A House with Good Bones by T Kingfisher

My Five Word TL: DR Review : I’m loving this author’s work

A House with Good Bones

A House with Good Bones worked really well for me, it’s a Southern Gothic horror that manages to temper the creepy horror elements with a good dose of humour and brings us a wonderful central character who has a great outlook on life.

Sam is an archaeoentomologist – that’s a proper tongue twister that took me about 5 minutes to even spell correctly – the dig she is working on has been put on a temporary hold and following up on some concerns expressed by her brother about their mom’s slightly ‘off’ behaviour she decides now is as good a time as any to return to the family home and spend some quality time together.  When Sam returns home though things are definitely off kilter.  Her mum is behaving erratically and Sam worries about all sorts of scenarios, perhaps her mum is poorly or starting to experience dementia.  What she doesn’t expect, with her straightforward, no nonsense, analytical brain, is a haunting.

There are so many unusual and quirky elements to this one and they all seemed to come together in a very pleasing way for me.  The house and street where Sam’s mum lives is described with a certain charm.  Her mum is a great character and the family dynamic between the two is refreshingly good.  The tension is built up little by little and what starts out as slightly odd gradually becomes creepy before morphing into all out crazy.

Basically, as with many families, scratch the surface and uncover all sorts of skeletons.  Sam’s gran was a strange woman, scary, intimidating, definitely not a soft and cuddly character.  She made enemies out of most of her neighbours and ruled the roost with a firm hand.  It seemed like Sam and her brother were only too keen to leave that particular nest that seemed to be lined with thorns rather than feathers.  And, although Gran Mae has been dead for years it seems that she still has strong feelings on how things should be done.

To be honest Sam really won this particular show for me.  She’s such a great character.  Her determination to find reasonable explanations in the face of creepy situations, and not to resort to hysterics is such a winning element.  On top of that she’s not the best at small talk or socialising and is constantly putting her foot in things which definitely made me smile more than once.  She loves bugs and so isn’t freaked out by swarms of them simply handling things with calm resolve, she even takes the resident vulture population in her stride.  And, she doesn’t want or need rescuing so, although there is a rather sweet friendship developing between her and the local handyman, she can stand on her own two feet thank you very much.

In terms of criticisms, I don’t really have anything, I did wonder at first why Sam’s mum didn’t try to talk to her earlier but to be honest – that conversation wouldn’t have gone well when I think about it.

Overall, I loved this in so many ways.  Even the crazily twisted, over the top, nightmarish conclusion and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher.  For which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion freely given.

My rating 5 of 5 stars


Can’t Wait Wednesday : A House With Good Bones by T Kingfisher


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to. 

This week my book is: A House With Good Bones by T Kingfisher – I was saying today how this author has jumped immediately onto my must read list after reading Nettle & Bone – and then this books pops up – it’s like a sign from the God of Books (GoB).  If the GoB wants me to read this then it would be rude not to really:


Sam Montgomery is worried about her mother. She seems anxious, jumpy, and she’s begun making mystifying changes to the family home on Lammergeier Lane. Sam figures it has something to do with her mother’s relationship to Sam’s late, unlamented grandmother.

She’s not wrong.

As vultures gather around the house and frightful family secrets are unearthed under the rosebushes, Sam struggles to unravel the truth about the house on Lammergeier Lane before it consumes her and everyone else who stands in its way…

Expected publication March 2023