Gift Guide

Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History's Mysteries

( 1 )


How did King Tut really die?

The mystery of the young pharaoh's death is only one of the puzzles that modern science has helped solve. Thanks to forensics — the scientific way of examining physical evidence — we now know what killed Napoleon and whether Anastasia survived the massacre of the Russian royal family.

Seven intriguing stories about historical royal figures whose demise was suspicious, and hard ...

See more details below
$13.03 price
(Save 12%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $8.00   
  • New (3) from $9.00   
  • Used (2) from $8.00   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


How did King Tut really die?

The mystery of the young pharaoh's death is only one of the puzzles that modern science has helped solve. Thanks to forensics — the scientific way of examining physical evidence — we now know what killed Napoleon and whether Anastasia survived the massacre of the Russian royal family.

Seven intriguing stories about historical royal figures whose demise was suspicious, and hard scientific facts about crime-solving techniques make each event seem like an episode of CSI rather than a history lesson.

Kids will be fascinated to find out how scientists used autopsy results (and the waist measurement of his pants!) to prove that Napoleon died not of arsenic poisoning as suspected, but of stomach cancer; and how DNA testing revealed that King Tut died of malaria.

Other stories include:

  • Who was the Man in the Iron Mask?
  • What was the fate of Marie-Antoinette's son?
  • Who killed an entire Maya royal family?
  • Who knows what really happened to Thailand's young King Rama?

At times a gripping "whodunit," at others a guide to deductive reasoning, this book will be hard to put down for any kids who love mysteries, murder, and suspense.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booklist Online - Carolyn Phelan
An appealing introduction to some intriguing mysteries from history's cold cases.
Canadian Materials - Val Ken Lem
Curious readers will devour this book which is attractively illustrated with appropriate colour and black and white photographs.
Guelph Mercury Record - Brenda Hoerle
Young readers ages nine to 12 will be intrigued by the book's whodunit style, and the many photographs, sidebars and glossary of terms, all of which contribute to the mystery-solving.
Mrs. Readerpants
A must-have for middle school libraries and science classrooms.
Quill and Quire - Nikki Luscombe
Bones Never Lie enhances traditional history and science lessons with murderous mysteries, treacherous plot lines, and a funhouse touch of terror.
Reading Today Online - Karen Hildebrand
With colorful photography, excellent graphic images, poignant questions and a fast-paced writing style, this intriguing book will fascinate young readers.
Resource Links - Leslie Vermeer
The topic is great for the intended age group; the discussion is sometimes gross and grisly but also realistic and accessible.
Sal's Fiction Addiction - Sally Bender
Great writing, spectacular science and all wrapped up in a story that is well told and forever fascinating!
Library Media Connection - Cecelia Carmenates
This book devotes a chapter to each of seven historical mysteries and demonstrates how different aspects of forensic science have been used to uncover the truth. Each chapter is like an episode of CSI and readers will be pulled into the stories. The author engages the reader by giving a sense of place and illuminating personality traits of the high profile historical figures. Different aspects of forensics are presented in a concise, conversational manner and include everything from deductive reasoning to ballistics to DNA testing. Both science geeks and history buffs will find entertainment here. With intriguing photographs and illustrations, informative text features and side notes, this nonfiction text reads like a thriller and would be a great addition to middle grade collections. Recommended.
Canadian Teacher
Bones Never Lie is aimed at junior/intermediate students eager to read CSI-like stories... Many youngsters would be intrigued by gruesome details and little known facts ...This is an exceptionally handsome book with clear colour photos and intriguing sidebars focusing on scientific techniques.
Science Books and Film
Best Books for Children 2013
Science Books and Film - Nikki L. Rogers
(starred review) When I was six years old, I read a book that set me on a scientific path toward a career in biological anthropology and university research. Bones Never Lie may be that kind of influential book for some of today's pre-teens... Readers are
Kirkus Reviews
Was Napoleon poisoned? Did King Rama VIII shoot himself? And just whose bones were found in the Temple prison? Only the bones know. MacLeod provides here a neat introduction to the art and science of forensics, which examines the physical evidence of a death scene through DNA analysis, fingerprinting, bone analysis, autopsies, blood tests, X-rays and a slew of other high-tech methods. She examines seven particular cases in which the verdict had long been in dispute: the deaths of the Mayan royal family, Napoleon, the Man in the Iron Mask, King Rama VIII of Thailand, Grand Duchess Anastasia, King Tut and Marie-Antoinette's son. Each episode is a taut short story, complete with historical context, conjectures, and plenty of background information and colorful minutiae ("Anastasia always had lots of energy, despite her painful bunions"). The canny unraveling of the evidence reveals the thought process of each forensic team. It will come as a shock to many that what they thought they knew about the deaths of these characters has been overthrown by recent forensic discoveries. In real life, forensics can be slow and tedious, but MacLeod invests these high-profile deaths with considerable vim and drama. A good selection of staged and archival photographs and artwork accompany the stories. A fully fleshed and crisply told story of forensics at its romantic best. (glossary, sources, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554514823
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 418,483
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth MacLeod is a prolific author of non-fiction books for children, including biographies, craft books, and the Ontario Library Association's Red Maple Award-winning Royal Murder. She lives in Toronto.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 3, 2013

    This was an interesting look at some of the great mysteries thro

    This was an interesting look at some of the great mysteries throughout history. There were a few problems with it. It wasn't as detailed as I was hoping for and many of the mysteries didn't get solved.

    However, with the popularity of crime TV shows, I can see how many middle grade and young YA kids would enjoy this book. It explains a lot of terms that detectives use and how those methods are used to help at a crime scene. And honestly, there is quite a bit of really interesting information in the book.

    This is a great book to check out of your local library if they have it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)