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The Bone Riddle

The Bone Riddle

By Sara E. JohnsonPublisher: Poisone Pen Press/SourcebooksISBN: 978-1-7282-5734-1Genre: Forensic Mystery Price: $16.99

With cutting-edge forensic technology, a stunning setting, and a deepening relationship between Alexa and D.I. Bruce Horn, The Bone Riddle will delight science geeks, armchair travelers, and procedural buffs who like a little romance with their body count.

Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand: On a cliff overlooking the ocean and one of the largest gannet bird colonies in the world, American CEO Harlan Quinn has built his "Plan B"―a lavish estate, complete with an underground doomsday bunker. Cleaning staff finds a body in the house. It appears the victim died of natural causes but advanced facial decomposition leaves him unidentifiable. Forensic odontologist Alexa Glock is called in to identify the body via dental records.

Teeth never lie.

But something odd in the deceased's mouth sets Alexa and the team on a new track―to find the murderer. As they work to narrow the suspect field, a second homicide―and a stolen cache of weapons from a locked room in the bunker―means they're deathly close to the truth.

Sara E. Johnson spent a year exploring wondrous New Zealand. Everywhere she snooped, there was a mystery that needed writing. Molten Mud Murder, Sara's debut novel, was published in 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press/Soucebooks. It is the first in the Alexa Glock Forensics Mysteries set in New Zealand and was followed by The Bones Remember and The Bone Track. The Bone Riddle, the fourth book in the series, came out in June.
Sara, a former reading specialist, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Durham Citizen Police Academy, is past president of Triangle Sisters in Crime, and is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network. Learn more about her here.


Johnson expertly balances her lead’s personal and professional lives and maintains nerve-shredding suspense throughout.

― Publishers Weekly

This book reminded me a little of the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reich’s due to the forensic science elements. Our main character here, Alexa Glock (yes like the gun) is a forensic odontologist who job is to identify some remains based on dental records. I loved the NZ setting and found myself feeling quite at home while reading (I’m Australian). I enjoyed the cultural elements. I’ll probably go back at some stage and read the rest of the series from the beginning. I’d recommend picking this one up if you’re a fan of forensic science, police procedurals or romantic suspense.

Kelly at Goodreads

I loved the exotic setting of this police procedural/mystery and found the local culture and habitat fascinating. It was interesting to learn about sharks and the cage diving industry. The characters were quite varied and colorful. Alexa is a bit naïve and gets herself into some difficult situations, but she is very amusing.
An entertaining and unique story

Wrenn, Amazon Review