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Thursday, July 01, 2021

Newest Tempe Brennan Mystery Another Enjoyable Installment In An Always Entertaining Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for The Bone Code, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Tempe Brennan mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

In the wake of a fierce hurricane in the Carolinas, the streets are littered with downed trees, broken branches, and other debris.  When a shipping container washes ashore in Charleston, kayakers pry it open and are shocked to discover two corpses inside.  The bodies are wrapped in plastic sheeting and secured with electrical wire.  Who are they?  What were they doing in the water?  Forensic anthropologist Temperance "Tempe" Brennan—who recognizes certain aspects of the killings as similar to a murder she worked fifteen years ago in Quebec—is summoned to South Carolina to find out. 

Consulting with Andrew Ryan, her cop boyfriend who also worked the long-ago case, Tempe is determined to identify the two young women from the container.  While busy with that, she's also trying to solve a mystery involving a puzzling death mask and help a hysterical friend clean up after the storm.  The appearance of a troubling human flesh-eating contagion almost doesn't register, until Tempe starts to realize there might be a connection between it and the cases she's working.  The more she digs, the more she discovers, and the more dangerous her job becomes.  Increasingly obvious is the fact that someone is keeping explosive secrets, secrets they would kill to keep under wraps.  

You all know I'm a big Kathy Reichs fan.  I've long loved the Tempe Brennan series with its appealing heroine, approachable scientific explanations, twisty mysteries, and lively prose.  The newest installment, The Bone Code (available July 6, 2021), offers all of these elements and more, which makes it a compelling, enjoyable addition to the series.  Although one of my favorite characters—the always colorful "Skinny" Slidell—is unfortunately missing from this story, other series favorites appear, along with some fun new story people (can Tonia V. be a series regular, pretty please?).  As always, Tempe's devotion and wit shine through it all, whether she's piecing together evidence to solve a case, flirting with the always sexy Andrew Ryan, or fighting for her life against another nasty villain.  Not surprisingly, I loved this newest mystery and will wait with bated breath for the next.  

(Readalikes:  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 [novella], Speaking in Bones, and A Conspiracy of Bones)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, mild sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Bone Code from the generous folks at Simon & Schuster via those at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. Thank you for a comprehensive review.

  2. I like reading series of detective novels (or similar) because we get to know all the characters in their lives.

  3. I always love returning to a favorite series. I've not read any of these, but I know many readers who adore them. As for me, I'm holding out for Patricia Cornwell's next Kay Scarpetta novel after a few years without one.

  4. You've inspired me to finally explore this series. I haven't "read" an audiobook in a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the first book in the series available from my 16 hours, it's a long one. Looking forward to it.

  5. Another good one I need to read! :)

  6. I’m about 1/4 through this one and, of course, enjoying it. Huge fan.

  7. Sadly, I've never read a Kathy Reichs novel. I think I have Virals by her. I also haven't seen Bones -- the series, which if I'm correct, is based on her books. So not really familiar with any of the books. Welp.


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