Feb 28, 2022

ARC Review--Crowbones by Anne Bishop


In this engrossing and gripping fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, an inn owner and her friends must find a killer—before it’s too late.…

Crowbones will gitcha if you don’t watch out!

Deep in the territory controlled by the Others—shape-shifters, vampires, and even deadlier paranormal beings—Vicki DeVine has made a new life for herself running The Jumble, a rustic resort. When she decides to host a gathering of friends and guests for Trickster Night, at first everything is going well between the humans and the Others.

But then someone arrives dressed as Crowbones, the Crowgard bogeyman. When the impostor is killed along with a shape-shifting Crow, and the deaths are clearly connected, everyone fears that the real Crowbones may have come to The Jumble—and that could mean serious trouble.

To “encourage” humans to help them find some answers, the Elders and Elementals close all the roads, locking in suspects and victims alike. Now Vicki, human police chief Grimshaw, vampire lawyer Ilya Sanguinati, and the rest of their friends have to figure out who is manipulating events designed to pit humans against Others—and who may have put Vicki DeVine in the crosshairs of a powerful hunter.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Anne Bishop makes is back in the world of The Others with her latest release Crowbones! After a two year hiatus we get to see what's happening once more with Vicki DeVine in one of the other neighborhoods. What starts as a nice busy holiday quickly turns into a murder mystery and the Elders are not pleased and no one will be leaving The Jumble until the killer is caught.

I'll admit that diving back into this world was a little rough, especially since I recalled the second book focused on other characters besides Vicki, so getting back to her portion of the story was even rougher. But luckily, there were enough momentary recaps that made getting settled into the here and now a bit easier.

Vicki has a nice crowd at The Jumble when people come in to celebrate what once was Halloween. The Others were still intrigued with the idea of "trick-or-treating" so it's much the same holiday as we all know. Until a human guest dressed as Crowbones--the equivalent of the Crowgard bogeyman--and shakes things up. If that wasn't enough, said human is soon found murdered. This wouldn't really mean anything to the Others until not soon after, a Crowgard is found dead. It is then that the Elders get involved and put up a block of sorts that forbids humans from leaving, and should they try...well, they won't like what happens next.

Now Vicki and her guests are forced to stay in The Jumble until the murderer is caught. But since basically no one is allowed to leave or come into town without in turn becoming a "prisoner" as well, they are pretty much isolated. You can tell when Bishop was writing this since we've all been in our own versions of isolation and not being able to leave home. You go to the store for a few supplies, but even those become in short supply, like toilet paper. It's amazing really, how quickly real life events cane be put into books these days!

We soon turn the story into your basic whodunit murder mystery. We once again get multiple points of view from Vicki, Julian, Ilya, and Grimshaw, plus a few other mystery people, an occasional Them, and some that aren't labeled at all which are quickly revealed to be the murder. It definitely presents quite the puzzle as there are so many suspects in town what with the influx of guests at The Jumble.

I belatedly discovered that a list of characters and places and other such terms were located at the back of the story. Which might have been more helpful to me in my reading as the week I read this was quite busy and getting back into the story after a few hours away was always a bit difficult. The glossary would've been very helpful had I known it was there. Sadly since it had been over two years since I read from this series, I forgot that these were usually included as well.

The pacing to this one was right on the line of decent! It's not overly fast, but it's not terribly slow either. What with the change in point of view every chapter, you were able to stay on top of things around town. There was always a date given too, so we pretty much go through about a week in all and so much happens in that week with the murder and investigating.

I think because I was unable to binge read the book, the going back and forth made the whodunit a complete and total surprise to me! The woes of having to work full-time instead of  reading full-time, lol! Despite that, I did still enjoy the story and was always eager to get back into things. I loved how Vicki has become such a part of the shifters she now lives with. Much like Meg did in her own series. I was also just thrilled that Meg makes a small appearance via phone call in this one! It's always fun to see past favorite characters make an appearance in the new series!

All in all, Crowbones was quite the mystery! I found it to be quite engaging and the mystery elements were spot on! The whodunit took me completely by surprise, but I feel like the groundwork leading to the reveal was there. I just missed it due to my reading span! I hope Bishop continues to write in this world as it is one I enjoy seeing the paranormal entities engaging with the humans in a very different kind of society. This is a series fans of paranormal books will enjoy what with the wide cast of characters and enticing storylines!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Crowbones releases March 8, 2022





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