The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key

Paperback Published on: 31/08/2023
RRP £9.99
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Skeleton Key
A dark and delightful page turner
Like Erin Kelly, I loved the children’s book Masquerade, published in 1979 - a lavishly illustrated puzzle book that was also a treasure hunt to find a gol... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield
The Skeleton Key
The best kind of literary thriller
Impels you to read just one, two, three more chapters, piling mystery upon mystery upon mystery. Erin Kelly has created a brilliantly dysfunctional family... READ MORE
Aaron Myles
The Skeleton Key
Twisty and addictive
Does anyone remember Maskerade by Kit Williams? A treasure hunt phenomenon, readers had to solve the puzzle which led to the discovery of a tiny golden har... READ MORE
Sarah at Torquay
The Skeleton Key
Fantastic thriller
This is the most gripped by a crime read I've been in a very long time which is especially impressive given its length. Short chapters, multiple POVs and a... READ MORE
Rowan Maddock
The Skeleton Key
Intriguing and Delightful
Like many booksellers I adore a book about books so The Skeleton Key was an absolute treat to read. A treasure hunt inspired by a children's picture book t... READ MORE
Poppy Flaxman
The Skeleton Key
A true treasure
To start the premise is something exciting, playing with the idea of a treasure hunt like the secret that took over American is ingenious and Erin Kelly ha... READ MORE
Ashlea Tyler
The Skeleton Key
So compelling!
I loved the concept of this book. The interweaving of two separate timelines and the continual jumping back to one point in time to reveal more layers of t... READ MORE
Libby Low


This reunion will tear a family apart... Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family's insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried - gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore's pelvis remained hidden. The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse. But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • ISBN: 9781473680920
  • Number of pages: 512
  • Weight: 460g
  • Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 52 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Skeleton Key
Loved it!!
Fifty years ago Sir Frank Churcher, artist & author wrote a book that captured world-wide attention. Part picture book, part treasure hunt the idea was to ... READ MORE
Maggie Macdonald
The Skeleton Key
This book was sooo good. The reason for the 4 star and not a 5 was i found some parts dragged on in unnecessary parts. But the twists of this book had me G... READ MORE
The Skeleton Key
A fabulous gothic thriller masterpiece
The Skeleton Key is a fabulous gothic thriller perfect for the autumn season approaching. A wonderful, addictive and entertaining puzzle that was intriguin... READ MORE
Emma S
The Skeleton Key
Gripping, suspenseful and gothic
Engaging from the first chapter. What an amazing book and a great follow up from Watch Her Fall which gave sinister Black Swan meets Shutter Island feels. ... READ MORE
The Skeleton Key
Family Relationships...
This is the first Erin Kelly book I've read and I found it an intriguing read! Treasure hunt, family relationships, cult... Very cleverly plotted - but y... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp