Arabella Holmes is different than other girls her age: She doesn't fit the role of a 1900's lady. So her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella's dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her uncle called a "Boneseeker."
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment--to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over Arabella. It would be an easy task, if he could get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child's play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal ... or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls? Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.
Read an Excerpt
From the Journals of Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson
By Brynn Chapman
Month9BooksCopyright © 2014 Brynn Chapman
All rights reserved.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Mutter Museum, 1910
The unfamiliar emotion brings a metallic taste to my mouth.
How did I miss the tell-tale signs?
The foreboding spreads; pumping its limb-numbing weakness from my heart to surge up and solidify into a ball of dread, lodging firmly in my throat.
My fingers grasp the lab bench behind me, cold, like his skin and the chill stealing into my bones.
My superior leans in close, much too close, shattering the great divide between student and mentor.
Forget propriety and society; we are beyond unchaperoned, we are utterly alone. The drop of a pin would clatter like thunder in the stillness of the dark, stone halls of the museum tonight.
"Miss Holmes, I have a proposition."
My heartbeat floods my ears.
How dare I call myself a Holmes? I missed every clue.
My mind thumbs through mental snapshots, disregarded. Lingering glances during my cadaver dissections; his eyes stealing across me as if my body was the anatomy lesson.
His hand, draped over mine, a heartbeat too long, demonstrating precisely how much solution to add to my bubbling concoction.
Inappropriate, unacceptable touches, which I foolishly reasoned away.
"You know of my high regard for you."
His long, tapered fingers reach over to encircle my wrist. His hands restrain like icy shackles and I fight to keep my countenance calm.
I swallow. "I." And clear my throat. "I was under the impression my presence at the Museum was ... off-putting."
My survival-brain wakes, analyzes, as my eyes perform reconnaissance around my lab. Two exits. My parasol lies across the room, useless.
It's past midnight — not a soul will be in the museum to hear my scream.
I stare up at Dr. Stygian. He towers well over six feet tall. I haven't a chance against him.
One word whispers, taunts.
Rape. Is he capable of it?
I do not know. He is overbearing and caustic, but rape...
He inches closer still, pinning me between the lab bench and his body.
"At first, I was put-upon, yes. But I've been watching, making a detailed study of you and your fastidious nature. I know of your ambitions — very lofty for a woman, wouldn't you say? I believe we could ... help one another."
He leans in and his lips brush mine and I recoil — my leg twitches, at the ready to knee the soft flesh of his groin.
I hear the familiar shuffle-step that I know to be Dr. Earnest, my other superior. Thank God for the old man's insomnia.
Stygian slides slowly away from me, as if savoring where our bodies touch. His eyes never leave mine.
Earnest shuffles into the doorway and his eyebrows rise when he spies Dr. Stygian's proximity.
Stygian grants him a nod and stoops to pick up his walking stick and his cape. "Miss Holmes requested I assist with her assignment."
From behind his back, I bite my lip and give a singular, negative shake of my head.
Earnest's eyebrows knit. "Well, I must insist you off to bed, my girl."
Stygian flips his crow-black hair from his forehead and spins on his boot heel to swoop past Dr. Earnest out into the hall, disappearing without a backwards glance.
As I walk to Earnest's side, I bend to pick up my journal and parasol and hope he does not perceive the tremble in my hands.
He guides me gently, his hand on the small of my back, and out the door.
"Dr. Watson warned me you were driven. But midnight? Work ethic be deuced, one must be reasonable, Arabella."
I shiver again and vow to leave the lab by nightfall from now on.
* * *
A few months later.
The Mutter's hallways are dim and the singular window, situated high near the cathedral ceiling, permits a paltry amount of illumination as the dreary drizzle of rain relentlessly pelts the pane.
The odd combination of candles and electric light give the shadows a treacle-like, stretched appearance. Father had related the Mutter preferred to spend its funds on antiquities, so the conversion from old light to new was painstaking.
The light was indeed dim, but I was still able to discern Father's bright blue eyes turning to goad and hasten my progress.
A blast rattles my jaw. I lurch backward with the force.
My father's eyes widen in shock, his left hand shooting out to ward off the unseen danger.
"What was that?"
This response is saying something, for the unflappable Dr. John Watson.
Another blast rings out; the laboratory door blows off its hinges and flies through the air, clattering against the opposite wall with a 'bang', narrowly missing the glass case of shrunken heads.
I pull out a handkerchief, plastering it across my nose. Black billows of smoke barrel out the doorframe to fill the hallway.
Footsteps echo behind us, and father and I turn in tandem. My soon to-be-superior, Dr. Earnest, rounds the corner, his waddle changing to an ungainly lope as he spies the smoke. His bushy white eyebrows bug to life, shooting up and under the untidy flop of grey hair hanging over his forehead.
"Arabella!" His face flushes, instantly furious. "Can she never act like a woman?"
"No, Alistair, she cannot. Which is precisely why she is here," my father strides toward the laboratory, "And not preparing for her coming-out party? What would you expect of a young woman raised by Sherlock Holmes?"
Dr. Earnest harrumphs, but follows obediently.
I am rooted.
Arabella. I haven't seen her since I was a gangly, love-sick eighteen year old.
I straighten my lapels. Much can change in four years' time.
"For heaven's sake, Henry, are you going to make yourself useful or stand there and choke to death?"
Father's head whips backward and his glare, a white-hot, visual cattle-prod, urges me into motion.
"Coming, father." Sweat breaks on my brow.
Stop it. He has no recollection of your feelings for her.
Dr. Earnest lowers his head, plunging headlong into the black smoke and is instantly swallowed.
I step to follow, but father restrains my forearm. "Do you see why you are here now, Henry?"
I struggle to keep my anger in check. "Why didn't you tell me she was here? All those months, battling over my future — you were dead-set against this appointment."
"I was. It was Holmes. Once he caught wind of your interest, there was no throwing him off — he was relentless.
You know how very disappointed I am that you've chosen ... antiquities —"
"It's more accurately forensic anthropology."
Father's eyes roll. "Such an elaborate name for dead things. Anyway, chosen it over medicine — but at least it's proving useful. Now that you're here Holmes will stop his incessant worrying about her safety. He's normally insufferable, but since she left, he's intolerable."
Even I know an idle Holmes to be a self-destructive Holmes.
I nod in agreement and step into the smoke, following the trail of barking coughs.
"Arabella, where are you, girl?" Father calls from behind me. His tone is almost jovial; as if we're headed to a bloody picnic rather than weaving our way through this acrid smelling smoke.
I step into the large laboratory; I squint and finally make out her small frame, barely visible through the dissipating black clouds.
She turns, and I marvel. Her face is a mask of calm; her dainty fingers circle a full flask of bubbling red elixir.
Bits of her hair have escaped its tidy bun and now freefall in shocking red waves about her face. One brazen, challenging eye peers out through the mess of hair.
Between the red shock of her mane and the black soot streaking her face, it's as if I am staring down a Bengal tiger.
I take a deep, steeling breath, and my chest sears — hitching into a coughing fit.
She clears her throat, blue eyes scrutinizing her superior. Her chin turns up in defiance. "Dr. Earnest. I was ... experimenting —"
"You —" Earnest sucks in, his chest bloating in outrage. The result is a similar hacking fit, racking his old body in half. "Arabella. You know b-better, ever since the last incident."
"Yes, I remember."
The smoke is thinning and my eyes tick up and down, analyzing Arabella's lab.
Although I won't join father in medicine or his adventures with Holmes, I cannot help my upbringing. I've been indoctrinated to drink in every minute detail of every place I've ever stepped foot.
Bones are everywhere, as if a graveyard platoon marched in and surrendered for display.
Patellas, femurs, ulnas, metacarpals...and skulls from both animal and humankind in various states of skeletal reconstruction, litter the walls and floor.
I look up. And the air.
A half-assembled, bony falcon hovers overhead, dangling from the ceiling.
All that's missing is a skeletal prey clutched in its beak.
A glass case, looking distinctly out of place among the dead, draws my attention to the room's center. Brilliant yellow, blue, orange and black bodies are strewn throughout.
It's crammed with butterflies; their vibrant black and blue wings contrast against the surrounding blanched-bones like a rainbow amidst a bleak thunderstorm.
Pins stick through their thoraxes, their wings spread in perfect display. Each one sports a label beneath in Arabella's untidy scrawl, proclaiming its genus.
Arabella's stare leaves Dr. Earnest's face, and she squints, finally registering our presence. Her eyes focus on my father and turn cautious.
Her lips twist up in a tentative smile.
He strides toward her, unflustered. Not unobserving, though, I am sure. My father misses nothing. He will have catalogued Arabella's response in his Dewey-Decimalized brain.
"My darling! It has been far too long." Father's arms wrap around Arabella, folding her in. She winces.
He pulls back, leaving his hands on her shoulders. His eyes rove quickly, evaluating her for injuries.
Her mouth twitches in amusement. Amazingly, she isn't fooled — she knows he's examining her. Knows my father better than I realized.
He can normally charm a nun out of her habit.
"John. So good of you to come. How is father?"
"Worried about you, but no longer retired, so tolerable."
They share a knowing laugh.
"Naturally, you remember my son, Henry?" Father raises his arm in presentation.
Arabella's blue eyes flick to mine. My stomach lurches.
"Of course. How could I ever forget Henry?"
For pity's sake. Control, man.
I nod stiffly. "Arabella. Pleasure to see you. You've ... grown."
She laughs, so loud and bawdy that Dr. Earnest squirms and drops his eyes.
"Yes, children do just that. The last time I saw you — you were headed for boarding school."
Her gaze drops with the mention of the school.
Father clears his throat. "Yes, well, your similar upbringing has bred two adventurers. Apparently Henry shares your interests. He will be working for the museum as well. Searching for medical oddities. An antiquarian."
"Will he?" Her expression molds into a most peculiar glare. Almost adversarial.
"Don't forget Henry's skills with the wax replicas," Earnest interjects, rubbing his hands together. "We were fortunate to secure him before the Smithsonian swooped in to claim him."
Arabella's eyebrows rise in interest, but the sound of someone approaching shifts her attention.
Footfalls echo through the smoke.
"What is the meaning of this?" a voice booms.
Everyone jumps in a communal start. Except father. He straightens up, muscles tightened, ever the soldier.
His knuckles whiten as he strangles the top of his cane.
Dr. Earnest is visibly flustered. "Dr. Stygian. Arabella had an experiment go awry. Again."
Dr. Stygian towers a head taller than every man in the room. The hair on the back of my neck prickles.
"This! This is what I mean, Earnest. "She —" he jabs an accusing finger at Arabella, "she is impulsive and arrogant and unnatural. She should not be considered for such an important expedition. A woman is much better suited for curation."
Father steps forward, staring Stygian full on despite the fact he's a head taller. "Sir. You've forgotten innovative and cunning and possesses her father's talent for problem solving. Is this expedition not about bones?"
"I dare venture no one on this eastern seaboard could match Miss Holmes's knowledge of bones."
"Arabella is a genius," I add helpfully.
I dare to glance her way. And promptly wish I hadn't.
Arabella's face is tinged purple with indignation.
She stomps forward, closing the distance in seconds.
With a toss of her head, the tumult of curls flips from her face. Her blue eyes are vicious. And beautiful.
"I am a better scientist at twenty than half your staff of port-swilling, armchair-philosophizing, smoking-jacketed morons. All debate, no action."
Earnest gasps behind me. My arms tense, Stygian's eyes go wild and bright.
Father puts a placating hand on her shoulder. "Arabella...."
She shrugs it off.
"John, you know it to be true."
His fingers land back on her shoulder and squeeze. "Arabella, decorum, remember? Surely all those lessons we taught in the parlor have not been forgotten?"
She averts her glare and her chest heaves, taking in huge, calming breaths.
Stygian's color rises to rival Arabella's; his black eyes murderous.
He speaks over her head, as if ignoring a naughty child's behavior. "Besides her obvious impulsive nature, she is a woman. Not all the men on board the steamship shall be museum employees, and I cannot vouch for their characters. She will be in danger."
Father's responding smile is wry. Arabella's head rises and their eyes lock in unspoken communication.
Father turns to Stygian. "You need not worry about her safety. Arabella is not like other girls."
"Yes, I am wholly aware," he spits, viper-like. His eyes narrow to slits as his stare bores onto her, dripping venom.
A protective surge flares in my chest and my teeth grind together.
Father interjects, "Henry will also be on the voyage. I know he would be willing to assume responsibility for her safety."
I nod, stand ramrod straight and square my shoulders. We're almost nose to nose as he unleashes the black look on me.
"Is this true, Mr. Henry Watson?"
Arabella's jaw pops open and snaps shut, as my father claws her shoulder.
"We will convene on this matter in a week's time. Put it to a vote with the museum council."
Stygian spins on his boot heel and exits the lab, eyeing the splintered door as he rounds the corner.
I exhale, relief flooding through me.
I turn, and smile at Arabella. "What went wrong? With your experiment?"
Arabella is not relieved. Arabella is trembling all over.
She whirls, heading for the hallway. Yelling over her shoulder, "I. Don't. Need. Protection. From any man."
She stomps out the door in the opposite direction as Stygian. And is gone.
The lingering black smoke is the only proof she was ever present.
All three of us stare at the spot she's vacated.
"Boldness, be my friend," father murmurs. I keep my gaze straight ahead, but can't help my smile. "It will have to be."CHAPTER 2
I stiffen as footsteps draw close, echoing down the hall. My eyes dart around the state of blackened, sooty chaos that was once my lab. Two hours later, at least the smoke has cleared.
I extract a tiny femur from the box of bones, spinning it round through my fingers and sigh. "At least the specimens were spared."
I force my eyes from the partially erected skeleton and toward the entry.
Footsteps echo off the hallway's high ceilings and stop, as if the visitor is pausing.
His tall form steps through the doorframe, overcoat drenched from the downpour lambasting my windows.
Henry. My heart does a strange little flip in my chest, resulting in a cartwheeling rhythm of beats.
I've never been apt with words. I think in pictures, as my father before me.
Since my unusual childhood, my mind visualizes my feelings as the organ of my heart, sequestered in a metal box. Its outside covered with countless locks and bolts.
To keep everyone out. To love is dangerous.
It now throbs against the confines of its chamber.
Henry removes his hat, spinning it in a self-conscious circle in his hands. His hair is darker than when we were children. It was almost white-blonde. And his eyes....
"Your eyes. I don't remember them being that color, Henry."
His eyebrows rise. "Still blue. Like my heart."
I roll my eyes. "Please, Henry. I know you, remember. Or at least I did. Your poetry will have no effect on me."
Excerpted from Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman. Copyright © 2014 Brynn Chapman. Excerpted by permission of Month9Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An archaeological adventure with Dr. Watson, his son Henry and Sherlock Holmes’ daughter Arabella? Plus a striking cover? Yes please. The beloved literary figures & their next generation, as well as the Biblical-oriented archaeology plot, initially drew me to this story. The little verse about the Nephilim tucked into the book of Genesis & the flood account has always intrigued me, and the angle from which Chapman approaches it gives it even more intrigue. (A secret brotherhood of people trying to promote and protect Darwinism – for their own purposes – does not want this potential find to be confirmed.) I most appreciated how the author gave this book and her characters distinction from the Holmes/Watson characters to which we are accustomed. For starters, Arabella and Henry do share some similarities with their fathers but they are also very much their own people. The late Victorian/early Edwardian setting in Philadelphia again keeps the feel similar to the Holmes/Watson mysteries but also sets it apart. This setting is drawn so vividly by the author that it’s easy to get caught up in the ambiance and become captivated by what’s going on around you. I also enjoyed the friends-to-more romance between Henry and Bella! The story was mostly well-plotted though sometimes, especially at the beginning, it felt like some critical info had been left out or needed a few more establishing layers. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the first person, present tense, active voice. Bottom Line: Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman is compelling and intriguing. The familiarity of Holmes and Watson makes way for the next generation, and Bella & Henry hold their own quite nicely. While some aspects of the plot could have been a little tighter, overall this is an enjoyable read that is perfect for a chilly winter’s night. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Bonseeker was a surprisingly delightful romp through turn-of-the-century Philidelphia. Our guides on this most excellent of sinister adventures was none other than the children of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, Arabella and Henry. Both principle characters lead the narrative with equal energy and tenacity despite their circumstances. While romance was a very alluring element to this story, it doesn't overshadow so much as enhance this proposed sequel to Conan-Doyle's prolific works. Chapman has clearly done her research, not only into the science and views of the time, but dares to take a deeper look into the psychology behind beloved and new characters. Fantastic world building and characterization, coupled with strong storytelling chops from Chapman provide an excellent read. Bonseeker is so layered and complex but very accessible to old and new fans of historical fiction. An absolute must-read for fans of strong corset-wearing heroines and the requisite danger of the best Holmes mystery.
Boneseeker: was a very intriguing story. Loved the characters and how the story was told. I loved how Arabella and Henry can read each other's minds. It was an amazing story! It was written very well and it was a very special story. I liked it so much.
When I first heard of this book I was very excited to read it! Who doesn't love a good mystery story? It had an intriguing premise involving the daughter of Sherlock Holmes and the son of Watson! Even more interesting was that this story takes place at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Nothing like reading a story that takes place near where you are from and with familiar places. I thought this book was going to be very captivating and I was in mood for an interesting mystery story. Unfortunately I didn't get exactly what I had hoped for. The whole idea for the story and the mystery building up in the book was very interesting. The things found in the Mutter Museum are very unique and interesting indeed. It was a fun read. I did get a bit of a dark and dreary feel from the book which set the mood and background for the story. The characters were easy to differentiate from each other but I just couldn't feel a connection with them. Maybe I just expected too much from this story, I don't know. It just wasn't all that I had hoped it would be. The whole thing just fell pretty flat for me. It couldn't keep my interest and I felt my mind wandering during parts of the story. I wanted there to be a element of mystery for me but it wound up being easily predictable for me. You learn right away in the story who the villain is. I hoped for a bit more chemistry between Arabella and Henry. I had really hoped for so much more with this book. I just didn't get any of what I expected so I was left feeling disappointed and wanting more. Sherlock's shoes area big shoe's to fill and I just don't feel that Arabella did that. This read was just an alright read for me. It was good enough that I didn't put it down and mark it DNF (did not finish) but it wasn't good enough for me to want to keep reading without putting it down. If the adventures of Arabella and Henry were to continue I would give it another try in hopes that the next adventure would be a little more mysterious, the romance between Arabella and Henry would bloom, and maybe have the chance to connect with the characters more. This was a fantastic idea for a book and a clever premise. I hope that the author will keep it going and maybe give it a little more mystery.
Boneseeker is a very enjoyable read. Brynn Chapman’s story of young Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson is captivating and swift-moving. Bynn’s humor is evident in her well-formed and appropriately named characters. I particularly enjoyed the supernatural flair to the story involving the search for, and study of, bones discovered in a cave and believed to be from a Nephilim. Brynn’s detailed knowledge of the Mutter Museum and Asberger’s is evident throughout. Great job!
Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman was a mysterious and suspenseful story starring two main characters who are the children of some pretty famous characters we all know and love. Arabella Holmes is someone everyone can relate to in some way. We may not all be scary intelligent like she is, but we've all felt like we didn't fit in with the human race at least once or twice or a million times. She grew up with Henry Watson. A Holmes and a Watson together again? Can you smell the trouble brewing? Boneseeker was a book that will appeal to a variety of audiences. Whether you like historical fiction, mystery, humor, romance, or all of the above.. this book is for you. The ARC of Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
I’m going to be honest… I was drawn to this book because of the cover. Not only do I have an unhealthy addiction to YA fiction, but when it’s historical as well… my inner book nerd goes a little crazy. And then when I read the synopsis to find that our heroine is the daughter of one of the greatest detectives ever… Sherlock Holmes… well I didn’t have a choice but to sign up for this one! The icing on the cake…she works at a museum (one of my dream jobs… yea, my inner geek was on overdrive here) as a “purveyor of abnormal science”… that just translates to she collects weird stuff and gets to study it. At that moment in time I wanted to BE her! Hey, it’s summer vacation around our house, which means my little heathens (I mean angels… of course they are angels) are running around like lunatics driving me crazy… I have to live vicariously through books right now :) And boy am I glad I signed up for this tour! Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson, the daughter of Sherlock Holmes and the son of Dr. John Watson, are our central players. While we do see a lot of Dr. Watson in this book, Holmes himself is not present until the end. Arabella is not your typical girl. She’s a social outcast because she doesn’t play the coquettish games that other ladies of society play. She isn’t focused on finding a husband, starting a family, owning and running a home… she is more focused on learning everything that she possibly can about science. She’s beautiful, but has no idea. She wears trousers and digs in dirt for fun. And that filter that most people have that run from their brain to their mouth? Yea, hers is broken. If she thinks it, she says it. If you don’t like it, she doesn’t care. She’s definitely a strong female character and I loved everything about her. Henry fits more into the mold that society has set for young gentleman. But he never lets that get in the way of his feelings for Arabella. He accepts her for exactly who she is… silly quirks and all. Sherlock Holmes has procured a position at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia for his daughter and while she is there a giant hand is unearthed in upstate NY and brought to the museum. There is rumor that it’s part of the remains of a Nephilim (long story short, a fallen angel…of giant proportions). The existence of angels doesn’t make any sense to Arabella’s very logical mind. She has a hard time believing anything that can not be proved by science. So she applies to be a part of the expedition to try to unearth more remains. Her superior at the museum doesn’t want her to be a part of this expedition and tries multiple times throughout the book to keep her from finding out anything about the bones that have been discovered. They mystery surrounding these bones just gets bigger and bigger as the story goes on. There are a couple of side plots… like what happened to the original group that went to unearth these bones… but they all lead back to finding out the identity of this hand. But the bigger part of the story was the romance that blossoms between Henry and Arabella. For me that overshadowed everything else. And just a little sneak in about another of my favorite characters… Newton….Arabella’s dog! So this is the second book in a week that I’ve read where an animal plays such a vital role in the story. Newton is smart, he has a vocabulary far beyond what most other dogs recognize and Arabella has trained him very well. I kind of wish she were real so she could come train my two lazy dogs! This was a fantastic historical romance, with a huge mystery to solve (and in true Holmes/Watson style!)… with some amazing twists and turns along the way. Great for a summer read!
Arabella Holmes, daughter of Sherlock, finds herself at home in the Mutter Museum. Henry Watson, son of John, finds himself working along side Bella, and together they face a mystery of the bones, is it a giant or proof of fallen angels?? this was very different to my usual reads, but not in a bad way! it spin on from the books of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, although Watson plays a large part in this book, Holmes does not, except for the very last bit. it takes some of the quirks of Holmes and transplants them into his daughter, and I've not read any Holmes books, I can see the quirks from him in various films, in Bella. the tale tells of bones found, that are massive, and Bella, being the scientist, plans a paper that proves they are Neanderthal, not Nephilim. But someone is conspiring against her, and Henry, as they dig for more bones, and deal with the fallout. facing several attempts on her life, Bella finds herself inbroiled in an age old mystery, that is neither proven nor disproven in the book, but the way the author goes about it, is really well written! the love affair between Henry and Bella, such as it is, is not steamy or hot off the page, but it IS passionate, in a way only Bella can be, and THIS is what makes the book for me. the little twists and turn keep you page turning, right to the end. written from both Henry and Bella's point of view, in the first person, each change is headed. there is some violence, attempted rape and talk of drug abuse, but only heavy petting, its farily clean so i'm rating this a 16+ I'll certainly look out for more books in this series, as and when they come out. 4 fangs reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
In the flair of second-generation Sherlock Holmes, there's mystery, danger, romance, and definitely major snark. The story opens in the past with a group of men discussing a matter of importance and their willingness to do whatever is necessary for their cause ... a cause vaguely disclosed to the reader. From here the story moves into the present then to another chapter from the point-of-view of one of the lead characters. The next chapter is then from the other man lead's point-of-view. I wasn't sure I was going to like the story from the way the opening was structured, but the MC's voices along with the snippet of mystery introduced urged me to keep reading. I'm glad I did. I loved the fact that Arabella is introduced as Sherlock Holmes' daughter and her BFF (best friend forever and eventual boyfriend forever) Henry as Watson's son. I'm not giving anything away by describing Henry as I just did. Trust me. It will be obvious to you from the start that these two are destined to be together and have been since childhood. But don't let that fool you. The author does a wonderful job of tossing up roadblocks to get in their way. Arabella and Henry have been life-long friends. How could they not with the tempestuous friendship between their fathers? They find themselves employed on a bone recovery mission for a museum after a few years apart. Between the bone recovery dig itself, murder, physical attacks, their childhood memories and snarky fromance (friendship/romance), and Henry's alleged promiscuity, this is no simple tale. Through Bella and Henry's taunting romance, a mystery slowly rears its annoying head. It appears someone is sabotaging the dig. This is where Arabella's traits of details and detection, obviously gained from her Holmes' father, begin to work overtime. It was fun watching her, all while poor Henry did his best to keep her out of trouble--deja vu to their fathers' relationship. Arabella is witty, bold nonsense, and at times she felt too old for her age. But she can't really be to blame. Having the amazing Scotland Yard detective as a father was not easy. She's learned that life is all scientific with no room for the unexplained--love being one of those unexplained. But Henry has something to say about that. I found it amazing how Arabella's capacity for love goes from nonexcited (knowing she feels different when Henry's around), to full-fledged passion. All I can say about Henry is that I love him and his internal struggle to resist Arabella. He desperately tries to fend it off, but alas ... The writing is both poetic and dreamy. There are strong, forceful moments, yet extreme tender ones, too. The author has a nice command over the language of the time period. At times, the tale held a CSI feel, crime scenes and all. My only negative is the overall feel of the story is a mixture of young adult and new adult. The lead characters are both in a profession, both hold a demeanor of older characters, and both tend to think with more wisdom than the average YAer. I have to tell you. I am head-over-oodles in love with Henry. Wish they'd put a snippet of him on the cover. Even a faded out background. #growls
This review first appeared on my blog Christy's Cozy Corners. I received a copy free for an honest review which I've given. First of all, let me say, I love this cover! That is what first drew me in and made me want to read the book. Then I read the description and knew I had to read it! Who wouldn't want to read about Sherlock Holmes' daughter? Throw John Watson's son into the story, and you have a must read! The characters in this book are amazing! They are all so well written and extremely interesting! Arabella could probably be characterized as having a bit of a social disorder perhaps even Asperger's syndrome. She doesn't interact with people well, but that could also be due to her upbringing. If you know anything about Sherlock Holmes, you know that he is very socially awkward. I love the BBC version of Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He just hits the nail on the head for Sherlock's inability to interact properly with people. Arabella would much rather be in her lab working with bones than out acting like a lady of leisure. I love Henry! He shows so much loyalty to Arabella. The premise of the story deals with bones thought to be those of fallen angels or neanderthals. It is very exciting and the plot moves very quickly! The settings are intriguing and the way they are described make you feel as if you are immersed in the story. I could feel the gloom and damp. That is rare in so many books! Boneseeker is a book I highly recommend, and I give it 5 stars!
Boneseeker was a nice, romantic read. It was a clever retelling of sorts, featuring the daughter of Sherlock Holmes and the son of John Watson as the protagonists. The book felt a little unbalanced at times though. The mystery and plot were overshadowed by the romance at many moments. ARABELLA + HENRY Aside from the show Sherlock and one movie, I'm not familiar with the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. From what I could tell, though, it seemed that the author did a good job with adding Sherlock and Watson traits to Arabella and Henry. This made for some pretty interesting characters! Arabella was a feisty, clever, and strong heroine, yet she had quite a few insecurities. A lot of the book was focused on her and Henry's relationship and the two (mostly her) struggled with the love they felt for one another. I loved the romance! I was a little surprised to see so much of it--lots of kissing--but that was a good thing. I do have one complaint about it, though . . . PLOT + MYSTERY Maybe I was just interested in the romance more, but it seemed that the main characters' relationship was the largest focus of the entire novel. It overshadowed the rest of the story. The mystery didn't seem like such a big deal--I never even came up with theories like I usually do. I was both unsure on what was going on and disinterested in the events pertaining to the expedition/mystery of the novel. OVERALL Romance stole the show for me! Boneseeker was one of the books in which my enjoyment stemmed almost solely from the protagonists' relationship and their scenes together. Anything aside from that didn't interest me as much, which is a shame because I would've loved to see a stronger mystery (seeing as there's a Sherlock and Watson). Nevertheless, I had a great time reading it and think many others would as well. *I received a copy of this book for review purposes. This has not affected my opinion of the book in any way.
4.5 Stars 'Boneseeker' is a delightful mystery full of twists, action, and romance. The two main characters are Arabella Holmes - daughter of the famous Sherlock Holmes, and Henry Watson - the son of Dr. Watson, Sherlock's partner. They have been best friends since childhood, although they've been separated for a few years because of schooling. Now Henry is in the United States and working at the Mutter Museum - the same place that Arabella is employed. Reunited after years, the two easily slide back into their friendship and become inseparable once more. Being together brings back feelings on both sides that they have tried to deny for several years - but this time there's no denying their love for each other. Sent to recover mysterious skeletal remains from upstate New York, Arabella and Henry discover much more than they intended to - including secrets that some people want to remain hidden. Will they be able to escape the danger surrounding them and uncover the truth? I was immediately drawn to this book after reading the description. I love mysteries and thrillers - so when you add in a paranormal aspect with dark secrets - I'm in. Add to that the fact that the main characters are the son and daughter of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - and, of course, some romance - it made the book a must read. The plot was fast paced and told from alternating viewpoints - from that of Arabella and Henry. I liked that the author used this technique because we get to know the characters on a deeper level than when a single viewpoint is used. I loved how spunky and bold Arabella was - she was a fantastic leading lady. Henry was a great character as well - he was smart, protective, and determined to find out the truth. They made a great pair and I absolutely loved watching them both struggle with their feelings and then seeing their relationship grow. The plot was exciting and had great twists and turns that kept you guessing throughout most of the book. The Nephilim aspect put the story on a new level for me and gave the novel something that made it stand out from others in the genre. Everything was well done concerning the book - from the characters and the plot to the vivid descriptions and fast paced plot. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre and those looking for a fun and quick read. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this twist on the classic Holmes tale! The fact that the heroine is a young and smart woman is amazing and unique. And of course the author keeps with the theme by making Arabella the daughter of the great Sherlock Holmes. Arabella is headstrong and wily just like her famous father, but there is a battle raging inside - her love for Henry Watson. Henry is engaged to Priscilla but the sparks fly and it makes for a superbly interesting read! Action-packed and fun, Arabella takes center stage in everything with her intelligence and knowledge. And Priscilla knows it - and hates her for it and the fact that she knows Henry is truly in love with Arabella. The constant "foreplay" between Henry and Arabella keeps the reader on their toes because we don't know if they will end up together. Arabella is not the typical "lady" as everyone thinks she should be, but that doesn't matter. The author does an amazing job of bringing Sherlock back to life through his teen daughter. There is even a little "tidbit" at the end of the book about Sherlock Holmes himself. So go grab your copy and read it, because if you love tales about Sherlock you will certainly love this book! The next generation of Holmes and Watson is here! ***I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review***
I was given this book via Science Fiction and Such in exchange for an honest review... I love the novels and stories of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, so when I was asked to read a book whose main characters were their progeny, jumped at the chance. I expected to be reading a mystery novel (it is), set in late Victorian or early 20th century (it was), in London… and here is where Ms. Chapman diverts from the classic ideology of Sherlock Holmes, and creates a new world and the possibility of a new series of adventures. Boneseeker is set in the USA! Some scenes are at the Mutter in Philadelphia, PA and also along the Hudson River in New York. If you can imagine what the early 20th century was like in Philadelphia, then you have a great idea of where our characters live. Arabella Holmes is very similar to Sherlock. She is quite socially disconnected and is happiest among her bones and lab at the Mutter. She is aware that she does not react like other girls, but just cannot learn the social graces. Henry Watson is John’s youngest son. While the rest of the Watsons followed their father’s footsteps in the medicine, Henry is a scientist too, studying forensic anthropology. He is influenced into this study because of growing up with Arabella, and of course, there is a romantic interest there. The two of them embark on an adventure to identify the burial remains of a giant, which some believe are the children of humans and angels, or nephilim. The first team to reach this destination vanish, and she and Henry may be in danger themselves. Boneseeker is a very well crafted, well thought through novel. Clearly Brynn Chapman understands how to organize her story as there was never a time when I felt that the narrative was slowing down, not detailed enough, or left holes in the mystery itself or ancillary plots. However, she was also great at providing clear places for me to take reading breaks (even if I didn’t) and balanced them will with various cliff hangers, so I could find places to walk away and join the real world without too much disruption. i appreciate that. Even with the resolution of this story, I sincerely hope she is starting a series so I can read more of their adventures. If you enjoy mystery shrouded with paranormal suspense, then you will love Boneseeker as much as I did.
I received this copy via NetGalley to review. Admittedly I misjudged this book. I originally thought it was a steampunk book based on the title and cover. I should have read the blurb better. I do not like mysteries or romances and this book was both. Sorry Sir Doyle but I could really care less about Sherlock Holmes even though I do enjoy the American movies and the BBC series. That being said I really did enjoy this book. Arabella is so unlike any woman from her time and that thrills me. I often say if I was born any time before now I probably would have been hanged or put in an asylum. I love that she works at a museum and goes against the grain. Henry is very typical of a wealthy young man of the age but he too is not quite what you would expect. It is almost ludicrous for a man of his standing to want such a headstrong brazen wife. Their romance is a whirlwind of heat, passion, and plain old fury. Neither is willing to concede but both are paining for the other. The anti-Arabella is such a typical pain in the ass aristocrat that I was happy to see her out of the book. Dr. Watson is much like what you expect from other Holmes stories. I can only image the pain and sorrow he must have felt all those years watching Sherlock try and raise a child especially a girl. The idea that science and theology can reside side by side is still up for debate and I like that Chapman had Arabella change her mind on the subject as the book progressed. The Nephilim have come up in many books lately. The idea that giants could have walked among us and might still be around is quite intriguing and scary. I do not feel that I would want to meet one. Newton the dog is quite a character. It only makes sense that someone as smart and quick witted as would have a pet that was her equal. I am not sure that a dog could learn commands as specific as those referenced but I do know some very intelligent animals. I was upset that poor Newton got hurt but I was relieved he could be healed. I am one of those people that cries when the horse dies, but doesn't care when the rider does in a movie. Overall I gave this a 5 star review but it was fast paced and held my attention (not an easy thing to do for someone with ADHD). There was one error that I hope they worked out before the final copies ship. At one meeting Dr.Earnest calls Watson and Henry, Dr.Holmes and Mr.Holmes instead of Dr.Watson and Mr.Watson. Minor but annoying. I hope to read more from Brynn Chapman and perhaps more about Ms. Arabella Holmes.