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)
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.
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.
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 treated to historic mysteries about the identity, cause and manner of death of (in)famous individuals from 800 CE through 1946... Explanations of scientific method of thinking and logic are age-appropriate yet accurate, and I learned new information about cases I hadn't revisited in recent years... An interesting, informative and engaging read.