Skull Duggery (Gideon Oliver Series #16)

Skull Duggery (Gideon Oliver Series #16)

4.0 13
by Aaron Elkins
     
 

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Gideon is happy to be in Mexico with his wife-until he's asked to examine the mummified corpse of a drifter thought to be shot to death. Gideon's findings reveal that the cause of death is far more bizarre. Then he's asked to examine the skeleton of a murder victim found a year earlier-only to discover another coroner error. The Skeleton Detective knows that two

Overview

Gideon is happy to be in Mexico with his wife-until he's asked to examine the mummified corpse of a drifter thought to be shot to death. Gideon's findings reveal that the cause of death is far more bizarre. Then he's asked to examine the skeleton of a murder victim found a year earlier-only to discover another coroner error. The Skeleton Detective knows that two "mistakenly" identified bodies are never a coincidence. But if he isn't careful, unearthing the connection between them could make him another murder statistic in Mexico.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What sounded like an idyllic winter getaway at relatives' Oaxacan dude ranch turns into a bonesman's holiday for Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, in Edgar-winner Elkins's atmospheric 16th mystery to feature the forensic anthropologist (after 2008's Uneasy Relations). Before the Washington State couple can even sample the quesadillas at the Hacienda Encantada, their hostess, Julie's cousin, asks Gideon if he'd mind helping the local police chief by examining the mummified remains of what appears to be a murder victim. One skeleton swiftly leads to a second—and from there smack into a suspenseful puzzle whose secret someone will apparently kill to protect. Elkins partially tips his hand before hitting the home stretch of his rapidly accelerating plot, but, even so, the final revelations should leave you—if not the unflappable Bone Detective—pleasantly surprised. (Sept.)
VOYA - Robyn Guedel
Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his girlfriend Julie are headed on a vacation to the small town of Oaxaca, Mexico. Julie has agreed to help her cousin by watching her hacienda for the week. What starts out as relaxing turns into something more than they expected. When a dead body turns up, Gideon agrees to help the local police by doing an investigation of the bones. What Gideon discovers, however, is a huge cover-up that has tremendous implications for his girlfriend and her family. It was believed that Julie's aunt Blaze ran away with another man over twenty years ago. It is soon discovered that she was not only murdered but also might have been a witness to a large family secret. Elkins nicely balances the discussion of various anthropological techniques in working with skeletons without being too technical or boring. What starts out a little slow turns out to be a real page-turner of a mystery. Readers will be on the edges of their seats trying to figure out who the dead people are and how they intertwine. Some readers may get tripped up by the extensive use of Spanish words, but overall the terms are simple and familiar. Reviewer: Robyn Guedel
Kirkus Reviews
Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver travels to Mexico in the latest from Elkins (Uneasy Relations, 2008, etc.). While her relatives are off having surgery and getting divorced, the Skeleton Detective's wife Julie has been asked to fill in at Hacienda Encantada, the family resort in sleepy Teotitlan del Valle in Mexico. There's nothing much for Gideon to do until rising politico Flaviano Sandoval, who's reluctantly serving as police chief while awaiting his turn at higher office, invites him to examine the mummified remains of an unsavory drifter who called himself Manuel Garcia, and then the bones of a long-dead little girl who's never been identified. Naturally, Gideon's theory about what happened to a missing .32 slug in the drifter's corpse turns the verdict of the local medico legiste on its head. Meanwhile, Julie's made some surprising and unwelcome discoveries about Blaze Tendler, the mother of Julie's cousin Annie. Although everyone knows that Blaze ran off years ago with her lover Manolo, who paused only long enough to relieve Blaze's brother Jamie of $16,000 at the point of a gun, everyone turns out to be wrong. It's only a matter of time before Gideon's present-day corpse gets entangled in the branches of Julie's family tree. But Gideon wears his customary learning so lightly that the forensics that establish that link are fascinating, and the mystery surrounding Hacienda Encantada grows more riveting with each new twist. Gideon's finest case in years proves that "Professor Oliver finds happiness in baffling the mind of the simple hardworking policeman"-and everyone else.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101139950
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Series:
Gideon Oliver Series , #16
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
110,389
File size:
259 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Aaron Elkins is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Gideon Oliver mysteries.

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Skull Duggery (Gideon Oliver Series #16) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
slatsdawson More than 1 year ago
A great book is a feast, these books are tasty snacks. It takes a day or two to read them. Gideon Oliver is a fine character and the plots are not at all predictable. The comic relief is marginal (trite) but the books are great for travel reads.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Julie Oliver's cousin Anne invites her and her "Bone Detective" husband Gideon to spend some time at the family's owned Hacienda Encantada dude ranch in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico. The pair looks forward to escaping wintry Washington State. Upon arrival in Mexico, Julie is put to work to filling in for relatives missing in action. Soon afterward, temporary and definitely reluctant police chief Flaviano Sandoval invites Gideon to look at the mummified remains of a drifter Manuel Garcia, and then the bones of a long-dead little girl who's never been identified. Meanwhile another theory debunked by the visitors is what happened to Anne's mom who allegedly ran off with a thief as Gideon ties past and present by reading the bones. This is a terrific forensic anthropologic whodunit as Gideon widens his inquiry into the past and present happenings at Hacienda Encantada where he and his wife suddenly find themselves amidst UNEASY RELATIONS. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never decelerates until the climax; yet there is plenty of forensic insight provided by the Bone Detective. SKULL DUGGERY is a fabulous investigative mystery. Harriet Klausner
SuziIzMe More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Aaron Elkins and the Skeleton Detective. I always learn things without feeling I've been addressed as a slow child. I love the characters and stories and how wonderfully they all pull togethter. Not heavy - a delightful, thought-provoking read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sister says ok but now she has to rest. Go to the first result!!!