How cool would it be to not only write about a beyond-smart, witty, attractive woman with two jobs that are both unusually interesting, but to actually be that person as well? Meet Kathy Reichs, the real-life medical examiner (formerly in North Carolina, now in Quebec) who is also the author of the Dr. Temperance Brennan series. Reichs is clearly super-doopah intelligent (she’s a doctor, she’s been on several high-profile boards, she’s bi-lingual!), her author photo shows her to be pretty easy on the eyes, and she’s penned a handful of mysteries that are original, clever and involved, not to mention humorous in just the right way (that is, the way I like).
Now meet her main character, Dr. Temperance Brennan, a medical examiner who splits her time between North Carolina and Quebec. Her job is interesting enough–identifying bodies, determining cause of death, investigating crime scenes–but she somehow always seems to get involved with cases that go beyond the norm and require a little more effort. In the past, her cases have put her up against a motorcycle gang, sent her to Jerusalem, exposed her to Satanism and Voodoo…you get the picture. The case in Spider Bones is no less unusual; Brennan is called to identify a male body found floating in the water, and wearing bra, panties, a motorcycle boot and breathing apparatus. The unusual bit is that he’s identified as someone who has already died–in Vietnam, in 1968–and been buried in North Carolina. So, who’s actually been buried in North Carolina for over 40 years? Why the mix-up? Brennan is sent to find out, and as luck would have it, that means going to the POW/MIA laboratories in Hawaii. That’s where the real fun starts, if your idea of fun is mucking about with bones and bodies, receiving threats from scary people who don’t want the past dug up, and being called in to look at the remains of a shark-bite victim or two.
Of course, if you already like the Brennan series (or the television show Bones, which is based on these books), or you like modern, clever mysteries with a slight bit of eww-factor, then this book is your idea of fun, and you won’t be disappointed!