couldn't deny the feelings they had for each other. The romance in Boneseeker was, for the most part, mild, developing slowly. It had its sweet moments and it never overwhelmed the story line, which was a nice factor. The plot was also exciting and there were some action-packed scenes. However, I have a minor complaint. I personally wished that we had not been told who the villain was from the beginning because it would have amped up the element of suspense and would have made the story much more enjoyable. I also felt there were some pacing issues in certain scenes. There were specific scenes that I wanted more from, but I was disappointed when to find that they were meager. Regardless, this was an entertaining book and the story did wrap up in this installment, but I'm hoping we will get to see more of Arabella and Henry in the future.
A unique story with paranormal elements, Boneseeker was an absolutely alluring YA historical book that will appeal to a broad range of fans. Brynn Chapmann is a figure to watch for in the genre!
Admittedly I misjudged this book. I originally thought it was a steampunk book based on the title and cover. I should have read the blurb better. I do not like mysteries or romances and this book was both. Sorry Sir Doyle but I could really care less about Sherlock Holmes even though I do enjoy the American movies and the BBC series. That being said I really did enjoy this book. Arabella is so unlike any woman from her time and that thrills me. I often say if I was born any time before now I probably would have been hanged or put in an asylum. I love that she works at a museum and goes against the grain. Henry is very typical of a wealthy young man of the age but he too is not quite what you would expect. It is almost ludicrous for a man of his standing to want such a headstrong brazen wife. Their romance is a whirlwind of heat, passion, and plain old fury. Neither is willing to concede but both are paining for the other. The anti-Arabella is such a typical pain in the ass aristocrat that I was happy to see her out of the book. Dr. Watson is much like what you expect from other Holmes stories. I can only image the pain and sorrow he must have felt all those years watching Sherlock try and raise a child especially a girl. The idea that science and theology can reside side by side is still up for debate and I like that Chapman had Arabella change her mind on the subject as the book progressed. The Nephilim have come up in many books lately. The idea that giants could have walked among us and might still be around is quite intriguing and scary. I do not feel that I would want to meet one. Newton the dog is quite a character. It only makes sense that someone as smart and quick witted as would have a pet that was her equal. I am not sure that a dog could learn commands as specific as those referenced but I do know some very intelligent animals. I was upset that poor Newton got hurt but I was relieved he could be healed. I am one of those people that cries when the horse dies, but doesn't care when the rider does in a movie. Overall I gave this a 5 star review but it was fast paced and held my attention (not an easy thing to do for someone with ADHD). There was one error that I hope they worked out before the final copies ship. At one meeting Dr.Earnest calls Watson and Henry, Dr.Holmes and Mr.Holmes instead of Dr.Watson and Mr.Watson. Minor but annoying. I hope to read more from Brynn Chapman and perhaps more about Ms. Arabella Holmes.
Звезды было бы три, окажись герои не такими поверхностными. И четыре - если б не возникло подозрение, что английский для автора не родной язык. Я видела в комментах стоны о плохо отредактированном тексте, но подумала, что ��ама и не замечу, ибо только в русских произведениях цепляюсь. Но... Блин, она иногда употребляет совершенно неверные по смыслу слова! И ошибки, да. Тут не редактор нужен, а хороший учитель, имхо. А так у истории были неплохие шансы. Еще бы, дети Шерлока и Ватсона)) Сюжет достаточно интересный, хоть автор и не потрудился закрутить интригу, я, по крайней мере, все угадала. В общем, не знаю... Будто черновик прочитала. Надеюсь, его доработают.
This was so poorly edited that I had a hard time finishing this one. There was even an instance of Dr. Watson and Henry being addressed as Dr. and Mr. Holmes. If you have a preposition like between, then you must use me not I. I thought the premise sounded truly interesting, and I broke my rule of buying a book for full price. Granted it was only $3.99 on Amazon, but I still feel that the book should have been edited a little better for that purchase price.
This was a DNF for me. I thought it would be like a Sherlock Holmes story, but it was nothing like. Was also so poorly edited that it was a distraction to reading. Made it to Chapter 7 and decided the rest would be way too much romance and wistful teen-like characters sighing after each other.
An archaeological adventure with Dr. Watson, his son Henry and Sherlock Holmes’ daughter Arabella? Plus a striking cover? Yes please.
The beloved literary figures & their next generation, as well as the Biblical-oriented archaeology plot, initially drew me to this story. The little verse about the Nephilim tucked into the book of Genesis & the flood account has always intrigued me, and the angle from which Chapman approaches it gives it even more intrigue. (A secret brotherhood of people trying to promote and protect Darwinism – for their own purposes – does not want this potential find to be confirmed.)
I most appreciated how the author gave this book and her characters distinction from the Holmes/Watson characters to which we are accustomed. For starters, Arabella and Henry do share some similarities with their fathers but they are also very much their own people. The late Victorian/early Edwardian setting in Philadelphia again keeps the feel similar to the Holmes/Watson mysteries but also sets it apart.
This setting is drawn so vividly by the author that it’s easy to get caught up in the ambiance and become captivated by what’s going on around you. I also enjoyed the friends-to-more romance between Henry and Bella! The story was mostly well-plotted though sometimes, especially at the beginning, it felt like some critical info had been left out or needed a few more establishing layers. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the first person, present tense, active voice.
Bottom Line: Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman is compelling and intriguing. The familiarity of Holmes and Watson makes way for the next generation, and Bella & Henry hold their own quite nicely. While some aspects of the plot could have been a little tighter, overall this is an enjoyable read that is perfect for a chilly winter’s night.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
It should not be a surprise to anyone that the daughter of Sherlock Holmes would not fit the common role of a lady Victorian lady. With her father’s help Arabella is working at the Mutter Museum exploring the oddities cataloged there. When her best friend from childhood, Henry Watson, joins the Museum staff as an Antiquarian, Arabella is both excited and insulted. She is sure that her father and John have arranged for Henry to keep an eye on her, but the truth is she has always had an eye for Henry.
The two of them, along with Dr. Watson, soon become involved in multiple mysteries, from partially decomposed remains found in the river to joining a research team to investigate the bones of giants that have been found in New York.
Both Arabella and Henry are strong characters. The romance may be a little heavy handed, with constantly lost focus and heaving breath, but they respect each other’s strengths, which keeps it from being all physical.
I appreciate the portrayal of John Watson in this book. He is not the bumbling side kick of the movies. He is strong and intelligent, as well as being a loving father, husband and foster uncle. He shines because he is not overshadowed by his best friend. Holmes is here in spirit only for most of the book, but he is also Holmes, not the Holmes someone wants him to be.
The language feels appropriate to a Conan Doyle story. The Mutter Museum is fascinating and several parts of the story of “ripped from the headlines” of the time period. Or at least, they are based on actual events.
Boneseeker: was a very intriguing story. Loved the characters and how the story was told. I loved how Arabella and Henry can read each other's minds. It was an amazing story! It was written very well and it was a very special story. I liked it so much.
“You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.” ~ Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
And unfortunately, in the case of Boneseeker, the trifles added up to the conclusion that though this book has an intriguing premise, it is in desperate need of a few more rewrites and/or editorial passes. Yes, I do understand that I read an advance copy of this book, but it was in extremely rough shape even for a review copy, and not just in regard to grammar. I’m going to try to keep my explanations and reasoning brief, so here’s a quick laundry list of things that just didn’t work for me:
- Arabella. Due to the fact that she was a Holmes AND pursuing a career as a scientist at a time when most women were expected to tend the home and hearth, I expected her to be something more unique, or at least a little more Holmes-esque — independent, detached, rational, pro-active, “a-step-ahead” and self-sufficient — than she ended up being. Instead, she was more focused on her own emotional/romantic turmoil and a little too damsel-in-distress. Not what I imagined at all.
- Henry. His character is distractingly contradictory. For instance, it’s only about half way in to the book that it’s revealed that this guy who seems cute but nerdy was once a bit of a playboy/troublemaker. I could never mesh these two ideas together.
- Plot vs. romance. Having invoked the sacred name of Holmes, I’d hoped that this book would’ve had an interesting, smart, and logical mystery. And therefore that it would’ve been plot-driven while achieving great character development, but no. It was more of a romance than anything, and I found myself disappointed with the B-plot mystery that ultimately felt unimportant, lacked urgency, and cobbled together to serve the romance.
- Romance. Too fast. It was just too fast. Wooing a Holmes should take longer. Romance with a Holmes, if you could even convince them that romance is worth their time, should be a slow-simmering build to the pay-off; a long game. Ermiright? Not to mention that the obstacles opposing Bella & Henry’s romance were very manufactured.
- Villain. I found him to be a bit of the cardboardian, mustache-twirling persuasion. His goals and objectives were a bit vague, and I found myself wondering at the rationale of certain parts of his plan, and what on earth he was waiting for. His schemes were too drawn out with a disappointing lack of character development. And added to that, there's a disappointing lack of proactive investigation on the part of the "good guys" that might've forced his schemes and development along.
- Language. It fluctuated between trying (a little too hard) to sound period and being A. Bit. Too. Modern.
- Pacing & Flow. The stream of the plot was staccato; not an easy to follow flow of events, but it was rather like witnessing it by strobe light — getting the basic gist but never feeling like I had the whole story or sometimes not understanding why things were happening when they happened.
- Dialogue. At times it was difficult to tell who was speaking.
- Continuity. There were issues with the continuity of action and place. Hands holding something in one sentence and then immediately grabbing something else in another. A policeman in upstate New York being expected to know the name of another policeman from Philadelphia… in 1910. An issue with a limp, among others. This will all hopefully be fixed in editing, but it occurred enough throughout the book that it became very distracting and negatively affected the story’s credibility.
Overall. It’s such a shame, because I love, love, love the idea of this book — the children of Holmes and Watson teaming up with the added possibility of romance. It has great bones…(heh, heh). But in the end, I must conclude… Boneseeker just didn’t deliver.
I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. So when I saw a book about Sherlock's daughter, who who wants to follow in her fathers deductive reasoning footsteps, I knew I had to read it. Plus throw in the fact that her specialty leads her to a job at a museum as a "purveyor of abnormal science" how could I pass it up?? Sherlock plus mystery plus just a touch of creepy and weird. That just sounds so good! And it was good! It was exactly as I expected it to be.
There is plenty of good ole Sherlock snark and wit in Arabella, so I loved her right off the bat. She is not like other young women her age. And given that the book takes place in 1910, that is not necessarily a good thing. One of her oldest friends is the son of Dr. Watson- Henry. Henry is so smitten with Arabella, or as he calls her Bella. It was so adorable to watch how devoted and protective he was of her. Whereas everyone else say her as different and weird, he was just so enamored by her. This book was true to the time period and it read like the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but in a way that makes it accessible for young adults. I found the book very readable.
There are multiple mysteries in Boneseeker. Not only is there the mystery of the bones, but there was also the mystery of Bella herself. Everyone around her, herself included kept referring to her as different and "not normal". Even Dr. Watson, who was like a second father to her and cared about her thought she was different than other girls and you could tell he didn't want Henry romantically entangled with her. I was so curious about all of this. What did they all mean she was not normal? Was it just because she was like her father and was logical to a fault? Was it just that she didn't interact with people properly for the time, or was it something else? Something that actually made her not normal? I found myself wondering this for over half of a book, and I was even more interested in figuring Bella out than I was figuring out what all these giant bones belonged to.
I really enjoyed Boneseeker. It had a noir mystery feel to it. I know this sounds really weird, but the writing and the scenery had me picturing most of this book in black and white. Maybe the cover had something to do with that as well. It felt exciting and different to me. Henry is great and Bella is such a fun character to read about. Henry called her condescending and charming all at once. I think he was right, but man oh man can she pull that off beautifully. Fans of historical mysteries, and fans of Sherlock Holmes should add Boneseeker to their reading lists.
Boneseeker was far different than I had anticipated. I have never been big into Sherlock Holmes, but I love mysteries and this seemed like something new and different, something outside of my usual reads.
The story centers around Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson, the children of the famed Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Dr. Watson is a big part of this story, while Sherlock himself stays in the background. I actually enjoyed that the big man played a lesser role in the story and put the other characters in the forefront because it is, after all, their story.
Arabella is a social rebel. She doesn't play the coquettish games that other society ladies play. She has no idea of her own beauty and is much more focused on her mind and her science. In many ways she reminded me of the character Temprence Brennan in the Bones TV series, based on Kathy Reich's novels. Her social skills lacked, but her mind was sharp. She was my favorite part of the story, not because of her social awkwardness, but because she is a woman after my own heart, not afraid to buck the system and be different, be her own person. Henry is much more of the societal norm in his personality, but different in that not only does he accept Arabella for who she is, he embraces it.
The Nephilim are a big part of this story, a theme that I am finding in more and more books. However, their role in this was so very different from other books and I loved that. There was a lot of varying mythology surrounding them, different theories that became integral to the story. I love that those varying theories made the reader question their own thoughts.
My son is a forensic anthropologist and that was a big part of the reason that I wanted to read this. I loved that take in a mystery as it is not a very common theme. It was done very well and was fascinating! The other thing that made me want to read this was the tease that some of it would take place in upstate NY. I am from northern/upstate NY and I have to say, the area of NY referenced was not really upstate NY!
Things to love...
--Arabella. I love that she was a focused woman who was not afraid to be different. --Henry. His total acceptance of a different kind of woman in a time when that was frowned upon was lovely. --The unexpected touching moments between Arabella and Henry, Arabella and Dr. Watson, even Sherlock Holmes.
My Recommendation: This was very different than what I usually read. I am not huge into historicals, particularly this time period. But I truly grew to enjoy this book! Fantastic romance, great drama, fabulous mystery, and some truly interesting twists and turns!
When I first heard of this book I was very excited to read it! Who doesn't love a good mystery story? It had an intriguing premise involving the daughter of Sherlock Holmes and the son of Watson! Even more interesting was that this story takes place at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Nothing like reading a story that takes place near where you are from and with familiar places. I thought this book was going to be very captivating and I was in mood for an interesting mystery story. Unfortunately I didn't get exactly what I had hoped for.
The whole idea for the story and the mystery building up in the book was very interesting. The things found in the Mutter Museum are very unique and interesting indeed. It was a fun read. I did get a bit of a dark and dreary feel from the book which set the mood and background for the story. The characters were easy to differentiate from each other but I just couldn't feel a connection with them.
Maybe I just expected too much from this story, I don't know. It just wasn't all that I had hoped it would be. The whole thing just fell pretty flat for me. It couldn't keep my interest and I felt my mind wandering during parts of the story. I wanted there to be a element of mystery for me but it wound up being easily predictable for me. You learn right away in the story who the villain is. I hoped for a bit more chemistry between Arabella and Henry. I had really hoped for so much more with this book. I just didn't get any of what I expected so I was left feeling disappointed and wanting more. Sherlock's shoes area big shoe's to fill and I just don't feel that Arabella did that.
This read was just an alright read for me. It was good enough that I didn't put it down and mark it DNF (did not finish) but it wasn't good enough for me to want to keep reading without putting it down. If the adventures of Arabella and Henry were to continue I would give it another try in hopes that the next adventure would be a little more mysterious, the romance between Arabella and Henry would bloom, and maybe have the chance to connect with the characters more. This was a fantastic idea for a book and a clever premise. I hope that the author will keep it going and maybe give it a little more mystery.
I loved this book. It was such a fab idea to take Holmes and Watson to the next generation and to have them on a kind of steampunk/ science adventure; it kind of reminded me of the Robert Downey Jr movies, and actually would work really well as one at some point as part of that movie franchise….
From a writer’s perspective, the author did a great job of giving us characters that were easy to get behind and root for, an even more amazing job as Sherlock Holmes himself often comes across arrogant, selfish and rather annoying – Arabella was instead, strong and intelligent with the best bits of Holmes and few a feminine qualities that made her easy to identify with. The story is told from two characters’ points of view, Arabella and Henry and although I’d have preferred it all from Arabella (I found Henry a little wet at times) it didn’t slow the pace or the action.
The front cover is nice, but not very colourful, which might go against it on the virtual book shelf.
Overall, I’d give Boneseeker 5 out 5 stars, definitely worth picking up and dedicating the reading time to.
Boneseeker is the beginning of the Boneseeker Chronicles series. It is interesting to read with the children of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Like their fathers, Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson are quite the team. The two sure do find themselves in quite a suspense filled adventure. There are some action-packed scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat, making me want to continue to turn the pages. But they were other scenes that were a little slow for me, making me want to put it down for a bit.
Overall, I definitely think Boneseeker is worth a read. The ending made me feel like I need needed more and wanted to know what is in store next for Bella and Henry. I hope there will be a second book of the series in the near future. I can not wait to see what happens next. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
When I read the summary for “Boneseeker”, I put it at the top of my list. I attacked it with enthusiasm and…I struggled.
Now, I have to say, this is a very good book. Creative, unique, smart, and intellectually challenging. I have always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, so the thought of Holmes’ daughter and Watson’s son working together to solve a mystery had me intrigued.
I always struggle with first person present tense point of view. I read in fits and starts and the effort made picking up the book after an absence, challenging. Many readers don’t notice present tense, and first person is very common, so please do not be deterred by my discomfort.
That being said, I did enjoy the premise of the story. I know who Darwin is, of course, but I have never heard of Nephilim and I am not versed in the Christian bible. Ms. Chapman lays out the information clearly. Arabella Holmes’ dedication to debunking the equivalent of junk science is fascinating. Funny how we are often doing the same thing, even 100 years after the time the book is set in. As with any good mystery, there are several seemingly unconnected and random events that are tied together.
Although I was interested in the character of Henry Watson, I was drawn to Arabella Holmes. Although I am not a woman fighting for recognition in a man’s world, I see her struggle for equality continuing even a hundred years later. No, I relate to Bella’s feeling of not quite fitting in. When referring to her dog Newton, Bella says, “That dog, all my dogs, mean so very much to me. They lavish me with love, asking little in return. Quite the opposite of my life experience with humans who seem to take, take, take, and are rarely satisfied.”
That feeling of not quite being ‘normal’ is something I can relate to. When she speaks about her dogs, I feel a kindred spirit.
Now, aside from the slightly absurd image of Bella and Henry sliding off the horses and into each other’s arms, the book was fairly realistic about the struggle a woman would encounter as she battles for recognition and fights to be in on the solving of a major mystery. She has the ability to stand up for herself and to fight, which I loved.
Finally, the image of the butterflies was wonderful. The juxtaposition of nature and man’s desire to dominate it makes a thread through the book that I loved.
I recommend the book, especially for readers looking for a kick-ass heroine, great ideas, a bit of romance, and a good historical mystery.
Bonseeker was a surprisingly delightful romp through turn-of-the-century Philidelphia. Our guides on this most excellent of sinister adventures was none other than the children of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, Arabella and Henry. Both principle characters lead the narrative with equal energy and tenacity despite their circumstances. While romance was a very alluring element to this story, it doesn't overshadow so much as enhance this proposed sequel to Conan-Doyle's prolific works. Chapman has clearly done her research, not only into the science and views of the time, but dares to take a deeper look into the psychology behind beloved and new characters. Fantastic world building and characterization, coupled with strong storytelling chops from Chapman provide an excellent read. Bonseeker is so layered and complex but very accessible to old and new fans of historical fiction. An absolute must-read for fans of strong corset-wearing heroines and the requisite danger of the best Holmes mystery.
Arabella (Bella) Holmes, daughter of Sherlock Holmes is not like other girls. While most young women her age are looking for suitable husbands, Bella is concentrated on her career. Unfortunately, much like today's feelings about women in the work place in the 1900's it was much more difficult to get respect from the men in the field. Bella had to fight for her place to go on expedition to find the bones she seeked. Bella was not alone in her quest, she had long time friend and son of John Holmes, Henry. Henry had a reputation with the ladies, but it was Bella that he wanted by his side. The pair face many obstacles during the search for the bones that may be Neanderthal or Nephilim, fallen .
I enjoyed reading this book and hearing both voices of Henry and Bella. It made the book even more exciting, I enjoyed getting two sides of one story in a single book. The subject matter was fun to read and I would love to read more or this developing relationship. I also have to say I love the cover on this book, it was one of the reasons I wanted to read it. A recommended read.
Boneseeker The Boneseeker Chronicles by Brynn Chapman
I was approved to review an e-arc of this book however I attempted to download it both to the NetGalley app and to my kindle app unsuccessfully neither of which I’ve had any other issues with.
So this review is a reflection of what is available to read in the kindle sample which is through the beginning of the third chapter.
The very beginning while slightly disorienting once into the actual book felt both vividly family and new and exciting. It was very easy to extend my knowledge of the characters and locations to these new people and scenes. The report between the main characters was magnetic and intriguing and I would love to read more. 4/5 stars for the sample.
1910 and the children of Holmes and Watson - Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson, meet again at the Mutter Museum. They are two members of an expedition up the River Hudson to determine whether bones found are evidence of a Nephilim. Didnit really find the characters or the subject that interesting. Though I did manage to read to the end. a NetGalley Book
This book was fun to listen to. It took me a bit of time to get used to the wording from that time, but once I did the story took off. I enjoyed learning about Miss Holmes and can’t wait to see what adventures she finds in the future.
4.5 star review! I’m going to be honest… I was drawn to this book because of the cover. Not only do I have an unhealthy addiction to YA fiction, but when it’s historical as well… my inner book nerd goes a little crazy. And then when I read the synopsis to find that our heroine is the daughter of one of the greatest detectives ever… Sherlock Holmes… well I didn’t have a choice but to sign up for this one! The icing on the cake…she works at a museum (one of my dream jobs… yea, my inner geek was on overdrive here) as a “purveyor of abnormal science”… that just translates to she collects weird stuff and gets to study it. At that moment in time I wanted to BE her! Hey, it’s summer vacation around our house, which means my little heathens (I mean angels… of course they are angels) are running around like lunatics driving me crazy… I have to live vicariously through books right now :) And boy am I glad I signed up for this tour!
Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson, the daughter of Sherlock Holmes and the son of Dr. John Watson, are our central players. While we do see a lot of Dr. Watson in this book, Holmes himself is not present until the end.
Arabella is not your typical girl. She’s a social outcast because she doesn’t play the coquettish games that other ladies of society play. She isn’t focused on finding a husband, starting a family, owning and running a home… she is more focused on learning everything that she possibly can about science. She’s beautiful, but has no idea. She wears trousers and digs in dirt for fun. And that filter that most people have that run from their brain to their mouth? Yea, hers is broken. If she thinks it, she says it. If you don’t like it, she doesn’t care. She’s definitely a strong female character and I loved everything about her. Henry fits more into the mold that society has set for young gentleman. But he never lets that get in the way of his feelings for Arabella. He accepts her for exactly who she is… silly quirks and all.
Sherlock Holmes has procured a position at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia for his daughter and while she is there a giant hand is unearthed in upstate NY and brought to the museum. There is rumor that it’s part of the remains of a Nephilim (long story short, a fallen angel…of giant proportions). The existence of angels doesn’t make any sense to Arabella’s very logical mind. She has a hard time believing anything that can not be proved by science. So she applies to be a part of the expedition to try to unearth more remains. Her superior at the museum doesn’t want her to be a part of this expedition and tries multiple times throughout the book to keep her from finding out anything about the bones that have been discovered.
They mystery surrounding these bones just gets bigger and bigger as the story goes on. There are a couple of side plots… like what happened to the original group that went to unearth these bones… but they all lead back to finding out the identity of this hand. But the bigger part of the story was the romance that blossoms between Henry and Arabella. For me that overshadowed everything else.
And just a little sneak in about another of my favorite characters… Newton….Arabella’s dog! So this is the second book in a week that I’ve read where an animal plays such a vital role in the story. Newton is smart, he has a vocabulary far beyond what most other dogs recognize and Arabella has trained him very well. I kind of wish she were real so she could come train my two lazy dogs!
This was a fantastic historical romance, with a huge mystery to solve (and in true Holmes/Watson style!)… with some amazing twists and turns along the way. Great for a summer read!