‘Christine Poulson’s wonderful sense of place brings Cambridge to life. Cassie overcomes the problems facing her with wit and guile aplenty and ensures the reader’s empathy from first word to last . . . an enthralling and engaging read that underlines Christine’s burgeoning reputation as a crime novelist to watch.’ [Stage Fright]


Little Bones by Sam Blake

Posted on May 17, 2017 in Little Bones, Sam Blake | 4 Comments


Attending what seems to be a routine break-in at the home of artist, Zoe Grant, Detective Garda Cathy Connolly makes a grisly discovery: an old wedding dress with a baby’s bones sewn into its hem. And then the dress’s original owner, Zoe’s grandmother, is found dead in a Dublin suburb. Cathy and her team struggle to untangle a crime that goes back generations. Meanwhile, a killer has already left two dead in the States – and now he’s in Dublin. They must find him before he kills again. It’s a strong and intriguing opening to Sam Blake’s first novel, Little Bones, which I received as a review copy.

I liked the strongly drawn female characters – especially the kick-boxing Cathy Connolly – and I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that at the beginning of the novel she is horrified to discover she is pregnant after a one-night stand with an old friend. What should she do? She’s had a Roman Catholic upbringing, this is Ireland, and abortion is illegal. But what would single parenthood do to her cherished career?

There’s freshness to the setting and the characters and a warmth to the writing. The strong plot lines are skilfully woven together. I did find a coincidence late on in the novel a bit hard to swallow, but nevertheless this was a gripping and well-paced read from a promising new writer.



  1. Margot Kinberg
    May 17, 2017

    I hear very good things about this one, Christine. And it sounds like a very intriguing plot and some solid character development. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Christine Poulson
      May 18, 2017

      Thanks, Margot. Yes, this is a promising debut. Her next one has just come out.

  2. moira@clothesinbooks
    May 28, 2017

    This sounds good, very promising, though bones in the wedding dress is horrible. I’ll rely on you to tell me it’s not all too gruesome!

    • Christine Poulson
      May 28, 2017

      No not too gruesome, though I did wonder how plausible it was. Could they really be concealed in that way? A promising first outing with good female detective but not without some flaws. I am irritated when a professional woman behaves in a very unprofessional way for no good reason (it’s not the main character) which does happen here.


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