Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Well Thumbed Book: Interred With Their Bones

by Karen Adler

Just because this thriller includes wealthy patrons with sinister motives, lost secrets/mysteries of great writers and artists, and an attractive Harvard scholar as the protagonist, à la Robert Langdon, does not mean Interred with Their Bones is another Da Vinci Code.

Now that I’ve gotten the ubiquitous (and almost obligatory) comparison out of the way, I feel free to tell you how much I enjoyed Jennifer Lee Carrell’s debut thriller as its own unique work.

The plot revolves around clues that hint at the location of Shakespeare’s supposedly lost play, Cardenio. Kate Stanley is a Shakespeare scholar and the director of a production of Hamlet at the Globe Theatre in London. When the Globe is set on fire before the opening night and her mentor is found dead, a series of clues lead her from London to Washington, DC to the American Southwest and back, and it becomes clearer and clearer that the killer believes Kate will lead him to Shakespeare’s lost play.

While some might call the twisty plot overworked, I was completely immersed in Kate’s adventures. Carrell throws in just enough Shakespeare arcana to keep literary nerds like me interested without slowing down the pace of the plot.

When bookish, scholarly people who you’d more likely find in the library than in the gym are the heroes of adventures, I can’t help but get drawn in. As readers, don’t we all wish our love of books would qualify us to go on whirlwind chases that hinge on our knowledge of Shakespeare or other literary lights?

So race to the bookstore, grab a copy of Carrell’s Interred with Their Bones, and join the adventure.


Karen Adler is a student at Tufts University, where she is also a writing tutor and Content Editor of the Tufts Roundtable magazine, a journal of political debate and ideas. She grew up in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, and was a frequent visitor to Politics & Prose in North Cleveland Park, Borders in Friendship Heights, and Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. She is always reading at least one book, if not two or three at once, and loves to recommend books to anyone and everyone.


  1. I really second this recommendation! This author also has a sequel out called Haunt Me Still, which I enjoyed almost as much. I would definitely recommend reading them in order, though.

  2. I, too, have read it, and actually kept it! In my small place, that's an honor.
    I'll have to see if the library has her other book!

  3. P.S. I actually kept the Shakespeare quote in the front of the novel on my front door.