Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spotlight Series: Temperance Brennan

Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel, brought her fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. In 2007 Break No Bones was short- listed for the Ellis Award for Best Novel. Kathy Reichs is the inspiration for the television drama Bones.

I honestly can't remember whether I watched the TV show Bones or read my first Temperance Brennan novel first. The books and the show are so vastly different that it's very easy to enjoy both without becoming confused. The Temperance Brennan series was the first forensic mysteries I read and caused me to immediately fall in love the with genre. Tempe is strong and intelligent with a realistic moral code. She cares deeply for her family and friends and takes her job very seriously. Romantic elements do show up occasionally, but Tempe never lets it interfere with her work.

Important Characters to Know
Temperance Brennan - Tempe is a recovering alcoholic and forensic anthropologist splitting her time working with the police in North Carolina and Quebec. She also occasionally teaches at the University of North Carolina.

Andrew Ryan - A Quebec detective Tempe often works with. They have an on-again-off-again romantic relationship.

Luc Claudel - Another Quebec detective Tempe works with. They don't especially like each other, but have a grudging respect for one another.

Pierre LaManche - Tempe's boss in Quebec.

Temperance Brennan
(in reading order, links lead to my reviews)
  1. Déjà Dead
  2. Death du Jour
  3. Deadly Decisions
  4. Fatal Voyage
  5. Grave Secrets
  6. Bare Bones
  7. Monday Mourning
  8. Cross Bones
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones
  12. 206 Bones
  13. Spider Bones
If you like the Temperance Brennan series, you should try:
The Grant County series by Karin Slaughter
The Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell
The Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen
The Alexandra Cooper series by Linda Fairstein
The Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver


  1. One of my favorite authors! I've read all her books except her latest and watch Bones religiously. I do like the book Tempe and I'm not so hot with the tv character and I dooo looovee Booth! LOL Great post!
    Natalie :0)

  2. Ooo, this is one of my favorite series. I just picked up 206 Bones! The tv show is pretty awesome too. :-)

  3. I love these books-A LOT! Maybe it's having Quebequois roots myself! I think I may have one correction though-Andrew Ryan works for the provincial police in Quebec. He has visited Tempe in North Carolina, but he lives in Quebec. I also love all of the other series you mentioned, and would only add the Peter and Rina Decker series from Faye Kellerman. It's not so much forensic, but Rina is an unusual, strong female character.

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, I haven't heard of this series before but I'll make sure to pick up a few books.


  5. @Natalie W - I'm 2 books behind I think. And somehow I missed the very first book in this series. I love Booth too! And I'm completely with you about Tempe on TV. She's so different, and definitely not as likable as Tempe in the books.

    @(Bookish)InABox - I love them both in such different ways.

    @Heather - You are completely right. I last read this series a few months ago and was going of what I remembered. I'll be sure to change it.

    @Man of la Books - They are great for mystery fans, especially those who like forensic mysteries!

  6. I read Deja Dead and I thought it was truly one of the best books I have ever read. Not just for the story, but for the beautiful writing and the stupendous characters. It was masterful. I really need to read some of her other books.

  7. @Midnyte Reader - They're all very good. I really enjoy the way Reichs doesn't exactly dumb down the science, but rather explains it in an easily understandable way. Many of the concepts and techniques talked about in the books would be a complete mystery for me if she kept it on a purely scientific level.