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Precious Bones [Kindle Edition]

Irina Shapiro
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When the skeletal remains of a young woman and her baby are found entombed behind the kitchen wall of a historic Tudor house, Cassandra is overcome with grief. She seems to know who the young woman was, but not how she knows, or how she came to be there. Cassandra becomes inexplicably drawn to the house and the mystery of the "Bones of Blackfriars." As she begins to learn the truth about the Thorne siblings who occupied the house during the reign of Elizabeth I, her own life takes an unexpected turn, and she finds out that her fate is linked to the Thornes in ways she never imagined.

Product Details

  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Merlin Press LLC; 2 edition (November 21, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0067R48QW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,071 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs Work January 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I find this story and the characters compelling enough to keep reading--I think there is talent there--but Ms. Shapiro is still learning her craft... and it shows.

Parts of the book get bogged down in unnecessary detail; it makes her main character's life sound boring and mundane. Ms. Shapiro would be aided in her revisions by the thought that every sentence is precious and needs to either move the plot forward or develop the characters. Lengthy descriptions of a house or doctor's office are boring; a sentence or two is adequate. Pick out those things that your character would be most likely to notice, because what she finds interesting speaks to her character.

Also, Ms. Shapiro needs to read her dialogue aloud. If she did, she would notice that it doesn't flow naturally. Real people (including people in the Elizabethan period) speak in contractions; her dialogue is stilted and unnatural due to a lack of contractions. She also needs to use "she said" (or "mused," "replied," "asked," etc.) more often because it sometimes becomes confusing as to who is speaking.

But the major complaint are the errors. Ms. Shapiro would be well-advised to hire an editor before taking her next book to press. There are numerous typos, grammar mistakes (most notably the inability to maintain the correct tense, great lack of commas, and poor paragraph breaking), and historical errors.

For instance, the main historical character is the orphaned daughter of a master stone mason and the family is starting to fall on hard times. She ends up marrying a titled nobleman of wealth. This would have never happened in the Elizabethan period. Marriage was a business contract only and Constance had nothing valuable to offer. Love didn't count as a ware.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a huge historical fiction fan, especially anything set in the Tudor era. And those are the sections of this book I really enjoyed. Anything that was historical was well done, interesting, and drew me in. When the story moved back and forth to the modern sections is where it lost me. I felt that either story would have been interesting, but I didn't think they went well together. And (without giving any spoilers) I really disliked the ending...I felt like it was an excuse to tie the storylines together and although you saw it coming by about halfway through I kept hoping I was wrong. Not a bad read, but the ending made me regret the whole book. Would have been better if it was all historical fiction or all modern fiction, the separation felt disjointed and contrived.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book and can't wait to read everything else by the author. This story is about a modern woman with an inexplicable link to a mystery that took place in another century. Cassandra is an author who writes best selling novels and lives in London. One day she sees a news story on television about a house in Blackfriar's where the bones of a young woman and an unborn infant are discovered during a renovation project. Cassandra feels very real grief and immediately realizes she knows who the story behind the bones. She visits the house, purchases a few days later and moves in right away. This action takes her boyfriend, friends and family by surprise because Cass can be impulsive but she is not reckless. After moving into the house Cass begins to have visions of another time and records the story for her next novel. The book then alternates between Cass and a woman named Constance who lived during the reign of Elizabeth I. The story is well done and although there is some violence and six it is very tame compared to every other book I've read. The ending of the book leaves open the possibility of a sequel and I hope the author considers writing it. As they say in England "Well done, Irina, well done!"
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars precious bones by irina shapiro January 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
this is my second book by this author. though her stories are engaging, she is in dire need of a proofreader. spellchecker doesn't correct a wrong word, and there are many mistakes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let's Play "Count the Historical Inaccuracies"! May 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I initially wrote my review, I hadn't quite finished the book--and wasn't sure I would--but upon reaching the end, I subtracted one star. To be honest, the only reason I finished this book was because the blatant historical inaccuracies made me laugh so hard!

Why do people with zero knowledge of history always think it's easy to write historical fiction? Irina Shapiro exhibits a meager talent for storytelling, but her work is curtailed by her ignorance of the period, as well as a serious lack of skill in composition.

This isn't the worst book I've ever read, but Shapiro should attend a few writing classes or read a couple of books about writing before publishing again. I'd describe her writing style as "limp, passive and repetitive." Overused adverbs abound, as well as bland descriptions constructed with passive verb tense, poorly written dialogue with a dearth of tags, and too much meaningless inner dialogue dragging the plot to a crawl.

I had a hearty laugh when Turner told Cassandra, "Your story is so cliché" because this entire book is the definition of 'cliché.' When Cassandra interviews the local historian and states, "I'm trying to find as much as I can...I like to be accurate," I actually shrieked with mirth. (By complete coincidence, the heroine manages to find the only historian in England who knows the life stories of an obscure local working class family from 500 years in the past, but he doesn't know that James I was PROTESTANT, not Catholic.)

***CONTAINS SPOILERS*** (Though if you have any sense, it won't matter because you won't waste your time reading this book.)

Shapiro's lack of research into Elizabethan England initially irritated me, until the mistakes became so outrageous that I couldn't stop laughing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read.
Published 1 day ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great book by Ms. SHAPIRO. She's great.
Keep up the good work. Thank you.
Published 2 days ago by Lucy Dodd
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant tale that finally got told
Exciting! It was like two story lines in one! I got caught up in both and both didnt disappoint! I would highly recommend it as it was so difference than your usual mystery. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Julia Ong
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The basic premise of this story could have been quite good, but I found the book superficial and silly - particularly the "modern" part.
Published 4 days ago by Alice J. Dilli
4.0 out of 5 stars That being said I really enjoyed this book
My usual reads are horror/thrillers. That being said I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, jumped around a little but you could still keep up.
Published 8 days ago by Karen E. Mcnabb
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent story
The historical portions of this book were very well researched and written. The author told a story rather than lectured. Read more
Published 11 days ago by t
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and very excellent!!!
This is a very exciting and fast paced story. The ending is very unexpected.
This is a must read book!
Published 1 month ago by Daniel M. Polancih
5.0 out of 5 stars Bones come to life
Excellent plot, character and setting descriptions. Fantastic juxtaposition of past and present.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I couldn't put it down. I loved the travel between present and past.
Published 1 month ago by lorisan5
5.0 out of 5 stars Historic with a twist
Very fast read, historically excellent and holds your interest even through the epilogue. The twist starts early but you can hardly wait to see the development.
Published 2 months ago by Barb G
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More About the Author

There is nothing I enjoy more than a good book that takes me away from my everyday stresses and problems. I particularly like books that are set in the past, where the characters must navigate the volatile political climates of their time, while still managing to live, love, and cause mischief.

I've always had a particular fascination with the paranormal, and I explore some of these themes in my books. I believe that nothing is truly impossible. A true love can transcend space and time, and live on forever.

Please visit me at

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