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September 11, 2008 / C.T. Henry


Last week Patti Abbott, who blogs at, asked me to write for her “Forgotten Books” column.  Since I haven’t been able to recommend any of the books I’ve read recently, I decided to take her up on her offer and look back at some of my golden oldies: books that are no longer considered new, but stand the test of time.  I’ve also decided to steal her idea and recommend older books when my current crop of books isn’t panning out.

OLD BONES – Aaron Elkins – 1987
Book Description: “The Skeleton Detective” is called to a French isle soon after an aristocrat drowns. But he soon finds that the case is eerily connected to another murder–way back during the Nazi Occupation of World War II France.

Old Bones is an ingeniously crafted mystery, and one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read. First and foremost, Elkins’ writing is fluid and succinct, without being too detailed or overly literary. The second highlight is Elkins’ clever protagonist, Gideon Oliver, an anthropologist with a talent for analyzing skeleton remains. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you’ll love Gideon.  While he’s very intellectual, his subtle humor just cracks me up.  Finally, there are many layers to this mystery, but the pieces of this puzzle come together very nicely at the end.  It’s the perfect marriage of character and plot.

Old Bones is the fourth book in the Gideon Oliver series and the winner of the 1987 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

One Comment

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  1. Patti Abbott / Sep 12 2008 12:10 pm

    I loved Elkins’ books. Thanks for reminding me.

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