sharing my love of books with you

Tag: Kathy Reichs (Page 1 of 2)

From My Library: Speaking in Bones

by Dr Kathy Reichs

This is the third Kathy Reichs / Temperance Brennan book I read. This is the one with the crazy plot twist at the end. I found my copy at the local library thrift store. It is a hardback with a great neon green/yellow/blue dust jack. Hardback books are my favorites! I just love how they feel in my hands. I hope to add more Kathy Reichs books to my collection soon, however, until then, Speaking in Bones is definitely the strangest of the three I own.

From My Library: Break No Bones

by Dr Kathy Reichs

This was the second Kathy Reichs / Temperance Brennan book I read. I found my copy at the local library thrift store. I don’t think it is a former library copy, but I’m not sure because there are two date stamps on the inside cover. My volume is a little hardback with the same red dust jacket as is in the picture. The case was fascinating! I hope you are able to find a copy for yourself, because I think you would really enjoy Break No Bones.

From My Library: 206 Bones

by Dr Kathy Reichs

This was the first Kathy Reichs / Temperance Brennan book I ever owned or read. My copy is hardback and large print, but I don’t think it’s an old library copy. I found it at a local Salvation Army thrift store. What a great find! Because of this book, I discovered my love of Reichs’ writing style and bought two more of her books at another thrift store.

Speaking in Bones, by Kathy Reichs

Speaking in Bones is the latest Kathy Reichs novel that I finished. I have to say, what a plot twist at the end! I definitely did not see that coming!


I think I said this in my last post on Break No Bones, but I thoroughly enjoy Dr Reichs’ style of writing. She adds in knowledge from her own experience as a forensic anthropologist, which enriches the storylines of her novels about Dr Temperance Brennan. Forensics takes time and sometimes multiple people; crime isn’t solved in a day. Reichs acknowledges that in her books.

Another thing that I really like about Dr Kathy Reichs’ style is that it feels so real. You could meet any of the characters walking on the street. She lets the forensics take time, true to life, but the storyline never suffers. If Dr Brennan has to wait through the weekend ’til Monday to speak to someone about the case, then she fills her time digging through receipts for her tax preparer or spending time with her mother.

Something else I really like that I think I mentioned with one of the other books was that I felt like I was investigating along with Dr Brennan. I was able to form my own conclusions by the clues in the book. In this one, I guessed that some of the unidentified remains belonged to a different individual than originally implied, and a few pages later, Dr Brennan decided the same thing. Even though there are plot twists, they are clear, and an astute reader can follow the line of reasoning with the characters to reach the same conclusions.

The first chapter of Speaking in Bones is gripping. I was drawn so quickly into the book that I had to read it really fast to solve the mystery. Dr Brennan is approached by a websleuth who plays a recording of a young and desperate girl. The websleuth, “Lucky”, says she returned to a cold crime scene and found a keychain-sized recording device at the base of a tree. “Lucky” believes the recorded voice belongs to remains in the morgue where Dr Brennan works. Remains that have yet to be identified. Although skeptical, Dr Brennan reexamines the remains and requests the local sheriff aid her in investigating the area where the bones had been found.

As the book progresses, Dr Brennan and the local authorities in several different jurisdictions find more bones that are related to the unidentified remains and the recording. They begin to make headway, the cold case is reopened, and witnesses are approached for more questions. However many of the witnesses seem unwilling to speak to authorities again so many years later. All of the witnesses seem to be connected to a local congregation whose pastor has secrets of his own.

Was the church involved in the disappearance of the girl in the recording? Was there a connection between the recording and the bones? When Dr Brennan goes alone to find the answers to these questions, she places herself in danger. And just when she thinks the danger is ended and the case is solved, she faces an enemy unlike any she has faced before.

Then that ending! I definitely did not see that coming!

Other questions plague Dr Brennan during this investigation, but the most important one is should she marry Detective Andrew Ryan? Why is it so hard to give him an answer? Does she love him? What is she afraid of?

One last word. I really like how the title of the book comes from a compliment paid to Dr Brennan by Detective Slidell (who could be very pompous and annoying). “You know, Doc, when speaking in bones, you’re pretty good.”



Here is an anatomical word from Speaking in Bones. Since I wasn’t sure exactly what this was, I looked it up and decided to share.

Zygoma – the bony arch of the cheek formed by connection of the zygomatic and temporal bones

Usage: “I suffered a concussion and a hairline fracture of my right zygoma.”

I’m including a diagram to help with placement. I hope you don’t think it’s too gross. Photo credit


I’m sure I’ve come across this word in other readings or at least once when I was in school, but I could not remember what it meant. I found it while reading Speaking in Bones. I had to look it up.

Antediluvian – of or belonging to the time before the Biblical Flood; ridiculously old-fashioned

Usage: “I still keep hard copy on all my cases. Antediluvian, but there you have it.”


Though the context is not pleasant, this word is a fun word to know and use on occasion. I was reminded of it while reading Speaking in Bones.

Odoriferous – having or giving off a smell, especially an unpleasant or distinctive one

Usage: “I reached up, slid the box free, and carried it to the “stinky room”, a small autopsy suite with special ventilation to accommodate the more odoriferous dead.”


I found this word a few times in Speaking in Bones, and I had to look it up. Though I could guess the meaning by the context, it’s not a word I see often so I wanted to be sure.

Truncating – to shorten the duration or extent of

Usage: “A door opened, releasing the whine of an autopsy saw cutting through bone. Closed abruptly, truncating the sound.”

Today – A New Book and A New Tag

Along with starting another Kathy Reichs book today, I decided to add a new tag to the blog. “New Book” will lead you to the first post I write about each book that I’m reading. My goal is to give you a brief introduction to the book. Then when I finish the book, I’ll write my summary. This tag will give you, my readers, just a quick glimpse at when (and sometimes why) I start a new book as well as the Title and Author so you can look it up too.

So, as I said, I am starting a new Kathy Reichs book, Speaking in Bones. I’m only one chapter in, but it was a chilling introduction. Dr Brennan is listening to what sounds like a kidnapped girl’s thoughts and torments. I wonder if Dr Brennan will be able to find the girl before it’s too late. Well, back to reading!

Break No Bones, by Kathy Reichs

I finished another novel by Kathy Reichs this week called Break No Bones. I am enjoying these books about Dr Temperance Brennan. They offer a glimpse into the work of real forensic anthropologists.

At the end of each book, Dr Reichs offers some insight into the challenges faced by her fictional characters. In 206 Bones, she discussed the importance of ethics in forensic science, especially how important board certification is. In Break No Bones, Dr Reichs gives a glimpse into history, not only her own, but also the history of forensic anthropology as a whole. She also tells her readers about the teams of people needed to solve each crime. In real life, forensics relies on a multiple scientists: Pathologists who work with soft tissue – Anthropologists who work with skeletons – Entomologists who analyze insects – Odontologists who compare teeth and dental records – Molecular Biologists who study DNA – Ballistics Experts who examine bullets and bullet casings.

Not only does solving crime take multiple people, it also takes time. I think that is one of the special areas of experience that Dr Reichs writes into her books. There are times when Dr Brennan has to step away from the bones and wait for results from other specialists. For example, in Break No Bones, there were a few chapters spent waiting for results from the dentist to verify identification and another was spent in the waiting room of a veterinarian.

So what was Break No Bones about besides forensic anthropology and bones?

During a student project dig that she was overseeing, Dr Brennan unearthed human remains that were not centuries old. Those remains would turn out to be the first of several dead bodies that would turn up on the outer shores of Charleston, SC. There seemed to be no connection between the bodies until Dr Brennan looks harder and finds one similarity. Coincidence? Suicide? Murder? Can Dr Brennan and her friend the coroner figure it out?

Then a tempest blows over Dr Brennan’s personal life while she stays in a friend’s beach house in Charleston. This friend had also invited Dr Brennan’s almost ex-husband to stay at the house as well while he was investigating the finances of a local charity. While she knows why they separated, Dr Brennan still feels an attraction toward Pete. However, she is currently in a relationship with Detective Andrew Ryan of Montreal. And Detective Ryan chooses the same week that Pete is at the beach house to pay a surprise visit to Dr Brennan. Though civil, each man verbally jabs at the other, winning reprimands and eye squints from Dr Brennan. (Don’t worry, it’s tasteful and there are no graphic scenes.)

Then tragedy strikes. Is Dr Brennan really in danger? Can she identify the bodies, bring closure to the families, and help law enforcement arrest the right person?

One last word: Dr Reichs is a remarkable storyteller. She brings her plots and plot twists together in a surprising way. She offers just enough information to keep the reader guessing until she is ready to reveal the next clue. I was only a few pages ahead of Dr Brennan’s findings, mostly because of literary devices and dialogue. If I was standing right next to Dr Brennan, we may have discovered the answer at the same time. And I think that’s what I liked about Break No Bones the most.

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