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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bones to Ashes

Reichs, Kathy. Bones to Ashes.

I enjoy Reichs' Temperance Brennan novels. This tenth novel in the series deals with a mystery that may connect with the forensic anthropologist's personal life.

When the skeleton of a young girl is discovered, Temperance feels a strong connection and begins remembering her childhood friend Evangeline, who disappeared at 15. The unidentified skeleton may be connected to Detective Ryan's cases involving missing and murdered young girls.

As usual, Reichs' deftly involves history, smoothly incorporating historical information into the narrative. This time, since the skeleton is discovered in Acadia, we get some background into le Grand Dérangement that evicted the Acadians from their homeland and information about the leper colony that was established in New Brunswick.

Temperance's personal life is in upheaval at the moment, and the possibility of discovering what happened to her friend becomes imperative.

I really enjoyed the role of sergent-enqueteur Hippolyte Gallant and the contrast between Temperance and Harry, her younger sister, who makes another appearance.

Reichs' novels are always a little dark in tone, but as well as enjoying the mysteries, I always learn a little something.

Fiction. Mystery/forensic science. 2007. 388 pages.


  1. Sounds good, I haven't tried the books, just seen the tv-series that I know is different

  2. I have enjoyed listening to audio versions of some of the Temperance Brennan novels. They're suspenseful enough to keep me hooked regardless of other distractions, and if I'm listening instead of reading, the gory detail slides by me without undue trauma. I have to confess though that this is one instance where I actually prefer the TV series to the books (blasphemy!). Still, I game to try a few more, and Bones to Ashes sounds intriguing.

  3. I enjoyed this book too. It was my first of Reichs' books but not the last.

  4. I'm always a bit nervous of reading forensicsy mysteries - I am easily squiffed out, and police procedurals tend to get me feeling anxious. I'm interested in the historical aspects, but I wonder if I'd be able to get through it.

  5. Blodeuedd - The tv-series is very different. I wish they had just given Temperance and Ryan different names and said, "based on" the books. I like the series, I just can't see them as the same characters as those in the books.

    Kate -I really need to try to listening to audio versions! While I enjoy the television version, the Asperger's Syndrome with Dr. Brennan annoys me. Having followed the books for so many years, I still prefer the books, but I think most people prefer the series. :)

    Violette - Isn't it nice to find a new series you enjoy and know that you have all those books about the characters just waiting?

    Jenny - I like Reichs so much better than Cornwell, but the forensic anthropology and the criminal cases can be very dark and disconcerting at times.