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Coal Bones Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Coal Bones starts with trouble at Bull Creek Mine, which Milo Kachigan is called in to examine. Milo is the local detective and is leery about what he is being drawn into by the Coal Mine police. This is the start of an intriguing and far reaching series of events. Helen Sorby is a journalist, quite a reach for a woman in 1906, and lives with her twin brother Peter. She is asked by one of the local coal barons to help find his daughter who has gone missing. The baron is afraid of two things; one, that his daughter has run away to become an anarchist or a socialist (both equally troubling to him) and two, she may have stolen a good number of his securities. Helen agrees to help in return for access to he coal mining towns so she can report on the conditions for her newspaper. It turns out that Milo and Helen date; in fact Milo has asked her to marry him many times. As we see these two characters together we also see the mysteries come together, becoming a very tangled web indeed. The events all seem to come together at the end in a very interesting manner. I found Coal Bones to be a slow book to start, but I was very glad that I made the effort to stick with it. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns of the events. I learned a lot of social history about the time period and coal mine towns. I found that the characters were hard to get a handle on at first, but by the end I really liked them. I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries with lots of unexpected twists and turns. For mystery lovers - this book won't disappoint. Karen Rose Cercone has written a mystery that transports the reader back to the early 1900s with seemingly little effort. Michelle Sawyer -- Copyright © 030199 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved -- From Literary Times

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425166988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425166987
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,947,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on February 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After having read Ms. Cercone's Steel Ashes and Blood Tracks, I was anxiously watching for her next release. Coal Bones did not disappoint! I enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, I finished it far too soon and now I'm left waiting for (hopefully) another book to continue the series. I really enjoy the way that Ms. Cercone has developed Milo Kachigan and Helen Sorby's relationship through the last three books. It's been a slow/natural progression that hasn't detracted from the great mysteries around which her books have revolved. I particularily liked the way that Coal Bones brought back some of the characters we got to know in Steel Ashes in such a way that you wouldn't have been lost if you missed her first book. Again she painted a very vivid picture of what life was like in the early 1900's in industrial America. It makes it easy to visualize what her characters are experiencing, from their physical environment to the social mores of their time. In conclusion, I just want to say that this was another marvelous book from Ms. Cercone; and to ask "When is the next one due out?"
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1906 Pennsylvania, the robber barons own the coalmines and railroads. They also control the law enforcement officials such as the County Detectives Bureau where corruption is rampant and the wealthy are assisted on their schemes. Detective Milo Kachigan is the rare honest cop. He is punished for his efforts by being transferred to the small town of Tarentun in the middle of coal country. Currently, the area is filled with conflict between union organizers trying to gain a toehold and owners wanting to maintain the status quo.
Karen Rose Cercone paints a very gray picture of early twentieth century Pittsburgh and the surrounding towns at a time when unions are being formed and the women's movement is just beginning. The Faustian relationship between the law and the robber barons adds depth to the unusual, but grim imagery of a powerful story line. Milo and his girl friend add strength, compassion, and humor as well as insight into the socialist and suffragette movements. COAL BONES is a great work by a rising star.

Harriet Klausner
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By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Again, Ms. Cercone writes a captivating tale of murder and intrigue in the Pennsylvania coal mines. I had a hard time putting down the book once the action begins. True it's a grim book and some may be put off by the darkness of the times. But it's a pleasure to see Milo and Helen care for each other, even though sometimes you have to read between the lines. It would be nice to see their relationship develop more, it conter-acts the grimmness. Read the entire series, it's worth it.
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