The Thirteenth Skull [NOOK Book]


Detective Eileen Reed finds herself in a fight for her family’s life when a murdered archeologist and the Aztec crystal skull he excavated are found at her parent’s ranch near Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. In order to save her family from the hired killers who have targeted the ranch, she must unlock the secrets of the ancient crystal skull unearthed from the skeletal arms of an Aztec warrior.

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The Thirteenth Skull

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Detective Eileen Reed finds herself in a fight for her family’s life when a murdered archeologist and the Aztec crystal skull he excavated are found at her parent’s ranch near Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. In order to save her family from the hired killers who have targeted the ranch, she must unlock the secrets of the ancient crystal skull unearthed from the skeletal arms of an Aztec warrior.

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Editorial Reviews

Harriet Klausner

Homicide detective Eileen Reed of the Colorado Springs, Colorado police department is famous because she caught the UFO murderer and child Killer Teddy Shaw. She also found the murderer at the Schriever Air Force base, which houses a top secret missile defense development center. It was there that she met her fiancé Joe Tanner, an expert at simulated war games. Their wedding is only four months away.

Joe is on his way to the Reed Ranch in Wyoming while Eileen makes final preparations for the big event. Before he can get there, someone tries to kill him and he doesn't have any idea why. When he finally makes it to the ranch, Eileen is trying to find out who killed the archeologist working on a site discovered on their property. The killer is not very far behind Joe and is determined to murder him just as he as killed many scientists working on missile defense in the past. This time the predator has underestimated his target because Joe is determined to survive and he has many loved ones and friends who are willing to help him including a CIA Agent and an ex-Mafioso.

Bonnie Ramthun has written another exciting crime thriller in her Eileen Reed mystery series. THE THIRTEENTH SKULL is action-packed with several chase and escape or die scenes. The characters are well developed and several deserve their own story because they seem so fascinating. This compelling and enthralling novel is a roller coaster ride of thrills and chills.

Detra Fitch

Detective Eileen Reed was spending her time off on the ranch with her parents when the corpse of a murdered archeologist, Dr. McBride, turned up. Seems the doctor had found the remains of an Aztec warrior and helped himself to a priceless crystal skull the warrior had been protecting for thousands of years.

Joe Tanner was Eileen's fiancé. He worked as a programmer in missile defense on Schriever Air Force Base. Joe became a target and a couple of contract killers were after him. The killers barely missed the kill in Colorado and track him to the Reed Ranch near Devils Tower, Wyoming.

***** This is one heck of a ride! From first paragraph to the last this story is non-stop excitement and hunters become the hunted. Loaded with thrills and perfect for those who enjoy walking just a bit on the dangerous side of life! *****
Huntress Book Reviews

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia

'Oh, no," Eileen Reed said. 'We've got trouble. The archeologist is here.'

'The one who thinks her partner was murdered?' Lucy Giometti asked. She rose on her tiptoes to see out the kitchen window. They were both standing at the Reed Ranch's enormous kitchen sink, up to their glove tops in soapy water."

In tight, yet descriptive writing, the author establishes place, character and conflict within the very first opening words of this novel. Her pace starts off strong and never slackens, making the book the best of all types of mystery - a true page-turner.

Eileen Reed, homicide detective and sometime consultant with the Defense Department, and her good friend and CIA sidekick Lucy Giometti ("Secret Agent Man," as Reed labels her), have been called to the Reed Ranch to help find the archeologist's partner, who has gone missing after discovering a human skeleton while excavating a Lakota buffalo jump on the Wyoming ranch.

When Eileen and Lucy discover the missing archeologist's corpse, the also discover an Aztec crystal skull hidden in a cave. While they hunt for the murderer, Eileen's fiancé, Joe, turns up battered and fearful for his life, having been run off the road. Suspecting that there is more than one murderer threatening those they love, Eileen and Lucy enlist the help of Eileen's parents, the paying ranch guests, and Lucy's husband Ted, who has hidden talents of his own to protect the ranch and the mysterious crystal skull. Suspense grows, as assassins get not only closer, but more deadly.

Ramthun is the author of the two other Eileen Reed mysteries, Ground Zero and Earthquake Games. Like her heroine, she has worked with the Department of Defense, in helicopter crash investigation, space station prototyping, robotic automobile assembly, and missile defense war gaming.

Resembling an archeologist's dig, this novel is richly layered, appealing to a broad spectrum of mystery readers. The history buff will take pleasure in the mystery of the Aztec skeleton in the Lakota buffalo jump. Those readers who love political intrigue in their mysteries will enjoy the assassins out to stop the missile defense system by killing War Gamers like Eileen's fiancé. For those who like location-oriented mysteries, there is the magic of Wyoming - the threatening presence of Devil 's Tower, the summer drought, and a raging forest fire in the mountains.

Most importantly, Eileen and Lucy are strong, likeable heroines, both highly competent in solving mysteries and dealing with murderers, while also capable of falling in love and raising children.

"She (Eileen) remembered her mother's sad and grim look," writes the author, "when her mother told Lucy and Eileen and Jorie that they didn't know what men were for. She understood with a completeness that felt like drowning that her mother was right.Joe was going to die for her.And she had to let him do it."

From car crash, to spectral warnings, to a raging forest fire, to helicopter rescues, the action never stops in The Thirteenth Skull and neither do the turning pages. (October)
Foreword Magazine Fall Trade Show Issue 2003

Publishers Weekly
Ramthun's third mystery to feature Colorado Springs homicide detective Eileen Reed offers few surprises and little suspense, which may explain why Putnam, the publisher of the previous two entries in the series (Ground Zero and Earthquake Games), isn't putting out this one. Reed and CIA analyst Lucy Giometti are enjoying a vacation before Reed's wedding in Wyoming when a corpse turns up on Reed's parents' property-that of an archeologist who's discovered evidence of contact between the local Plains Indians and the Aztecs. The murder investigation, however, soon gets sidetracked. After Reed's fianc survives an attempt on his life that may be connected to attacks on military personnel involved with missile defense, the plot shifts into an unengaging cat-and-mouse game with a predictable resolution. (Sept. 30) Forecast: Blurbs from Carolyn Hart and Margaret Coel, plus the author's existing fan base, should ensure respectable sales for a small press. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011497575
  • Publisher: Bonnie Ramthun
  • Publication date: 8/24/2011
  • Series: Eileen Reed Mystery , #2
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 648,854
  • File size: 345 KB

Meet the Author

Bonnie Ramthun is a Colorado mom, wife, and novelist. Her novels for adults include Ground Zero, a thriller published by G.P. Putnam, Earthquake Games, a 2000 Colorado Book of the Year nominee, and The Thirteenth Skull. The White Gates, her middle grade mystery published by Random House in 2008, is a Junior Library Guild Premiere selection and was a finalist for the Missouri Truman Award. She is a former chapter president of Mystery Writers of America, a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and former war gamer for the Department of Defense.There are two cherished compliments that Bonnie Ramthun has received for her writing.A reader wanted to know if the childhood events that happened to Eileen Reed in Earthquake Games had actually happened to Bonnie as a child. She considers this a high compliment - she made a lonely Wyoming car crash and an abandoned child so real that her reader thought it actually happened.The second compliment was when a reader wrote her a letter and praised The Thirteenth Skull, Bonnie's third Eileen Reed book. The reader loved the novel and hated the villain so much that she thought he should have died more slowly. Bonnie will never forget this compliment either, for it means that she created a character so evil and so hateful that the reader wanted him to die...harder.Bonnie's favorite stories are the ones where ordinary people are placed in world-changing events. The people who live in her stories are fictional, but she tries to make them so real you want to have coffee with them. Or kill them.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2004

    A Firestorm in your brain

    I very seldom am allowed these kind of books, but I got to read this one and it ignites a firestorm in your brain that does not allow you to put the book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    Science mystery takes another exciting turn with The Thirteenth Skull

    With her three books, Ground Zero, Earthquake Games, and the recently released, The Thirteenth Skull, Bonnie Ramthun is staking claim on some fresh literary territory. Call it Science Mystery. I call it a good read. 'The Thirteenth Skull' is the third in a series of stories about detective Eileen Reed, a Colorado Springs Police Officer who has a nack for getting involved in solving crimes that involve a tantalizing combination of murder mystery and science fiction. In this book Eileen is on her parent's ranch in Wyoming, planning her upcoming wedding to war game programmer, Joe Tanner (one of several recurring characters from earlier books). One murder and a couple of metaphysical connections to the Aztecs later, and you've got a roller-coaster ride right to Devil's Tower, and the explosive conclusion. I'll leave it for other reviewers to comment more on the book's plot. I'd like to focus on what I think Ramthun does uniquely and with great skill - and that is the 'science mystery' combination. A former DOD war-gamer herself, Ramthun clearly loves science, computers, and imaginative analysis. Just as Grisham stakes claim to the 'legal mystery' with clear background knowledge, Ramthun places her murder tales in the context of fascinating science fiction concepts that are presented well enough that you can't quite not believe them. And, it's those scientific twists, that make this series so fun to read. Now, I'm not a big 'chick book' fan. So, some of the relationship banter between Eileen and Lucy (her CIA friend who helps brings the criminals to justice) comes across as a bit too Nora Roberts for the average guy (or at least us less sensitive ones). Frankly, this is the only reason I have the book at 4 stars instead of 5. But, Ramthun keeps that to a minimum, and lets the science mystery take center stage in all three books. Ultimately, this debatable shortcoming should not deter anyone from reading the book. (I didn't put it down in one marathon 9 hour reading session). So, whether you start with Ground Zero, or The Thirteenth Skull, make sure you read Ground Zero at some point to set the background for Eileen Reed, and Bonnie Ramthun. It will make the rest of the series more fun, and give you a flavor as to how this new author is evolving as a mystery writer with a unique style and imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    Exciting Thriller

    This third book in the Eileen Reed series combines elements of mystery, thriller, and science fiction for a great read. Colorado Springs police detective Reed is at her family home in Wyoming preparing for her wedding to Defense Department war gamer Joe Tanner. An archaeologist digging on ranch property is murdered, while in possession of a crystal skull allegedly having mystical powers. At the same time, an assassination attempt is made on the life of Tanner by a contract killer. When Joe flees to Wyoming to be with Eileen, the two storylines intersect and the action is almost non-stop ending in a fiery climax on Devil's Tower. Likable characters, great setting, and action-filled narrative¿a fine follow-up to 'Ground Zero' and 'Earthquake Games.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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