Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Mini Reviews: The Tempe Brennan series by Kathy Reichs

Searching Kathy Reichs on this blog will show two reviews: Devil Bones and Bones to Ashes. I have however read all books in the Tempe Brennan series (except the latest one 206 Bones, which is on my TBR). A complete list (except the latest one) can be seen here. Since I've been reading the series before I began blogging, I think that a couple of Sunday Mini Reviews are in order. I have to admit, though, that I cannot remember the exact plot of each and every book in the series, but I remember if I liked the book or not (mainly because I liked almost all of them).

The first book in the series is Deja Dead. At this point I was a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series, and wasn't really sure that another forensic-examiner-woman-sleuth would be nearly as good. But what a debute! I simply loved it and was chilled to the bone(!), even though I read it while I was living in Cairo and it was hot, hot, hot summertime. I found both plotline and character development to be bulls eye. Here is what says:

Actress Amy Irving's low-key approach fits first novelist Reichs's on-the-edge-of- your-seat thriller  perfectly. Montreal forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is called upon when seemingly old bones are unearthed. She unwittingly stumbles upon a headless?and fresh?corpse. Research into other murders convinces her that a pattern is emerging and perhaps a serial killer is on the loose.

Loving forensics and loving serial killer mysteries, there wasn't anything not to be thrilled about in this first book. If you haven't read it and like a good mystery, then it is highly recommendable.

The followed number 2 which was almost as good as number 1. Number 3 was the one with the bikers, and that didn't really interest me, so wasn't completely taken with that one. Number 4 was about the plane crash and I remember it had a surprising ending. 5 in the series took place in Guatemala and was an okay read, and the next one, 6, I don't remember at all. I had to look it up at Amazon, and by reading their summary, I remember that this was the first one where I was a bit disappointed. Tempe's feistyness began to annoy me. Tempe's lecturing about forensic science (in what I found a patronizing way) also bega to annoy me, and this annoyance has stayed with me during all the remaining books. So reading number 7, I was already a bit annoyed, but remember an okay read. And then comes number 8. One of the most irritating books I've ever read. It came hot on the heels of the whole Da Vinci Code-frenzy, and it was definitely too thick. Its about the bones of Jesus and Tempe working in Israel and such. Boring and unneccessary. To be avoided.

As you can imagine, I wasn't thrilled and I didn't get to a Tempe Brennan book in a long time. But when I did pick up the next one, 9, I was very pleasantly surprised, because it was very good. And for 10 and 11, you can click the links above to see what I thought of them. But since I've purchased number 12, I guess you already have detected that I like them. Really, number 8 is the only one which really stinks. There are a couple I didn't really care for, but not in such a way that I was very disappointed or overly annoyed.

The conclusion is that number 1 was the best! And if you are only going to read one Kathy Reichs novel, then that has got to be the one! But the whole series is recommendable.


Beth F said...

Thanks for this great summary of the series. I've always wanted to read these books, but I keep telling myself I have to finish some of the series I'm currently reading before I start a new one!

I think it's typical that a series will have a dud here and there. After all, I would guess that it's pretty difficult to write 12 or 15 really great novels.

Anyway, I will keep this series on my wish list and get to it one of these days.

Louise said...

I agree, with so many books in a series, a couple of them will be less intersting than others. This is a fine series though and can easily be recommended, even if there are a couple of duds.

Eva said...

Hi! I'm coordinating the cheerleading for the read-a-thon this year. I can't find your e-mail address on your blog, so I'd love it if you sent me an e-mail (astripedarmchairATgmailDOTcom) so I can have it!
Thanks so much for signing up as a cheerleader! We're going to have lots of fun! :)
Co-Host Read-a-Thon Oct. '09

Louise said...

I will, Eva, right after I've finished dinner which, according to my better half is on now :-)

Dar said...

I haven't read any of the books in this series although I'm addicted to the tv show. My mom reads these though and really likes them.

Louise said...

Hey Dar,

The books are nothing like the tv show at all, so you may end up being disappointed. I've read an interview with Kathy Reichs in which she explains that she sees the tv-show as what happened in Tempe's young years, since the book-Tempe is older than the TV-series Tempe if that makes sense :-)

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

These sound good!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I love watching Bones, but never read these because I felt like I'd come into them with too many expectations and wouldn't treat the book fairly. But now I want to try the first one, at least, just to see :)

heidenkind said...

I've seen the TV show, but that's about it. The books sound fun, though!