Crowbones (The World of the Others #3; The Others #8) by Anne Bishop (2022)
Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Murder Mystery
In this engrossing and gripping fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, an inn owner and her friends must find a killer-before it’s too late….
Crowbones will gitcha if you don’t watch out!
Deep in the territory controlled by the Others-shape-shifters, vampires, and even deadlier paranormal beings-Vicki DeVine has made a new life for herself running The Jumble, a rustic resort. When she decides to host a gathering of friends and guests for Trickster Night, at first everything is going well between the humans and the Others.
But then someone arrives dressed as Crowbones, the Crowgard bogeyman. When the impostor is killed along with a shape-shifting Crow, and the deaths are clearly connected, everyone fears that the real Crowbones may have come to The Jumble-and that could mean serious trouble.
To “encourage” humans to help them find some answers, the Elders and Elementals close all the roads, locking in suspects and victims alike. Now Vicki, human police chief Grimshaw, vampire lawyer Ilya Sanguinati, and the rest of their friends have to figure out who is manipulating events designed to pit humans against Others-and who may have put Vicki DeVine in the crosshairs of a powerful hunter–
pooled ink Review:
This is probably no surprise to you if you’ve seen my reviews for The Others series or Lake Silence, which is the first book within The Others world following Vicki and the town of Sproing, but yeah I really enjoyed this book. I’m not surprised either, but I am relieved I wasn’t wrong because I got hooked with Sproing and The Jumble and was hopeful for more!
As far as spin-offs go, Wild Country was okayyyy but Lake Silence and this cast of characters was better (in my opinion) so I was ecstatic to hear that we’d be getting another story following that vein. What’s great about these is that although the books connect and characters develop across them, the actual plots themselves are isolated making these almost standalone mysteries. I love that it’s a series, but I also appreciate being able to pick up whichever book I want and settling down for a re-read without feeling like I always have to start from the very beginning. That might not be important to you, but for me it’s a plus!
But now down to this book…
First of all, Crowbones is an excellent choice for a Halloween read and I highly recommend picking it up this spooky season. Not only is it spooky, mysterious, and packed with supernatural creatures, but the plot kicks off with Trickster Night a.k.a. Halloween. (It also goes to show why it’s better to stay home snuggled up safe with a blanket and a book than going to Halloween parties lol).
Crowbones and its predecessor take this fantasy/supernatural world and somehow manage to blend it perfectly with that cozy murder mystery feel. It’s kinda crazy how well it works honestly because never not once in the entire World of the Others books do they try to downplay how dangerous and brutal the Others can be (some people might thing dubbing them “Others” is dumb, but I personally find it apt and also telling since they were named such by the humans…). This book doesn’t shy away from that truth either with some seriously grisly murders (which I skimmed quickly through the descriptions of because ick) and yet the characters bring so much to the story that I’m immediately sucked in, totally invested, and trying to binge it straight through.
I will note, however, that I do continue to not love the fantasy versions of things like the days of the week. Like Moonsday? Watersday? I just…idk but I can’t get on board haha
Trouble for Vicki didn’t end with the last book and no one is dumb enough to think that it’ll end here either, but I for one (sorry Vicki) can’t wait to see what comes next. Because it really is about more than just the mystery. I really like that part and it’s a strong draw for me, but it’s also about the characters and their developing relationships and growth in this town. Some are new, some have been around for a while, but all continue to shift as life in the once quiet town of Sproing comes to life with the terra indigene. Gruff sheriff with a good head on his shoulders, a kind bookstore owner with more secrets than most might guess, a vampire that doesn’t reveal even half of what he’s truly capable of (*shudders*) though thankfully he’s currently interested in protecting the town, plenty of shifters who are surprisingly big fans of human cop shows and The Jumble, and Vicki…The Jumble’s newest owner who suffers from panic attacks and little business know-how and yet has caught the interest of the Others bringing her both protection and weighty responsibility.
A quick thought about Vicki… Some people don’t enjoy that she’s similar to Meg in that she’s introduced as a female in need of rescuing, but that’s isn’t really true of either of them. Sure, they’re both female and both enter the page with dangerous people after them, but Meg immediately dives into learning how to help and build a life for herself as does Vicki. They take the Others in stride and prove that not everyone has to be a crime fighting badass to be helpful and essential. I actually really love how they demonstrate how a kind heart is powerful in itself. I mean, one couldn’t hurt a fly and the other would collapse from a panic attack if you yelled at her, but they both see into the hearts of people, human and Other, and become essential bridges of communication between the humans and the terra indigene. They’re protectors even if they can’t throw a punch or flash vicious fangs. They aren’t pathetic or damsels in distress in that annoying way some characters can be. They feel real and are simply cinnamon rolls that must be protected at all costs.
If you’re on the hunt for a good mystery with fantastic, intriguing world-building, this urban fantasy series is for you. Whether you start with Meg’s story (Written in Red, The Others #1) or with Vicki’s (Lake Silence, The Others #6), you’ll surely find this world of shifters and more as your next binge.
Start at the beginning of Vicki’s story…
Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .
After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.
Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.
Start with Meg’s story…
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.
Check out my review of The Others series here!
Meet Anne Bishop!
Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. She has written a new series, the Others, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.