Sunday, May 17

Make No Bones - Aaron Elkins

A new exhibition at Oregon's Natural History Museum coincides with an anniversary of the Western Association of Forensic Anthropologists. It's been twelve years since the first biennial conference, and a decade since Albert Evan Jasper, the innovative 'dean' of the discipline, died in a bus crash. The charred remains of his bones are being mounted in a display case as part of the exhibit - when the case is stolen forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver's interest in piqued. The only member absent from the fatal gathering ten years earlier, his suspicions are roused and then confirmed. Jasper was murdered, and the killer is a member of the Association, a fellow academic.
Though this is clearly not the first in the series, I had no trouble catching up. Novels and series about forensic investigation have come a long way since Make No Bones was published in 1991, as has technology, but the lack of gadgets and computer simulations does not detract from the novel. The mystery is delicately played out, the protagonist is engaging, and I'm seriously thinking I'll sample at least the next book a long. - Alex

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