Non-Fiction Review: Bones Never Lie by Elizabeth MacLeod


Bones Never Lie by Elizabeth MacLeod

Age Range: 10 and up

Hardcover: 156 pages

Publisher: Annick Press (March 5, 2013)

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher Website:


A history lesson that reads like an episode of CSI!

killed King Tut at such a young age? Was Napoleon poisoned? How did an
entire Maya royal family die? Did Anastasia survive the massacre of the
Russian royal family? Thanks to modern crime-solving techniques, we now
know the answers to these and many other of the most puzzling questions
about the demise of historical figures.

Seven true stories that
read like thrilling whodunits lead kids into the fascinating world of
forensics. The author starts each chapter by setting the scene, whether
it’s deep in the heart of the Guatemalan rain forest or the French court
during the revolution. The suspense builds as circumstances around a
royal figure’s death or disappearance are described. The only thing
missing is information about what actually happened! To solve that
mystery, investigators have relied on a variety of tools: autopsies,
fingerprinting, dental records, even insects. Modern techniques include
DNA testing and medical imaging. But most of all, deductive reasoning is
the key to solving each mystery.

MacLeod describes in clear and
accessible fashion how the various scientific tools are used. Dozens of
photos set the historical context for each story, while others show
examples of the science used to uncover the truth.

Complete with
time lines, sidebars, glossary, index, and suggestions for further
reading, this is a must-have for any kids who love mysteries, murder,
and suspense.

About the Author:

Elizabeth MacLeod was born on
October 21 in Toronto. As a child Liz liked to read Nancy Drew and Anne
of Green Gables books, swim, sing, dance, and hang out with her friends.
Encouraged by her parents, she began writing stories and poetry for her
own enjoyment at the age of 10, her favorite subjects being mad
scientists and tyrants who threatened to take over the world.

Liz is inspired by almost anything–her friends, reading, and the
funny, beautiful world around her. Her first job in publishing was at
OWL magazine, and Liz credits editor Sylvia Funston as one of her
mentors. Liz also names Valerie Wyatt, a writer and editor, as an
important influence on her work, as well as a good friend.

avid reader, Liz enjoyed digging up amazing facts and researching
historic royals and their countries and customs for Royal Murder (2008).
She encourages anyone with a desire to write to “just do it.” Even if
no one ever reads it, the joy that comes from expressing yourself
through words is reward enough. Liz adds that writing takes practice,
and with each day you are bound to improve.

Liz lives in Toronto with her husband, Paul, and their two cats, Smedley and Cosmo.

enjoys keeping active, spending time with friends, music, theater, and
cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Liz plans to continue writing about
a broad spectrum of topics in both fiction and non-fiction, and would
like to work on more picture books in the future.

My Thoughts:

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.

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