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Bones To Ashes by Kathy Reichs

I've been a longtime reader and fan of Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series, and so I'm now submitting a review of the latest installment for the series called Bones To Ashes, which was released a couple months ago. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, it follows a forensic anthropologist named Temperance Brennan. She splits her time between North Carolina where she teaches on the faculty of the state university and consults with medical examiners when they need a forensic anthropologist and Montreal, Quebec, Canada where she is on the staff of the province's medical-legal lab (she works for the office of the medical examiner). A forensic anthropologist works on murder cases in which there isn't much left of the victim... for example, if all that's left is bones or the victim was burned beyond recognition, Brennan is called in to examine the bones to determine cause of death and in some cases to determine identity as well.

In Bones To Ashes a series of cases involving missing girls in Montreal seems to connect to an event in Brennan's childhood in which her girlhood friend suddenly disappears one summer. The book also introduces a sad development in the tenuous romance Brennan has been enjoying with a colleage, Detective Ryan. Ultimately it is not resolved by the final page of the book, and so I look forward to the next book in the series mostly to see what happens between these two.

This book is a fairly quick read and a definite must read for Brennan series fans. Fans of Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series and Tess Gerritsen's Isles/Rizzoli series will also enjoy this series, specifically for the unique perspective of a forensic anthropologist narrator as oppossed to a medical examiner narrator (Scarpetta) or medical examiner/police detective main characters (Isles/Rizzoli).

If you're new to the Brennan series, I recommend starting at the beginning with Deja Dead; this is followed by (in order), Death Du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, and, the most recent installment, Bones To Ashes. You can visit Kathy Reichs' website,, to learn more about the author, the series, or the field of forensic anthropology.

On another note, fans of the Brennan series who are also TV watchers will enjoy the series Bones that airs on the Fox channel locally on Tuesday nights. It is loosely based on the Brennan series and Reichs serves as a consulting producer for the show. If you enjoy watching crime procedurals with witty writing, you will enjoy the show. I highly recommend you tune in sometime.

Bones To Ashes is located upstairs in adult fiction at Fic/Rei; it is currently shelved in the New Arrivals section. It is also available upon request from Annville Free Library, Lebanon Community Library, Myerstown Community Library, and Palmyra Public Library. All the books in the Brennan series are available in county either here at the Matthews Library or upon request from Annville, Lebanon, Myerstown and Palmyra.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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