Monday, August 31, 2009

206 Bones, by Kathy Reichs

206 Bones is the 12th installment in Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series. The series is the inspiratin for the TV show Bones; while both the books and the TV show feature a forensic anthropologist named Temperance Brennan who has a sexually fraught relationship with a cop/colleague, they share little else in common.

But back to 206 Bones. The title refers to the number of bones in the human body, and Tempe finds all of them when the body of a long-missing elderly woman is found in a shallow grave in Quebec, one of Tempe's stomping grounds. Days later, several of the phalanges are missing from Tempe's lab, the first sign that problems at the coroner's office go beyond the usual undercutting and (metaphoric) backstabbing. With trouble mounting and Tempe apparently clueless, I wanted to scream, "It's the obnoxious Marie-Andrea, idiot!" And, guess what? It was! Of course, over the course of the 250+ pages it took Tempe to figure it out, she and her colleague/sometime-lover Ryan solved five murders and Tempe managed to get buried in an old tomb on the site of a long-closed military cemetery.

206 Bones is a quick and fairly entertaining read for mystery lovers, though Reichs does get a bit preachy near the end about the need for professional certification for specialists in various forensic sciences. (A good point, I'm sure, but not that much fun to read about.)

Favorite Passage: "Tabarnouche!"

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