The forensic anthropologist wonders who would steal the bones of a deceased colleague—and why: “A likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth.” —Chicago Tribune
There is not much left of the irascible Albert Evan Jasper, “dean of American forensic anthropologists,” after his demise in a fiery car crash. But in accord with his wishes, his remains—a few charred bits of bone—are installed in an Oregon museum to create a fascinating if macabre exhibit. All agree that it is a fitting end for a great forensic scientist—until what is left of him disappears in the midst of the biannual meeting (a.k.a., the “bone bash and weenie roast”) of the august WAFA—the Western Association of Forensic Anthropologists—in nearby Bend, Oregon.
Like his fellow attendees, Gideon Oliver—the Skeleton Detective—is baffled. Only the WAFA attendees could possibly have made off with the remains, but who in the world would steal something like that? And why? All had an opportunity, but who had a motive?
Soon enough, the discovery of another body in a nearby shallow grave will bring to the fore a deeper, more urgent mystery, and when one of the current attendees is found dead in his cabin, all hell breaks loose. Gideon Oliver is now faced with the most difficult challenge of his career—unmasking a dangerous, brilliant killer who knows every bit as much about forensic science as he does. Or almost.
Make No Bones is the 7th book in the Gideon Oliver Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
In this seamlessly plotted corker of a mystery, Edgar Award winner Elkins reprises his ``skeleton detective,'' forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, in a seventh outing that might well have been subtitled ``Whose Bones Are These, Anyway?'' Here Gideon receives an invitation to the sixth biennial ``bone bash and weenie roast'' of the Western Association of Forensic Anthropologists, to take place at the Whitebark Lodge in Oregon. The last WAFA conference held at the Whitebark Lodge, 10 years earlier, ended tragically when Albert Evan Jasper, irascible mentor to four of the attendees, died in a fiery bus crash on his way out of town. Or did he? As a highlight of this conference, Jasper's charred remains will be on display for viewing and study, but shortly after their unveiling, a number of alarming events occurring in rapid succession require all of Gideon's forensic powers: the bones disappear, a badly decomposed corpse is found in the woods and one of the original four attendees is murdered. What really became of Jasper and which remnants, if any, are his? Readers who like their humor dark and their gumshoes smart are sure to enjoy the ``bone bash.''