Book details

The Bone Fire

A Mystery

Author: Christine Barber

The Bone Fire

The Bone Fire


About This Book

"Christine Barber is new to the Southwest in the sense that The Replacement Child is her first novel. But she has a great feel for the territory and for the family connections that enforce...

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Book Details

"Christine Barber is new to the Southwest in the sense that The Replacement Child is her first novel. But she has a great feel for the territory and for the family connections that enforce its strong community bonds."

Every year, the people of Santa Fe gather together for the burning of a four-story-tall figure called Zozobra, a local custom that that takes place during the Fiesta de Santa Fe. Early the next morning, as the sounds of the Fiesta celebration still echo through the streets, skull is discovered in the ashes of Zozobra.

As Detective Sergeant Gilbert Montoya starts to investigate the case, disturbing displays of human bones begin appearing at religious sites around the city. With a possible psychopath on the loose, Gil goes to newspaper editor Lucy Newroe for help to find the person responsible in a case that will take them into the highest and lowest levels of Santa Fe society.

Christine Barber was highly praised for her first book, The Replacement Child, which won the first annual Tony Hillerman Prize and was named a New York Times Notable Book. An intriguing, impressive new mystery, The Bone Fire captures the colorful New Mexican landscape and the unique world of Santa Fe.

Imprint Publisher

Minotaur Books



In The News

“The insights that Barber, an Albuquerque resident, offers heighten the pleasure of reading her mysteries and give a fresh take on why Santa Fe is called the City Different.” —THE ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL

“Full marks to Barber for providing the mesmerizing Southwest landscape and mindset.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Readers will enjoy the Santa Fe atmosphere and the local lore along with an intriguing plot.” —BOOKLIST

“Santa Fe is a vivid character in this book, impacting the characters, the mystery and the crime. This complicated and excellently written story moves quickly, is realistic and has an interesting set-up where the two main characters are almost never physically together.” —ROMANTIC TIMES

“Barber ... has a knack for slicing the the core of her richly flawed characters. . . . The beautiful part of The Bone Fire is its refusal to turn away from truth. The crimes at the center of the mystery begin with the kind of all-too-common violation that, left to fester in silence, leaks its poison through multiple generations.” —PASATIEMPO DIGITAL

“Provides detours into the rich Hispanic traditions, the geography, the architecture and vagaries of life in present-day Santa Fe...I think the pleasurable novel will endure as a far more insightful tour guide than any document printed for that purpose.” —ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL on THE REPLACEMENT CHILD

“The author has a sharp eye for details about Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico that longtime area residents often take for granted.” —THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN on THE REPLACEMENT CHILD

“[Barber] has put as many twists in the plot as there are in the mountain roads near Santa Fe, and you'll be fooled again and again.” —RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH 

“Looking for an undiscovered gem? Christine Barber won the very first Tony Hillerman Prize last year for the best unpublished novel set in the Southwest. Along came a publisher, and now we have Barber's very good debut.” —THE GLOBE AND MAIL (TORONTO) on THE REPLACEMENT CHILD


About the Creators

The Bone Fire

The Bone Fire