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Widow's Island #2

A Bone to Pick

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Deputy Tessa Black gave up her career as a detective with the Seattle PD and returned to the Pacific Northwest island she calls home to care for her ailing mother. Tessa thinks her mother’s illness is the worst thing she’ll face—until she responds to a routine call in the state park and discovers a local man harpooned to a sign.

As the murder investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the victim harbored secrets. Together with her FBI agent best friend, Cate, and park ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa must connect the pieces before the murderer strikes again. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself—and the ones she loves—in harm’s way.

Pressure mounts as Tessa attempts to juggle the current case with her search for the truth behind her childhood friend Samantha’s disappearance twenty years ago. Can Tessa find the murderer and uncover answers about Samantha without jeopardizing everything she holds dear?

116 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 30, 2018

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About the author

Melinda Leigh

43 books20.4k followers
#1 Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker who learned that writing books is way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. Since then, she has garnered numerous writing accolades, including two RITA® Award nominations and an induction into the NJ Romance Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have sold more than 10 million copies across the world. Melinda loves martial arts, rescue dogs, and sea turtles.

WEBSITE: https://www.melindaleigh.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/melindaleighauthorpage/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MelindaLeigh1

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 645 reviews
Profile Image for Sandra.
667 reviews6 followers
November 26, 2019
Deputy Tessa Black comes back home to Widow's Island to care for her ailing mother. One night she gets a call (someone heard screaming) and she and park ranger Logan discover a murdered man who has been harpooned. While they investigate the case they discover many secrets about the victim...

This was another enjoyable read from the "Widow's Island" series. The story was fast-paced, interesting, and easy to read. I was curious to find out who the murderer was. I liked the characters and the setting on the island. I also enjoyed the slight romance between Tessa and Logan.
Profile Image for Dez the Bookworm.
230 reviews88 followers
January 17, 2023
I really like audiobooking these.

I listen to these anytime I'm in my car. The narration is good and the storyline is always a step above a typical mystery whodunit.

This is the second book in this series and I like the new murder mystery and intro of new characters. I found myself tuning in even at home because the curiosity was getting to me.

I'd like just a titch more detail on the reveal, but other than that, I'm definitely ongoing to listen to the rest of this series and then move onto some of this authors other series!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,513 followers
October 27, 2018
A Bone to Pick by Melinda Leigh is the second book in the romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This series is all at novella length and penned by Melinda Leigh along with Kendra Elliot 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.

The first book introduced FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde who had returned to the island after an injury to rest and recuperate. Cate had been best friends with Tessa Black who is now a deputy on the island. Book two now changes over to Tessa along with her own romantic interest.

Tessa had returned to the island after a stint with the Seattle P.D. when she needed to begin care for her aging mother. Tessa was expecting a routine night on the island where crime is normally pretty slow when she gets a call about a dead man who had been killed with a harpoon. Teaming up with the park ranger Logan Wilde Tessa finds herself chasing a murderer.

Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot certainly know how to write a compelling novella length read. Even with the shorter length both books so far have been fleshed out wonderfully giving enough about the characters to begin to care about them and a good mystery to follow. Definitely a fan of this series and can’t wait to see what happens in the next two installments.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews360 followers
August 3, 2019
A Bone to Pick is the next novella in the ‘Widow’s Island’ series which follows Tessa and Cate, two childhood friends turned FBI agent and sheriff, as they alternate solving crimes with a hint of romance. This time it’s Tessa who takes the lead, as she investigates the mysterious and gruesome murder of a local artist while trying to care for her little sister and elderly mother.

I wasn’t as drawn to Tessa as I had been with Cate, and I found her backstory wasn’t as well developed as it could have been. There’s also a definite drop in the atmospheric tension that I found in the previous novel, as the murder itself feels more linear and without any real surprises. I did find the romance aspects more believable this time however, as the dynamics between the two characters worked better and wasn’t so heavily invested in the storyline. I also liked Tessa’s relationship with her mother and seeing the daily struggles she copes with at home along side trying to do her job.

The plot itself is ok. As stated, the murder mystery element was a lot more straightforward, without any real twists or high stake moments, meaning there’s no undercurrent of tension or suspicion. I also guessed the murderer this time, as I found it just that bit more predictable, although I enjoyed the journey to reach the ending. I would have liked more of a link to the first book, with more information about the women’s missing school friend and their personal investigation into her disappearance, but I’m presuming this will be left for a later book in the series.

A decent attempt at the crime novella genre that manages to fit quite a lot into a short amount of pages. I’m still interested to see where the series will go.
Profile Image for Kat (Books are Comfort Food).
235 reviews242 followers
December 7, 2021
Book 2 in the Widow’s Island series. I enjoyed the characters and the murder mystery, when I man is harpooned on the beach. Wish it would have gone a bit deeper. However, I really do like the characters in the book and the atmosphere.
Profile Image for Richard.
1,767 reviews149 followers
October 16, 2019
Melinda Leigh takes over from Kendra Elliott to pen the 2nd Widow’s Island novella in this four book series.
Again it is a stand alone story drawing on the characters we have mostly been introduced to in the first episode.
Another investigation following the murder of a local artist. The enquiry is in the domain of the Sheriffs’ Dept and led by Tessa and as the body was found within the State Park, Forest Ranger, Logan helps out.
An interesting story unravels and a number of suspects emerge but the worst case scenario no-one wants to believe is that an islander did the deed.
Of course romance is also in the air, Cate’s grandmother, Jane is back to her matchmaking ways.
Of course the Widow’s Island Knitting and Activist Group are also at work behind the scenes.
I again enjoyed the scope of the storytelling and the contrast of a vicious crime against the open goodness apparent in neighbours and friends. More hints about a shortage of widowers compared to the number of older women. They seem to thrive while their partners die at a early age. Not my idea of paradise. However, a serious issue is addressed as Tessa’s mum is struggling with Alzheimer’s as if Tessa did not have enough to manage already.
A gentle tale with serious incidents that stretches the resources of this proud community. It is interesting that amid such beauty and tranquility black hearts and evil actions can surface.
Another well written adventure with thrills and stolen kisses to satisfy the romantic crime mystery fans. Less heart melting and more heart stopping moments for me please before I loose all credibility, but if I’m honest I liked this one a little too much.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,300 reviews267 followers
October 8, 2018
A Bone to Pick was another enjoyable novella in the Widow's Island series with an intriguing mystery and a hint of romance.

Deputy Tessa Black left her job at the Seattle police department to return to Widow's Island to care for her mother. One night while on call she receives reports of someone screaming in the woods of the state park and upon investigating finds a local man harpooned to a sign. After she begins the murder investigation it becomes clear the victim was not who he claimed to be. Faced with the possibility the murderer is one of the island's residents, Tessa is in a race to find the killer before they strike again.

Tessa is stretched thin lately between caring for her ill mother, her day job as a deputy, and looking into the disappearance of one of her best friends from over twenty years ago. Tessa works closely on the murder case with local park ranger Logan Wilde, her best friend Cate's older brother. Logan recently returned to the island after several years in the military needing less violence in his life. There's the beginnings of a romance forming between Tessa and Logan and I'm excited to see where it goes in future books.

The death of the local artist provided an interesting case for Tessa to work on and it was readily apparent that the man was full of secrets. The hidden bag of money and fake ID definitely kept you guessing as to what exactly he was involved in. A few of the revelations surprised me and it became clear he had amassed a few enemies in his lifetime. I was curious who would be his killer and I have to admit I ended up being wrong in my guess. As to Tessa and Cate's investigation into Samantha's disappearance, there isn't a ton of new information in this novella but I'm interested to see where their investigations leads them in future books.

Overall A Bone to Pick was an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend these two novellas if you're in the mood for some quick suspense reads with a touch of romance.

**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Cyndi.
345 reviews220 followers
November 15, 2018
I liked this! The suspense was good. I would love a little more romance! I liked Tessa and Logan, but I need more Cate and Henry!
Profile Image for mina.
685 reviews243 followers
August 9, 2020
These are fun little mystery novellas, however, I’m a bit doubtful of so many murders happening in a small place like that in the time the novellas are taking place (I’m thinking of all the novellas that are out).
Profile Image for Ian.
1,346 reviews188 followers
October 28, 2018
Sheriff's Deputy Tessa Black was forced to return to her hometown on Widow's Island to help care for her ageing mother with dementia. When a young artist is violently murdered she finds herself joining forces with the island's ranger to track down a killer.

Widow's Island is a collaboration between Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot. But while they share a setting and some characters each author has her own main characters. The books will probably follow the same pattern as their Rogue River series which was basically a side project with each author contributing novella sized fiction.

I enjoy the occasional novella but I always find it difficult to get into them on an ongoing basis. Story development is by nature thin on the ground and character development which would normally be dealt with in the first few chapters of a book is forced onto the back-burner and will take place over the series.

For all of that, this is good and if you want a quick read for a lazy Saturday afternoon you could do a lot worse.
Profile Image for Henry.
635 reviews28 followers
May 22, 2021
The second in this series. A pleasant little book. I think I'll try the third and then switch to something a little more serious before continuing the series.
Profile Image for Aristotle.
630 reviews68 followers
October 30, 2020
A character-driven story
A good series driven by its characters and the islands off the Pacific Northwest.
The murder was an afterthought.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,100 reviews146 followers
October 27, 2018
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Part 2 of the Widow's Island novella series collaboration by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot. These novellas are really short, in fact I read this one while watching the marathon 18 inning World Series Game, have a mystery to solve and a budding romance to cheer for. As was true in the first novella, the baddie was caught not through great police work, but because they self destructed. Not my favorite way to get the baddie. The limited format of the novella doesn't allow all the elements to fully develop and I found that the mystery was the element that suffered.

Deputy Tessa Black has a successful career as a detective in the Seattle PD. She had to leave and return to Widow's Island off the coast of Washington in order to care for her mother, who has dementia, and her high school age half sister. The slower pace of life is just what she needed while dealing with the other issues life has thrown her way.

While checking out a routine disturbance call Tessa discovers a man harpooned to a sign in the State Park. With the help of hunky former Army Ranger, now park ranger, Logan Wilde, Tessa uncovers that not everything was as it appeared to be with the life of the dead local artist.

While Tessa and Logan have know each other all their lives, Tessa is Logan's sister, Cate's, best friend, they didn't "know" each other as adults. The budding attraction has to take a backseat to the murder investigation and Tessa's mother's increasing dementia. When Tessa and Logan get close to uncovering the secrets of their victim, the murderer will stop at nothing keep those secrets buried.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,032 reviews645 followers
October 30, 2018
Once again the small Pacific Northwest island known as Widow’s Island charmed me. While the first novella focused on FBI Special Agent Cate, this novel focused on Tessa Black. Tessa has recently moved back to the island from Seattle and she’s been enjoying her position with the quiet island police department. She made the move to care for her ailing mother. It was a decision she hasn't regretted. 

Local park ranger and the older brother of Cate, Logan Wilde is also back on the island. After a stint in the military he is enjoying the peace and tranquility of the island.

When a disturbance call regarding the sounds of a screaming man are called in Tessa investigates. The sounds appear to be coming from the park and she reaches out to Logan to act as her backup.The two soon make a grizzly discovery.  

As Tessa and Logan investigate the danger heats-up right as does the chemistry between them. This was an interesting case with a few suspects and a surprising twist. Along the way we learn about Tessa, her mom, and the sexy ranger she has been crushing on since she was a teen. We briefly touch base with Cate and see other locals. I am seriously craving cinnamon buns right about now.

I now see why the Rogue novella series were so popular. This writing duo has created an interesting series I cannot wait for the next installment.  Fans of small-town romantic suspense and mystery series will want to scoop up A Bone to Pick and the other books in the Widow’s Island series. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,719 reviews462 followers
November 27, 2018
Initial Thoughts
This was a nice short read. There are a whole lot of crazy things happening on this island! This one starts off with a murder and an investigation with a lot of twists and turns. There was even a bit of romance to top everything off. I thought that the narrator did a great job with the story.

Book Source: Kindle Unlimited

Full review to be posted soon.
Profile Image for julia ☆ [owls reads].
1,559 reviews308 followers
January 3, 2021
#1 Close to the Bone: ★★★★☆ | 4 stars


A Bone to Pick was a great addition to the series! I loved how the perspective changed to focus on Tessa and Logan and their stories. They were wonderful narrators and I do have to admit I liked them a bit more than Cate and Henry. What Tessa was dealing with in her personal life hit very close to home, so I felt a little bit more connected to her perspective in this novella.

The setting continued to be wonderful, though I did miss a little bit of the paranormal stories surrounding the island. It was also pretty interesting that the conflict and main mystery played more with people from outside of the island--it was pretty well written and I liked how it all wrapped up. I was once again caught off guard by the resolution, which is always a good thing.

There was also a little spark of romance, just like in the previous novel, and I loved how it was a tiny bit of childhood friends to lovers sort of thing. It was super sweet and it wrapped up the novella in such a lighthearted and hopeful tone. I'm really looking forward to reading the other installments to see what else is in store for everyone.
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,059 reviews706 followers
August 19, 2022
Audiobook: Narrator - Christine Williams

I was hoping the publisher would have used a different narrator for this book as it is written in a different heroine’s point of view. This is Tessa and she sounds exactly like Cate. All the other characters sound like her as well. I still struggled with the cadence the narrator used with so many of the voices. I’m a lenient reader and listener and can usually get past anything that bothers me but I’m really struggling with this narrator.


Tessa’s issue with caring for her mother added a level of angst I didn’t expect. The mystery had its own bit of angst but nothing compared to Tessa and her mother. My heart almost shattered from her struggle as I’ve been there myself.

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This was another story that I did not see the ending or the person responsible. I love the surprise ending and enjoyed the story as a whole despite its close feel to the first book. These two authors have written these so cohesively it feels as though they are written by the same author. Perhaps the fact that they are each a novella adds to that feeling. Nevertheless, I liked this story and can’t wait to see more in the series.

Dual POV

Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,734 reviews938 followers
December 20, 2021
The second book in the "Widow's Island" novella series follows Tessa. I honestly like Leigh's writing better I realized after reading through the other novellas this weekend. I also like Tessa who seems to be a little bit similar to Bree Taggert.

"A Bone to Pick" follows Tessa as she responds to a call of a man who has been harpooned. A local artist, Tessa wonders who could be behind this. She gets some help from her best friend Cate's brother Logan (now the local park ranger).

So just ignore Logan helping on the case. It irritates me and makes no sense, but just ignore it. I felt for Tessa who is dealing with so much. She's trying to take care of her mother and help out her teenage sister. And is dealing with an angry hen that wants to murder her (the hen's animosity towards Tessa throughout this series is hilarious).

I honestly have to say though. I cracked up when the murderer is revealed and why they did it. I think if the two authors had kept the murderers to stuff like this it would have made me like the overall series more.
Profile Image for Laur.
494 reviews71 followers
December 29, 2019
The author’s writing style of this book drove me absolutely insane. Tessa said....Tessa moved.... Tessa, there was always about 2-3 words following that. For example: Tessa moved to the door. Tessa sat down. Tessa looked around. There are times when a quick short sentence may be totally appropriate in my opinion, but it started to really grate on me as that kind of sentence structure was used throughout the book. The writing lacked maturity, depth, description and even flow, which was extremely noticeable in the audible version. (I about screamed!)

The plot was ok in that it involved finding out who killed a man on the beach with a speargun; intermingled with a subplot of her mom who had Alzheimer’s that went missing. I was ok with the plot, and I’m not going to pick on the characters (judging on just those 2 things, I maybe would have squeezed out 3 stars).

But then the author starts throwing a few F* bombs too. Why?? It does absolutely NOTHING for the story and personally it turns me off. Either put the vulgarity in and I’ll avoid the book completely, or leave it out please. I did manage to finish this book, but will not be reading anything from this author in the near future.
Profile Image for Ann Lou.
555 reviews89 followers
February 17, 2019
The second book in the series and also a short read. I would have wanted it longer but it still packed a punch. So many things happening in the island. Two murders in just a few weeks. This time, a body of a man has been found impaled by a harpoon. It is up to Tessa to investigate this one with the help of Logan.

Life in this island is very interesting, indeed. I can't wait to read what really happened to Sam all those years ago. Is she dead? or still alive?
Profile Image for Diane.
650 reviews23 followers
November 5, 2018
As much as I dislike novellas, this was a pretty good read. Story line was nicely wrapped up and delivered. The characters are quite likeable, and the murder quite nasty! Apparently, this series will be made up of novellas - since I like the first two I guess I'll continue with it.

From the blurb: In this gripping second novella in the Widow’s Island series, bestselling author Melinda Leigh delivers a chilling tale of murder in the Pacific Northwest.

Deputy Tessa Black gave up her career as a detective with the Seattle PD and returned to the Pacific Northwest island she calls home to care for her ailing mother. Tessa thinks her mother’s illness is the worst thing she’ll face—until she responds to a routine call in the state park and discovers a local man harpooned to a sign.

As the murder investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the victim harbored secrets. Together with her FBI agent best friend, Cate, and park ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa must connect the pieces before the murderer strikes again. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself—and the ones she loves—in harm’s way.

Pressure mounts as Tessa attempts to juggle the current case with her search for the truth behind her childhood friend Samantha’s disappearance twenty years ago. Can Tessa find the murderer and uncover answers about Samantha without jeopardizing everything she holds dear?
Profile Image for RachelW (BamaGal).
746 reviews66 followers
October 3, 2018
After an enjoyable first novella to the series, this was a bit of a letdown; and not nearly so entertaining a read. The story started off well, with a rather inventive murder to investigate; but quickly went down from there. The main problem was the shortness of the novella. It only took about 45 minutes to read; with a plot that was sparse and underdeveloped in the brevity of the read. The whole storyline felt like it was barely more than an outline.
Profile Image for Carla.
5,923 reviews129 followers
November 17, 2018
A Bone to Pick by Melinda Leigh is the second book in the romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. The second novella in this series spotlights Deputy Tessa Black, who grew up with FBI agent Cate Wilde (introduced in Close to the Bone).

Tessa returned to Widow's island from Seattle, where she worked for the Seattle P.D. Her mother had been diagnosed with alzheimers and she was needed to care for her. Tessa receives an unexpected call that a man has been killed in the local forest with a harpoon. She stops and gets the park ranger, Logan Wilde to accompany her to the gruesome scene. This call sets off an investigation that involves several suspects, Tessa putting herself in danger, and some puzzle solving to find the culprit. The romance in this story is not blatant, but it is easy to see that there is something developing between Tessa and Logan. I also like that the story of Tessa and Cate's relationship is mending and they are dealing with the loss they suffered as teenagers.

Once again, Melinda Leigh has penned a novella that reads like a full length story. I love how she gets me to connect with the characters and get sucked into the story, even though it is only novella length. I will definitely be checking out the next two books in this series. I listened to this book from Kindle Unlimited and enjoy the narration for this quick read and I hope to continue listening to this series.
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
December 30, 2019
Another fabulous murder mystery in the series. My first book by this author, I loved how I w as sucked into the island setting.
The writing kept me hooked, being a novella of 100 pages, it was a fast read. The characters were well developed. I loved knowing their personal lives too.
Overall, a great Detective work.
Profile Image for Krista.
804 reviews60 followers
August 30, 2021
Decent mystery. Quite a bit of going over the same character set-up for a novella, so that made it lose some steam for me. I am not sure that these are best to be read back-to-back if going over the same ground as to character's backstory and description of the area aren't your thing.
Profile Image for Anna's Herding Cats.
1,274 reviews308 followers
October 9, 2018

Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2pA5c0J

Ooh yes. A Bone to Pick was a nice mystery that kept me guessing and left me even more curious about Widow's Island.

The Gist: An artist has been killed and naked paintings uncovered in his studio? Well they make for lots of potential suspects. They sure do.

Tessa & Logan were both wonderful and whew they have their hands full. Logan's a forest ranger and trying to settle back into life after leaving the military and is dealing with some PTSD. And Tessa...whew. She's spread thin. She's back home to care for her younger sister and her mother who is suffering from Alzheimers. And that's on top of being the local deputy sheriff and trying to solve a new murder. These two give their all to everything they do. Level headed, dedicated, solid individuals. It was nice seeing them work together to solve the murder and tackle life's hardships.

There's just a little potential romance which was fun. Logan is Tessa's best friend's brother and they've known each other for ages and I always love that set up. There's a sweetness and understanding between them I loved.

The mystery kept me going and surprised me in the end. I love when that happens.

All in all...A Bone to Pick was time well spent. I'm curious to see what will happen next on Widow's Island and if we'll go back to first couple and get more of their story or have a fresh new couple to learn about.
Profile Image for Kathy Martin.
3,384 reviews73 followers
October 4, 2018
Tessa Black has left her job with the Seattle police department and taken a job as a deputy on Widow's Island. She needs to take care of her mother who suffers from dementia. She answers a call from a woman who hears screaming in the nearby forest. Because the other deputy's are off the island or already on duty, she calls local park ranger Logan Wilde to go with her. He's her best friends older brother and the object of her childhood crush. Logan has left the Army Special Forces to take this job because he couldn't deal with the situations he was forced to handle anymore. He's hoping that Widow's Island will be a quiet healing place for him.

Together, they discover the body of a young local artist who has been harpooned. He's only been on the island for about a year and no one knows him well. Almost the first thing that they discover is that he is living under a false identity. Tessa is attacked by a stranger when she goes to investigate the artist's house, but she also discovers a dufflebag with about $100,000 which is much more money than an artist painting landscapes for tourists should have and four nude portraits of older women. More searching also discovers a portrait of Tessa's mother.

Tessa and Logan investigate wondering if the killer is someone from the artist's past or perhaps one of the husbands of the women the artist painted. Meanwhile, Tessa's mother has taken to wandering away. One time, Tessa's friend Cate finds her and brings her back. Another time it takes an organized search before she is found. Tessa doesn't know what she is going to do, but the local Widow's Knitting and Activist group and Logan come up with a plan that will work for now.

The story was suspenseful and fast-paced. The mystery in this episode was solved. The larger mystery begun in the first book of this quartet takes the backburner here. FBI files about their friend's disappearance are located and are surprisingly thin.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 645 reviews

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