Graves Upon Bones, Chad Alan Gibbs

A view of London bridge in the fog. The title is in white, which looks like paint, in the dark skyline

I enjoy Chad Alan Gibbs’ books and have read them all. I loved the junior detective element in Bardo by the Sea and was excited to see more from Izzie and Elton.

Izzie is so relatable because she suffers from anxiety. Unfortunately, she also tends to self-destruct, so if you’re looking for character growth, you won’t find that because Izzie is not a girl who learns from her mistakes. Now, she’s landed in the middle of another investigation, one that is supremely dangerous. With Elton busy with other interests, she’s going it alone most of the time. Without a second head to sort things out, she’s accusing many innocent people.

Her friendship with Elton is fairly one-sided. It’s always about what Elton can do for Izzy, which, let’s face it, is a lot, and less about what she can do for Elton. His family has given her a second opportunity of a lifetime in England, and she’s still making everything about her.

I’m not one to compare one book to another, but Bardo by the Sea was fast-paced and exciting, and this one took me over a week to finish, which is a really slow pace for me. The writing found its groove at the halfway mark, and the pace picked up.

Will I still buy the next book and the one after that? Absolutely! I know there will be some character growth; there has to be. Elton is too centering a presence in Izzie’s life, and there have been too many disasters for her that some things need to go right. Though not everything, if the way she describes things that will be happening down the road is any indication. And that’s okay! Izzie wouldn’t be human if her character did a complete 180.

I enjoy that, in her bumbling way, she eventually gets things done. That is part of her charm. I love Elton as a character and how hard his mother has tried to be there for Izzie. There is much in store for this duo, and I look forward to seeing what case lands in their laps down the road.

Book Links


About the Book

After solving a decades-old cold case murder, Izzy Brown learns no good deed goes unpunished. Arrested, expelled, and back in the sad Florida trailer park where she’s spent most of her life, Izzy’s world has spiraled out of control. But then, the opportunity of a lifetime…

Izzy accepts an invitation to move to England with her best friend, Elton Jones-Davies, and live with his mother in her flat in Graves upon Bones, London’s poshest neighborhood. At her exclusive new private school, Izzy begins seeing a therapist for her anxiety, and life is good—for a minute.

But then Izzy and Elton open an investigation into the unsolved bombing of a local pub and soon uncover illicit affairs, ties to organized crime, and even terrorist plots. Desperate not to squander her second chance, Izzy promised her mother she’d not go looking for trouble. But trouble has found her, and now Izzy must decide whether to press on in her search for the killer, knowing it could cost her everything.

Set in 2009 during the Great Recession and the first wave of the opioid epidemic, Graves upon Bones is the second book in the Izzy and Elton Mystery Series.

Read this review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

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