Arthur Upfield's "The Bone is Pointed" introduces those of us who are not already familiar with him to Napoleon Bonaparte, Upfield's Australian, part-aborigine super-sleuth. Bonaparte inherits from this aboriginal background the sorts of tracking skills, sensitivity to environment, and keen eye for detail that we have come to expect from our literary detectives, along with the arrogance and self-importance that come with those skills. Whether we (as readers) end up appreciating those qualities is a fine line that every detective fiction writer walks, and Upfield is fairly deft at keeping "Bony's" arrogance checked. Unfortunately, other aspects of Bony's personality, and certain aspects of the mystery he is unravelling, tended to grate on this reader as a bit tedious. The book's strength lies in its evocation of the Australian ranch country and the ranchers and aborigines who inhabit it; but at times Upfield seems so concerned with establishing the skills and magic of the aborigines (which is, at least, a worthy cause) that Bony's actual detection work gets a bit bogged down with explanation after explanation of aboriginal behavior and magic. After all this detail towards the conflict between Bony's native know-how and the aboriginal magic acting against him, I was hoping for a real stunner of an ending to salvage the novel, but instead found that Upfield had let me in on too many of Bony's discoveries to make the conclusion anything of a surprise. While I would recommend this book to anybody with a predilection for the Australian or aboriginal, I'd have to say that, within the larger context of the detective genre, "The Bone is Pointed" is largely mediocre.