Old Bones (Gideon Oliver Series #4)

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Overview

"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.

When an old skeleton is found beneath the floor of the du Rocher estate, American "skeleton detective" Dr. Gideon Oliver is called in to uncover the secrets behind the Old Bones. Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery of 1987.

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Old Bones

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Overview

"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.

When an old skeleton is found beneath the floor of the du Rocher estate, American "skeleton detective" Dr. Gideon Oliver is called in to uncover the secrets behind the Old Bones. Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery of 1987.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When revered Resistance-hero Guillaume du Rocher drowns in a rushing flood tide off Mont St. Michel, members of the familysummoned by Guillaume on undisclosed urgent businessare already assembled at the domaine du Rocher, where, instead, they hear his will. The next day in the basement, a partial skeleton is uncovered, and Gideon Oliver, American physical anthropologist known as the ``Skeleton Detective,'' is called from his lectures at an international forensics conference to examine the bones. Gideon confirms the remains, determines that they are those of a young man dead almost 50 years, suggesting a connection to local Resistance actions, including one in which Guillaume's brother Alain was executed after Claude Fougeray, a du Rocher cousin and now Guillaume's principal heir, collaborated with the enemy. While Gideon gleans more and more information from the skeleton, Claude is poisoned and Gideon himself is threatened. An intricate plotmore substantial than it promises initiallyis weighed down by a school of weak red herrings, by too much multisyllabic information about bone structure and by characters more caricatured than lifelike. Elkins (The Dark Place and Fellowship of Fear), is better on the muck and sand below the abbey where the action, especially a thrilling final scene, gallops along as fast and compelling as the tide itself. (December 14)
Callendar Newgate
"Great stuff...our hero has but to look at a piece of human bone and, like Sherlock Holmes can tell everything about the person's to whom it belonged. Since he knows more about hominid phylogeny than Sherlock did, he can look at a tribal fragment 113 millimeters long and say, 'this one was nearly 40. And Japanese. And built like a wrestler, say 145 pounds.'" -- New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425207482
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/3/2006
  • Series: Gideon Oliver Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Elkins
Aaron Elkins
Aaron Elkins is also the author of two stand-alone thrillers as well as three novels in a series written with his wife Charlotte, and three novels in another series that takes place in the art world.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    satisfying mystery series

    A good old fashioned mystery series with interesting places,characters and without sex and foul language.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2005

    Terrific series! I can't stop reading.

    How did I ever miss these novels in the late 80's when Elkins started writing the Gideon Oliver, skeleton detective?! They're wonderful. Not too heavy on character development or drama, but very interesting on the forensic side of things. The locations are always very interesting, and sometimes there are local trivia tidbits the author throws in that I enjoy. Highly recommended. Start with FELLOWSHIP OF FEAR, then THE DARK PLACE.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Overall, a pretty good book, probably closer to 3.5 stars than 4

    Overall, a pretty good book, probably closer to 3.5 stars than 4. It did start off kinda slow. The main character only had like 2 pages of activity in the first 20% of the book. The plot wasn't all that surprising, I was able to figure out the main twists well before climax. The ultimately responsible murderer was a surprise, though not the reason why. The character development was decent and I really liked Gideon, John and Joly. The later scene at Mont St. Michel seemed a little forced, though it's a place I would LOVE to visit.

    The eBook was formatted reasonably well with no obvious spelling or grammatical errors, though the line spacing was a little odd at times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    So so

    Confusing and convoluted. But at least well written which is more than most of these books.

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  • Posted April 29, 2014

    Enjoy!

    I really enjoyed this mystery, good characters, interesting place, murder! I appreciated the lack of vulgar language! This book made me want to fly to France and help solve the mystery!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Great book

    ENGAGING PREMISE AND HERO! I read this mystery from beginning to the end and my interest never wavered!

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  • Posted April 26, 2014

    Good Beach Read

    I love mysteries which involve modern day sleuths solving crimes which have origins in medieval past. As a Catholic, the Vatican and all the rumored and actual intrigue, I find quite interesting. So much was not taught in parochial grade, high school or college. This book has opened my mind to investigate further Rome, the Vatican, etc. to see what is true & what is fiction

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Must read.

    Love Aaron Elkins! Enjoy his writing style and subject matter.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Great to take on a trip

    Small books that take about a day to read - great for plane rides and travel days.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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