Unnatural Selection (Gideon Oliver Series #13)

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When Gideon Oliver's wife Julie attends a conservation forum on the emerald Isles of Scilly, Gideon tags along, expecting a holiday. To amuse himself, he explores the Neolithic sites there. But instead of ancient ruins, he finds evidence of a very recent murder.

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Unnatural Selection (Gideon Oliver Series #13)

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When Gideon Oliver's wife Julie attends a conservation forum on the emerald Isles of Scilly, Gideon tags along, expecting a holiday. To amuse himself, he explores the Neolithic sites there. But instead of ancient ruins, he finds evidence of a very recent murder.

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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: 9780425216057
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/3/2007
  • Series: Gideon Oliver Series , #13
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 844,080
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Elkins

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

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    A good read.

    A good series to keep you reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    well thought out mystery

    Off the coast of Cornwell England lies the Isles of Scilly thought to be the home of King Arthur. Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, known as the bone doctor, travels to St. Mary¿s where his wife is presenting a research paper on the environment for $50,000 donated by the owner of Star Castle, Vasily Kozlov. The eccentric Russian likes to gather people with different opinions and see them argue. Oliver is looking forward to visit Neolithic sites and the last thing on his mind is getting involved in another murder case. ---- When the curator from the museum asks him to look at some old bones, Oliver agrees and is shocked to find a human bone that was sawed off the body. Using a cadaver dog, the police and Oliver find much of the rest of the body and the bone doctor is able to say that the victim was a guest who stayed at Star Castle a few years ago but then sent a fax stating he wasn¿t coming back. When a second guest is killed Oliver is certain that the two murders are linked and he studies the bones hoping that they will give him clues as to the identity of the killer. ---- In spite of the dark side of his profession, the protagonist is a happy go lucky person thankful that he has found a second chance at love with Julie after his first wife died from cancer. Like bestselling author Kelly Reich¿s heroine Aaron Elkin¿s hero is able to read the bones well enough to give the police an accurate account of how the victim died. Like Temperance, Oliver goes above the call of duty and investigates the case in his own manner with amazing results. UNNATURAL SELECTION is a well thought out mystery and the killer is the last person anyone would expect. ---- Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 29, 2011

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    Posted December 16, 2010

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    Posted October 17, 2008

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    Posted September 18, 2012

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    Posted March 13, 2009

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