Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carved in Bone with Bonus Material” as Want to Read:
Carved in Bone with Bonus Material
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Carved in Bone with Bonus Material (Body Farm #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  10,251 Ratings  ·  873 Reviews

For a limited time, discover how The Body Farm series started with Carved in Bone, for free, including an excerpt from the new novel by Jefferson Bass, The Bone Yard, available this February.

Nook, 324 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
James Thane
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is the first entry in the "Body Farm" series. The author, "Jefferson Bass," is actually a team consisting of Bill Bass, the founder of the "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee, and Jon Jefferson, a journalist. The protagonist, Dr. Bill Brockton, supervises the Body Farm (actually, the Anthropology Research Facility) where anthropologists study the ways in which corpses decompose. Brockton has a heavy teaching and research load and is still grieving the loss of his wife who died two ye ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommended this series to me almost two years ago and I'm embarrassed it took me this long to get to the first book. If the first book is any indication, it's a great series. I really enjoyed the blending of fact and creative story. You learn a lot about forensic anthropology. Good strong characters - I'll be curious to see which of them outside the main character show up again.
 Li'l Owl
I realize that this review is nearly as long as the book but I felt is was important to lay the groundwork for the basis of the novel.

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bill Bass is a world-renowned forensic anthropologist who founded the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Center, informally nicknamed the Body Farm. Jon Jefferson, a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker, has written and produced two highly rated documentaries
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-thrillers
Before starting this book I read some of the background concerning The Body Farm and the subject matter sounded so repugnant I just had to read it.
What I found was a book that informed and entertained me.
The insight that the book provides on forensic anthropology is captivating. The anthropologists take a corpse and strip it back to the bare bones and the amount of information that the skeleton yields is mind blowing.
Meanwhile, the local sheriff askes Dr. Bill Brockton, the forensic anthropolo
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sensational first book in the series by the author known as Jefferson Bass. While not only laying out a comprehensive explanation of forensic anthropology for laymen, but also creating a great story, the author is able to keep the reader interested from beginning to end. Explaining things while still moving the story forward is a great skill. Doing so while keeping characters developing, the setting realistic and the plot from going stale sets this book apart from many others I have read. Whil ...more
This is the first in a now established series by the writing team of Bill Bass, a real forensic professor at the University of Tennessee, and Jon Jefferson, a writer and reported. You can definitely tell this is a first effort. I found some of the humor and dialog to be a little immature and clunky in several places. I also found it difficult to believe that this widower is suddenly being seduced and fawned over by not one, but two college girls. Really??? Not too believable.

The mystery part was
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass.

This is the 1st in the body farm mystery series and my 7th since I didn't start at the beginning. This story was an excellent read. the details, which this series is famous for, is in depth and brings the reader into the story and close to the characters involved.

A woman's body is found inside a cave under climatic conditions that preserved the body for decades without exterior decay. She, the victim, appeared to be comparable to a wax figure. Dr. Bill was asked
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alondra by: Bill
Shelves: books-i-own, mystery
4 Stars

Awesome read. Really enjoyed this new series.

All about forensic anthropology, which was more interesting than it sounds. There are more twists and turns than the Jersey Pike.

Dr Brockton is brought in to solve an old murder and finds that someone wants to stop him dead in his tracks. With the aide of his students and Art, who happens to be a kick-ass cop, one of the top criminalists, at that.

The entire time I read the book, I never had a clue as to who was the good guy. Just when you th
Kristen Elise
Where can you find a world class research institute, decaying bodies, Skoal spitting rednecks, underground caves and steamy romance all within a mile of each other? Carved in Bone, of course!

Author Jefferson Bass is himself a fascinating character. Too bad he doesn't exist.

Bass is a hybrid between writer Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass - the forensic anthropologist who founded the notorious "body farm", a three acre breeding ground for rotting corpses in backwoods Tennessee. In fact, the area is
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. I got this book as either the free Friday Nook book or it was the daily find and I paid $1.99 for it. Either way, I am happy I did not make a huge investment in this book. It barely scraped by at getting 2 stars from me. It is not that the writing is bad, but the editing is horrendous. This book has no idea what it is supposed to be (I seem to be coming across that a lot in books of late)- is it a thriller, a procedural, a story about small town dynamics? Not to say that a book can't be all ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good! The author takes you step-by-step in the scientific processes and gives great, easy to understand background information so you don't have to worry about knowing anything about Forensic Anthropology to be able to enjoy this book. Infact, the story is presented in such a way that you actually learn true information as you go along and in a very fun way, if I may add. The discriptions of the places Dr. Brockton goes really comes to life in your minds eye because it is so wel ...more
CARVED IN BONE (Forensic Mystery-TN-Cont) – G+
Bass, Jefferson – 1st book
Harper, 2007- US Paperback- ISBN: 9780060759827
***Anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton is summoned to a Tennessee mountain town where the local sheriff and deputy take him to see a mummified corpse of a young woman. His first task is to find out who she is and how she died. And then he has to find out who killed her while not dying himself.
*** I liked this book. The protagonist clearly knows his forensics but is down to earth, g
Not sure what put me off about this one, which I got as a Free Friday ebook from Barnes & Noble, and would not otherwise have read. It might be that the protagonist had the usual Robert Langdon/Mikael Blomkvist trait of being an emotionally damaged middle-aged man who is irresistible to much younger women. It might be that the character I suspected of obstructing justice from the beginning was, in fact, obstructing justice. Or maybe it was the multitude of oddly placed tertiary characters, w ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, look. This isn't really a four star book. The writing is unpolished, the characters are one dimension, and the story is same old same old. But. But. This scratches such a nostalgic itch that I can't help but love it.

It's like Marie Callender frozen pot pies. There are way better pot pies but the ease and delicious saltiness of them just make me so happy. Pot pies and forensic anthropology thrillers are my happy place.
Sue Smith
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good introduction of characters and what will hopefully be a long and interesting series of murder and mystery. I do like the fact that the author is -in fact- an actual author duo, one being the primary writer and one who is an actual scientist and was a key reason why the 'Body Farm' actually exists. It makes for a much more interesting read actually, as you know it's based more on truth than on fiction. So what you're shaking your head at (because it's out of the realm of yo ...more
I started this book out with a lot of eye rolling because it seemed to fall into the same traps of many novels written by experts: too much professional detail without enough true writing skill, and too much hokey dialogue. But the writing really grew on me, and although the writing choices make it clear it's written by a professional forensic anthropologist, you can't deny that the details are incredibly interesting. The humor and relationships between the characters felt more charming and real ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could work with anyone right now it would be Bass! He is my all time greatest male mentor!
I admire his work both at "The Body Farm" and in the literary field. I believe that his research and contributions in forensics is and will be monumental in sovlving the mysteries of both life and living; and death and dying for centuries to come.
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
really liked this book, much easier to read then Kathy Reichs. Believable characters, and much more likeable than the aforementioned series. Awesome forensic sceince, and local colorful folks. Will be wantin' ta read more o' these.
Not for the squeamish, The Body Farm grabbed my attention from the get- go, and never let go until the end! I read it in one day. Fortunately this book was suggested to me by my GR friend Michael, as a candidate to read in my Road Trip USA Challenge, for the state of Tennessee. I am so glad I followed his advice. I will definitely be adding this series to my "must read" list.

There are so many elements within this book that ring true. Jefferson Bass is the pen name for two talented individuals w
This was my first introduction to this series of "Body Farm" books, and I really liked it. One of the authors, Bill Bass, is a forensic anthropologist, and created the actual "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The central character in this series, Dr. Bill Brockton, is also a forensic anthropologist, and assists many law enforcement agencies in the the area with criminal forensics. The author's knowledge made the story here quite credible; while much technical info is inclu ...more
Along with his partner Dr. Bill Bass, Jon Jefferson manages to weave some very technical information (you learn a lot about skeletal anatomy) into a story of murder and revenge in the hills of Tennessee. Not a whole lot of twists, but the characters are compelling enough to keep the pages turning.

I enjoyed reading this book, although it wasn't near as interesting as the crime scene investigation workshop I attended conducted by the author, Jon Jefferson. After hearing him describe what it was li
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I didn't know The Body Farm was in Knoxville. When I read a review of the latest book in the "Body Farm" series, co-authored by Knoxville forensic anthropologist Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, I wanted to start the series. The main character, Dr. Brockton, is loosely based on Dr. Bass.
* * * * *
I'm 50% through the book and it is so good! The forensic details are interesting rather than morbid - although I did have to quit reading about adipocere whilst eating a ham-and-Swiss rollup
A generally enjoyable, well-paced forensic mystery set in Tennessee. Some of the story line was a bit convoluted, but overall, I enjoyed very much. I liked the setting, the interest in the Body Farm and hope more of that aspect is covered in future stories. The characters are interesting and the story held my interest throughout. I look forward to reading more in the series. Flesh and Bone is up next
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that this ebook has been sitting in my Nook app for a while. I got it for free, not even sure why I picked it up. But once I started it I couldn't put it down. Good first effort from the writing team of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass (who runs "The Body Farm" at UTennessee). Clever little head nod to "Dr. Kay Scarpetta", Pat Cornwell's fictional forensic anthopologist and star of "The Body Farm".
A body is discovered deep in a cave in Cooke County and forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton from Knoxville is called in to examine the scene. After returning to the Regional Forensic Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, he and his assistant Miranda examine the body to determine who she is and how she died. They discover a bit of evidence on the body that might help determine what happened and tie her death to a particular someone.

As Doctor Brockton soon discovers, many of the
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the Body Farm series, however, I read it after I had read #2-Flesh and Bone. There are major reference and plot development in Flesh and Bone coming out of this book that I found it necessary to read Carved in Bone to appreciate the events of book #2. I would recommend this series, particularly if you like CSI and medical dramas (You need to start with book #1, unlike me).

Dr. Brockton runs the Body farm at the University of Tennessee. The Body Farm is a unique research
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forensic based crime fiction has become very popular in recent years. CARVED IN BONE is a worthy entrant in this sub-genre. Not only is it chock full of scientific details of forensic anthropology in easily understandable terms, it is also one terrific yarn. The characters have depth and the setting is so well described it is easy to visualise.

I loved the book and found myself reading aloud passages that describe some of the forensic procedures, much to the chagrin of some of my family.

If you’ve
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Morrow had recommended a later book written by Jefferson Bass that sounded so good.. I had to buy it. But, before I started reading it.. I wanted to start with some of the earlier novels. This is the book I chose to download first. Such a fast paced, tantalizing thriller.. that it carries the reader to the very end sitting on the edge of their seat the entire way! To think.. this book is written by the man who brought us the REAL body farm. There's no made up hokum junk science in this b ...more
Didn't meet my expectation -- I was expecting heavy investigation related to Body Farm. But the first part was boring, in addition there was drama (the father-son relationship -- what the hell was that? -- the whole younger female students infatuation) that I thought was off-putting. Not interested with the next books.
Two-haiku review:

Body found in cave
Anthro prof called in to help
Not much except bones

Plenty of action
Good start for main character
Series--on to next
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science
  • One Grave Too Many (Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation, #1)
  • Deadly Sanctuary (Kendall O'Dell #1)
  • Chinatown Beat (A Detective Jack Yu Investigation #1)
  • Crush (Karen Vail #2)
  • Protector
  • The Blue Light Project
  • Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
  • The Hunt
  • From the Ashes
  • The Vanishing (Return of the Aliens #1)
  • Raven Strike (Dreamland, #13)
  • Code Blue (Prescription for Trouble, #1)
  • Ninja
  • Leaving Before It's Over
  • Hunt at the Well of Eternity (Gabriel Hunt, #1)
  • The Front Porch Prophet
  • The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)
Jefferson Bass on FACEBOOK

Jon Jefferson

Bill Bass

Jefferson Bass is the pen name of Jon Jefferson, writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, renowned forensic anthropologist. Jefferson and Bass have collaborated on 2 nonfiction books and 6 crime novels; their 7th novel, The Inquisitor's Key, will
More about Jefferson Bass

Other books in the series

Body Farm (10 books)
  • Flesh and Bone (Body Farm #2)
  • The Devil's Bones (Body Farm, #3)
  • Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4)
  • The Bone Thief (Body Farm, #5)
  • The Bone Yard (Body Farm, #6)
  • The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm #7)
  • Cut to the Bone (Body Farm, #8)
  • The Breaking Point  (Body Farm, #9)
  • Without Mercy (Body Farm, #10)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • The Bricklayer (Steve Vail, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Snow Garden
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Breath of Malice
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Almost Dead (Lizzy Gardner #5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Fatal Frost (Dewberry Farm Mysteries, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady, #16)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Outfoxed
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Zeroes
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Last Witness (C.J. Townsend Thriller)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dead Weight (Lizzy Gardner #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Weekend Warriors (Sisterhood)
    $5.99 $0.99
  • The Lullaby Girl (Angie Pallorino, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Eye for an Eye (Dewey Andreas, #4)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Short Drop (Gibson Vaughn, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bridged (Callahan & McLane, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • You Only Live Twice (James Bond, #12)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dr. No
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Moonraker (James Bond, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Diamonds are Forever (James Bond)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond, #10)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Blinds
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Little Boy Lost
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blonde Faith
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Flush
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Deadly Business
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Private Justice (Newpointe 911, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Cutting Room (C.J. Townsend Thriller Book 3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • First to Kill (Nathan McBride, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • In the Barren Ground
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blood Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Lie In Wait (Canaan Crime #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Legacy
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Taxidermist's Daughter
    $7.74 $1.99
  • Depraved Heart (Kay Scarpetta, #23)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Standing in Another Man's Grave (Inspector Rebus, #18)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite, #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Cop Hater (87th Precinct, #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Jekyll Revelation
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Truth Be Told (Rogue Justice #2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Book of Beloved
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Merciful Death (Mercy Kilpatrick #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Afterlife
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Vines
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Obsessed (Lizzy Gardner #4)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • River's Edge (Cape Refuge Series, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Known (Bone Secrets, #5)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Pedigree To Die For (A Melanie Travis Mystery Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Vanished (Callahan & McLane #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Hidden (Bone Secrets, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bone Music (Burning Girl, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • In the Blue Hour
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Cold Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #3)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Stirred (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels #8)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Raven Black (Shetland Island, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite, #4)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Neon Lawyer (Brigham Theodore, #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Coyote Waits (Navajo Mysteries, #10)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Sinister Pig (Navajo Mysteries, #16)
    $9.74 $1.99
  • The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Claiming Felicity (Ace Security, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Snowblind (Dark Iceland #1)
    $7.09 $2.99
  • All the Beautiful Brides (Graveyard Falls, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bitter Medicine (V.I. Warshawski, #4)
    $8.49 $1.99
  • A Merciful Truth (Mercy Kilpatrick, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Playing Dead
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Look Behind You
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Where the Memories Lie
    $4.99 $1.99
  • White Nights (Shetland Island, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Close to Home (Tracy Crosswhite, #5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Fields of Wrath (Luis Chavez, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Three (Codename: Chandler, #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Hollow Men: A Novel
    $15.95 $1.99
  • What She Doesn't Know
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Pope of Palm Beach: A Novel (Serge Storms)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ancestor
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Night Bird (Frost Easton, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Flood (Burke, #1)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Little Killers (The Keepers #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The House of Memory (Pluto's Snitch #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Evil Never Dies (Lizzy Gardner, #6)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Twisted Root (William Monk, #10)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Red Road (Alex Morrow #4)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Last Detective (Peter Diamond, #1)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Now You See Her
    $10.00 $2.99
  • The Beast (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #21)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Fallen (Amos Decker, #4)
    $14.99 $4.99
  • The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Marathon Man
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Darkness, My Old Friend
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Retribution
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Duplicity
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Widowmaker (Mike Bowditch #7)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Bones Don't Lie (Morgan Dane #3)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Remember Me Like This
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Penance
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Cold Harbor (Gibson Vaughn, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Cape Refuge Collection: Cape Refuge, Southern Storm, River's Edge, Breaker's Reef (Cape Refuge Series)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Neighborly
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Targeted (Callahan & McLane, #4)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Drowning
    $15.95 $1.99
  • The Second Girl
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Spree (Codename: Chandler #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Chilled (Bone Secrets, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Silent Victim
    $4.99 $1.99
  • In Farleigh Field
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dying to Tell (Slaughter Creek, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Poisonfeather (Gibson Vaughn, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Dark Mind (Lizzy Gardner #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Thunder of Heaven (The End Series, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time Heals No Wounds (Baltic Sea Crime #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Good Samaritan
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Looking Glass  (The Naturalist #2)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • My Sister's Grave (Tracy Crosswhite #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
“The morgue looked deserted, though in fact it was never unattended.” 1 likes
“My God, is this a date?" Jeff had asked when I asked if I could bring her along.
"I don't know," I said. "She might still be happily lesbian.”
More quotes…