Unnatural Selection (Gideon Oliver Series #13)

Unnatural Selection (Gideon Oliver Series #13)

4.7 8
by Aaron Elkins
     
 

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"Green with lush life, the Isles of Scilly dot the sea like an emerald necklace. Fabled to be the ancient realm of King Arthur, they lie thirty miles off the coast of Cornwall, forming an archipelago forgotten by time. Forensics professor and sometime detective Gideon Oliver accompanies his wife to the Isles. A wildfire expert, Julie has been invited here by Russian…  See more details below

Overview

"Green with lush life, the Isles of Scilly dot the sea like an emerald necklace. Fabled to be the ancient realm of King Arthur, they lie thirty miles off the coast of Cornwall, forming an archipelago forgotten by time. Forensics professor and sometime detective Gideon Oliver accompanies his wife to the Isles. A wildfire expert, Julie has been invited here by Russian expatriate Vasily Kozlov, scientist, millionaire, and eccentric. At his home, Star Castle, he regularly hosts a consortium on conservation, inviting guests of differing opinions - which makes for some very heated arguments." While Julie is stuck indoors, Gideon looks forward to puttering around the little-visited Neolithic sites scattered among the islands. But before day one is through, a not-so-Neolithic bone turns up - this tibia is only a few years old - and all signs point to murder. And just as Gideon and the local law puzzle over whose bones these might be, another murder happens at Star Castle. Could it just be bad luck, two murders within a couple of years? Or do Kozlov's lively debates have a way of turning deadly?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Forensic sleuth Gideon Oliver accompanies his second wife, Julie, to an unusual gathering of conservation experts in the Scilly Isles in Edgar-winner Elkins's engaging 13th whodunit to feature the man known as the "Bone Detective" (after 2005's Where There's a Will). Frustrated by his passive role and forced to bite his tongue when opinions are voiced that strike him as lacking intellectual rigor, Oliver leaps at a chance to examine some human remains stored at the local museum. His casual look becomes something more when he determines that one humerus bone is a recent relic, leading to his rousing the sleepy local constabulary to a murder probe. When the victim turns out to have belonged to the conservation group, the circle of suspects centers on the surviving members. Elkins excels in making his hero's skills plausible and accessible to a lay audience, though some readers might wish for more depth of characterization. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
While his park-ranger wife Julie is wined and dined at a consortium on England's Isles of Scilly, forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver (Where There's a Will, 2005, etc.) plans to tag along out of the limelight. As if. A cloud hangs over this year's Consortium of the Scillies. Shortly after eccentric millionaire Vasily Kozlov brought a diverse group of researchers together two years ago, cordially disliked Edgar Villarreal, who'd pulled out of the group and relinquished $50,000 in funding after he was attacked for his outspoken defense of grizzly bears who killed humans, was eaten by a bear himself in the wilds of Alaska. And he's not the only one haunting the returning members. Pete Williams, the provocative environmental biographer, dropped out of sight shortly after a heated confrontation with Villarreal. Even old-seeming bones offer no relief. While he's touring the local Isles of Scilly Museum, Gideon sees a tibia whose characteristics he tells director Madeleine Goodfellow he can establish. His examination soon leads to the discovery of a lot of other bones and an accusation of murder. Which of Julie's fellow Fellows-holistic ecologist Victor Waldo, hunting advocate Donald Pinckney, garbageologist Liz Petra or Gideon's old friend Rudy Walker, an anthropologist-turned-snowmobile advocate-is the killer?Though the Skeleton Detective seems more interested in the quick than the dead, the neat mystery is spiced by a great scene of Gideon excusing himself from an autopsy because he can't deal with soft tissue.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425210055
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/06/2006
Series:
Gideon Oliver Series, #13
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

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

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