Monday, July 27, 2020

Tempe Brennan is Back and Better Than Ever (Cliché But True)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for A Conspiracy of Bones, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Tempe Brennan mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is one of my favorite crime fiction heroines, so I'm always excited when her newest adventure is published.  Because the latest installment in the series, A Conspiracy of Bones, was delayed due to Kathy Reichs' ill health, I was especially pumped when it finally came out in March.  My elation was well-merited, too, as Tempe is not just back but also better than ever.

Despite still being in recovery from surgery for a brain aneurysm, Tempe is anxious to continue her forensic work.  If only her new boss didn't carry an old grudge that makes her reluctant to look Tempe in the eye, let alone ask for her help.  When Tempe gets a gruesome heads-up about a corpse that's missing its hands and face, she's more than ready to get to work on the case.  Unfairly shut out by her boss, Tempe refuses to give up.  With the help of a few old colleagues, including the always amusing Erskine "Skinny" Slidell and the ever sexy Andrew Ryan, she vows to get to the truth she knows is hidden in the bones of the dead.  Of course, these things are never straightforward.  Soon, Tempe is once again smack dab in the middle of an intriguing mystery that could very well get her killed ...

While some of Reichs' books are better than others, I always love Tempe.  She's a smart, funny, determined heroine who I'm willing to follow anywhere.  Reichs' side characters are just as entertaining.  True, A Conspiracy of Bones is a bit lacking in the Ryan department.  Still, the novel offers plenty of twists to keep readers turning pages.  As always, I especially enjoy the way Reichs explains forensic science—she uses simple explanations that everyone can understand without talking down to the reader.  All of these features combine to make the Tempe Brennan series one of my favorites.  The newest installment is Reichs at her best.  Not surprisingly, I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Tempe Brennan series, including First Bones [novella]; Deja Dead; Death Du Jour; Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage; Grave Secrets; Bare Bones; Monday Mourning; Cross Bones; Break No Bones; Bones to Ashes; Devil Bones; 206 Bones; Spider Bones; Flash and Bones; Bones Are Forever; Bones in Her Pocket [novella]; Bones of the Lost; Swamp Bones [novella]; Bones Never Lie; Bones on Ice; and Speaking in Bones)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of A Conspiracy of Bones from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

7 comments:

  1. This sounds so good. I haven't read a Tempe Brennan book in ages and really need to get back to that series.

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  2. I've always wanted to read Reichs, but the idea of starting another series from the very beginning just seems so daunting. Especially when there are so many books in the series!

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  3. A favorite of mine too. I agree, some are better than others, but always worth a read.

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  4. I think I told you another time that I read a couple of books in this series way back and then didn't continue. And I said I did like the TV series. This makes me think I ought to give the series another try. Maybe later this year. I mean, why not? Right? Ha!

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  5. This does sound like a fun one. I've watched the TV series more than I've read the books, but I look forward to reading the series, too. :D

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  6. I used to read this series all the time, probably because the paperbacks were available in every airport in the world, but somehow lost the momentum when I quit traveling on the job so much. This makes me think it may be time to check out some of the later books to see if I want to get back into her novels.

    I guess the problem now would be that I've probably forgotten so much about the recurring characters that it might be too much like starting over from scratch.

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  7. I have never read these books, but do enjoy forensics like Patricia Cornwell. I'll have to add this author to my "keep an eye out" list.

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