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Close to the Bone

(Widow's Island #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  25,315 ratings  ·  940 reviews
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.

Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on
Kindle Edition, 87 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Montlake Romance
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Denise I had the same question. Seems that they are alternating writing books in a series of novellas. I found an article about this here:
I had the same question. Seems that they are alternating writing books in a series of novellas. I found an article about this here:

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Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandra by: Luli
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is summoned back home to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest (Widow's Island) because a teenager's skeletal remains have been found on an island nearby (Ruby's Island). Also on the case is Cate's old friend, county deputy Tessa Black. While they try to solve the case they are reminded of their good friend (Samantha) who vanished twenty years ago and who was never found, and the similarities in this case to that case.

This was a very captivating story/novella. It
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This series is all at novella length and penned by Kendra Elliot along with Melinda Leigh by alternating the books. This pair of authors have teamed up in the past for the romantic suspense Rogue River series of which a couple of the characters have moved over to this series but the books can be read and enjoyed separate from the Rogue River series.

This first book introduces FBI Special Agent
Kat (Books are Comfort Food)
Dec 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5, rounded up.

I’ve needed lighter reads lately and this book fits that bill! I loved it and was left wanting more.

FBI agent Cate Wilde has come home to the island in which she grew up, Widows island, off the Puget Sound in Washington. She has been injured and returns to the island to heal. However during her recuperation, bones are found on neighboring Ruby’s island.

The island itself has quite the personality and folklore, not to mention a sordid past. I love books about atmospheric islands,
This is sitting somewhere between a three or four stars for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Cate has returned to the island she calls home following medical leave from her job as an FBI agent. However, the discovery of human bones in her hometown brings her back into the fray, as well as dredging up childhood memories from the past she’d rather forget.

I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers or mysteries. I find the protagonist normally has some kind of ‘deep, dark secret’ that becomes imbedded in
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been enjoying Elliot's FBI series, Mercy Kilpatrick and was curious about her Rogue River series of novellas written with author Melinda Leigh. So when I got the chance to review this new series by them I jumped in. I am so thrilled that I did. Right now there are four books slated; Close to the Bone, A Bone to Pick, Whisper of Bones, and Bred in the Bone. They are all available in KU, Kindle, and it looks like Audible.

In Close to the Bone, FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde has returned to her c
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Close to the Bone was a fun, quick read with an interesting mystery plotline and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on remote Widow’s Island while she recovers from an injury sustained on the job. In the middle of the night she gets a call that bones have been found on a nearby island and with the ferry from the mainland down, Cate is the only agent close enough to work the case. Cate quickly begins to see similarities between this victim and her best friend who h
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I love craft beer and real ale. If is often a real delight to sample a drink that comes about through the combined efforts of two separate breweries.
Switching to my joy of reading. When I learned that two established and talented writers were working together on a new novella series I wanted to read them early and was grateful to receive advanced reader’s copies of the first two books.
This is number one, with the additional need to set up the series and establish a sense of place and its inhabit
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: no-ow-drama, safe
This was a good start to the series! Interesting characters and good suspense! I would have loved for it to be longer!
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
Initial Thoughts
This was a nice short listen. I found that I liked the characters from the very start and the mystery kept me guessing. This was my first time listening to Christine Williams narration and I thought that she did a good job with the story.

Book Source: Kindle Unlimited

Full review to be posted soon.
Dilushani Jayalath
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Considering it was novella the story pretty much managed to wrap itself up pretty nicely. Although it had a romance tag in Netgalley the story itself had no romance. Only a hint of it here and there and considering the series has 6 books I'm really looking forward for the rest of it. I managed to get my hands on book number 3 and 4 thus I can see the rest of the story too. ...more
Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are regular collaborators.
There must be a dozen books in the Rogue ... series. Most of them are around 100 pages so they're a long way from weighty tomes.
They've put that series to bed and have returned with the Widow's Island series. Set on an island loosely based on San Juan and the surrounding islands in Washington State it follows an FBI agent on the island to recover from a gun shot wound and a police officer. While the authors do share characters, Kendra E
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This story fails in its various genre attempts, but it's paced well-enough and the characters are interesting enough that it's enjoyable. Enough. I can't say it's a success as a mystery because the main characters solves literally nothing. I can't say it's a success as a romance because it ends before anything interesting has time to start.

What it delivers is an interesting locale populated by characters that were fun to get to know and just a little bit of the mystical for spice. Fortunately, i
Dec 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a great novella in the "Widow's Island" series. I loved the idea of two authors taking the reigns when writing for different characters too.

"Close to the Bone" follows FBI Agent, Cate Wilde as she recovers at the home of her grandmother on Widow's Island. Cate hasn't been home in a bit and is doing her best to hide out from the rest of the island population. However, when skeletal remains are found, Cate goes to help out the local deputy who happens to be her childhood best friend, Tess
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it

This was pretty enjoyable, too bad it’s so short. Since it’s a novella there was no time or space to get to know the characters or the main mystery, but if I decide to continue it I assume those “problems” will be solved.
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Not the best of the co-author novella series, but it’s the starter. There is world building to add in a short book. The wrap up of the mystery happened too fast, and I didn’t feel the explanation was enough though it was. I don’t know. Hard to explain. It felt as though it came out of left field.

I didn’t really feel the romance connection. Like there wasn’t that spark for the slow burn to come. We were told, but I didn’t feel it.

I think it was because the author wasn’t given enough word count
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
3 stars

This one is ok. I didn't connect with it maybe because previous books have had more action, etc. The investigation was nil and the culprit gave himself away in a very obvious way. This book felt more like a facilitation of a relationship between Cate and Henry than a mystery, crime, procedural, etc. I may read the next one and see if the investigation of the Cate's missing childhood friend is ever solved.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This is a series written by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, with them alternating books. They are all novellas, yet read like a full length story.

This book introduces the reader to FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde. She was suffering from a gun shot injury and came home to Widow Island to recuperate. Her recuperation is cut short when a skeleton is found on a nearby island and she is the only ag
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy, novella, arc
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Book #1 in the Widow's Island Novella Series is a wonderful look at the life of an island off to the Washington State coast. It is also a great little cozy mystery that, while short, packs a lot into its' pages. I loved the previous collaborations of these two authors, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, and all their standalone, individual books. This short novella has a mystery,
This wasn't Kendra Elliot's best novella, but it wasn't bad either. There was decent character and setting development and I'm interested in reading more about this place. The romance was barely there, and that's ok, too, since I know there are future installments to enjoy. Overall, a decent beginning to a novella series. ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2021
I liked the ending.
Nov 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved the Pacific Northwest setting of this novella, the well-developed characters and the story. I will definitely continue with the series.
May 19, 2021 rated it liked it
An entertaining short mystery. Perfect poolside reading!
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde and childhood best friend Deputy Tessa Black wait for forensics to identify the bones. Is it Samantha a childhood friend of the two who disappeared when they were teenagers or are the remains of the teenage daughter of a local resident who disappeared two years ago?
A 94 page novella. I enjoyed the journey.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay this was wayyyy too short for me, I would’ve loved loved loved this book if it wasn’t a novella
I loved the characters and the atmosphere of being on an island with creepy places and trying to solve a mystery (I’m a sucker for any mystery novels) but it was just too short and I just needed more for it to be fully drawn out 😭
julia ☆ [owls reads]
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I've come to love when Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh collab in a new series, so I was pretty excited to start this. I'm happy to say that Close to the Bone was a quick and intriguing read!

Kendra Elliot did a fantastic job with describing and establishing the Widow's Island setting and its history. I loved just how complex and interesting it was, as well as a bit ~paranormal, and how the island embraced its past. It was such a unique take on it and I really loved the way it related to the main
Ann Lou
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very quick read but still good. A start to a series. FBI Agent Cate Wilde has been called home because skeletal remains have been found on the island. But whose remains is it? A teenage girl who disappeared two years ago or her friend who has been missing for decades?

Not really that edge in your seat suspense but it was fast and I still appreciated it.
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked (and appreciated) how packed full this little, quick read was. It was full of everything I like in mysteries and the added paranormal element was a bonus. Will definitely be checking out the next book! These are perfect for sitting in the sun and reading for an hour or two.
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice setting and premise but the mystery was wrapped up quickly with no real investigation. An OK read but not the best.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).
Kindle freebie on March 28, 2020 (currently free and in Kindle Unlimited as of writing this post)
Overall rating 3.97 with 11,911 ratings and 517 reviews


I got the ebook as a freebie and I could get the audio through Kindle Unlimited so I could use both to do a review.  Close to the Bone only counts for Thrifty Thursday with the ebook version.  It is
Asheley T.
FBI agent Cate, deputy Tess, and local physician and coroner Henry are called in to investigate a set of teenage bones that are found on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. There are currently two teenage girls missing from the area: one young girl lived right there on that same island and the other girl just happened to be the best friend of Cate and Tess years ago when they were young.

This story is told from Cate's point of view. Cate normally works back on the mainland but she is on med
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Nancy Gideon By M...: Close to the Bone - Widow's Island #1 by Kendra Elliot 25 10 Jan 02, 2019 10:36AM  

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An Amazon #1 selling author, Kendra Elliot has sold over 10 Million books and been on the WSJ best seller over a dozen times.

She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her family and three cats. She's fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and dreams of living every day in flip flops. UPDATE: She now lives in flip flops and watches the sun rise over th

Other books in the series

Widow's Island (10 books)
  • A Bone to Pick (Widow's Island #2)
  • Whisper of Bones (Widow's Island #3)
  • Bred in the Bone (Widow's Island #4)
  • Below the Bones (Widow's Island #5)
  • A Broken Bone (Widow's Island #6)
  • Buried Bones (Widow's Island #7)
  • The Lost Bones (Widow's Island #8)
  • Bone Deep (Widow's Island #9)
  • The Wrong Bones (Widow's Island #10)

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“Cate had been summoned because human bones had been found on Ruby’s Island. “Who else needed a ride?” Cate asked the gray-haired driver. Dick had driven an unofficial water taxi around the islands since Cate was a child. When someone needed a ride and didn’t have a boat available, they called Dick. He charged twenty bucks, a twelve-pack of beer, or a fifth of vodka. Cate paid cash.” 0 likes
“was a child. When someone needed a ride and didn’t have a boat available, they called Dick. He charged twenty bucks, a twelve-pack of beer, or a fifth of vodka. Cate paid cash. His thirty-year-old son, Adam, accompanied him these days and stared at Cate in a way that gave her the creeps. She stared back, and Adam finally had the grace to look away. Cate decided she’d never ride with Adam when he took over for his father in the future. “I brought over Dr. Powers,” answered Dick. “He’s the one who said to call the FBI. Kurt Olson from the sheriff’s office and a new deputy, Bruce Taylor, were already there.” Dick glanced over his shoulder at Cate. “You met Bruce or Dr. Powers yet?” “No.” She only knew Kurt. He’d been a deputy on Widow’s Island forever. “Bruce is young. Only been here a few months. From southern Oregon. Haven’t made up my mind about him yet,” Dick said, pulling at his beard. “Dr. Powers is a good guy. We’ve needed a doctor on the island since Dr. Hardy died three years ago. Tessa Black from the sheriff’s department shared his ride. Didn’t you two run around together when you were young? You know she’s a county deputy now, right?” “Yes.” Tessa had been like a sister to Cate while growing up. After nearly ten years of being a Seattle police officer and detective, Tessa had returned to Widow’s Island about a year and a half ago and joined the sheriff’s office. Cate had been back on the island for five days and still hadn’t contacted her good friend. Her grandmother had repeatedly pushed her to call Tessa, but Cate had dragged her feet, stating she needed more rest, and had firmly ordered her grandmother to keep this visit to the island under her hat. Cate wasn’t ready to face people. But tonight’s discovery gave her no choice. Trespassing teenage lovebirds had found the bones. The coroner—the new Dr. Powers—believed they belonged to a teenage female. Two years ago the FBI had conducted an investigation of a missing local girl, Becca Conan, with no results. Fourteen-year-old Becca was the daughter of Rex Conan, sole resident and current owner of Ruby’s Island. Now the FBI—meaning” 0 likes
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