Toronto, Ontario; Annick Press, 2013.

In this surprise of a page-turner, MacCloud uses eight separate cold cases to show how modern science can bring solutions to some of history’s most perplexing mysteries.  In each of the seven cases, she highlights one investigative weapon from the “Crime-Solvers’ Arsenal,” which contained everything from establishing identity to using CT scans, to coax out answers to these mysteries.  For example, archaeology is spotlighted in the chapter about the Mayan royal family murders and how the family’s bones came to be in a sacred fountain.  Autopsy is covered in the mystery of what really killed Napoleon.

MacCloud uses historic photographs and art to bring the victims closer to the reader and “evidence identification” tags to make side notes stand out.  The book has an index, glossary, directory of main sources, and suggestions for further reading.  Fiction and non-fiction fans alike will enjoy the crime-solving techniques mixed with a little fast-paced, good-parts history. Teachers might like using the chapter on The Man in the Iron Mask as an introduction to deductive reasoning, or using data to support a conclusion.   Bones Never Lie is a worthwhile addition to any middle school or junior high school library.

CCSS:  Reading Standards for Information Text, Grades 6-8, Standards 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9.

Dewey:  614        Interest:  Grades 5-8             Awards:  Kirkus Reviews Starred 3/1/13

Older readers might like:  Cold Cases by Gail B. Stewart

Younger readers might like:  Detective Science:  40 Crime-Solving, Case-Breaking, Crook-Catching Activities for Kids by Jim Wiese.

Fiction pairing:  Sherlock Holmes:  The Legend Begins Series by Andrew Lane