Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins

Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins.

Borrowed from my local public library.

**** "Enjoyable!"

From the inside cover: "Before the sun set on the last Neanderthal around 25000 years ago, was he living peacefully with his smarter, handsomer cousin Homo sapiens? Or did the two always fight? Anthropologists and Paleolithic archaeologists debated these questions for years. Then a spectacular find at the Rock of Gibraltar left everyone speechless... Buried ceremoniously in a cave, the skeleton of a human woman lies clutching to her breast the skeleton of a part-Neanderthal child. Like much of the world, Professor Oliver finds Gibraltar Woman and Gibraltar Boy fascinating - and jumps at the chance to attend a conference celebrating the anniversary of the discovery. But not everyone's in a festive mood. Death has been stalking the excavation site like an ancient curse, rocking Gibraltar. A woman working on the original dig met her end in a landslide. A famous archaeologist at the conference burns to death in his bed. Despite the certainty of the Royal Gibraltar Police force that the two deaths were accidents, Gideon has his suspicions. As he tries to piece things together, Gideon's in for some nasty surprises. Someone has set his sights on the Skeleton Detective, who's about to fall for a few deadly tricks. After all, unlike Gibraltar Boy, he's only human..."

I picked this up from my local library's "new books" shelf, read the inside cover and thought it sounded like an enjoyable read. And it was. I just didn't realise that it's part of a series, and is actually book 15 in the Gideon Oliver novels. Don't you hate it when that happens?!?

1.Fellowship of Fear -- published 1982, the first Gideon Oliver novel.

2.The Dark Place -- 1983

3.Murder in the Queen's Armes -- 1985

4.Old Bones -- 1987 -- winner of the 1988 Edgar -- a coveted award among mystery writers!

5.Curses! -- 1989

6.Icy Clutches -- 1990

7.Make No Bones -- 1991

8.Dead Men's Hearts -- 1994

9.Twenty Blue Devils -- 1997

10.Skeleton Dance -- 2000

11.Good Blood -- 2004

12.Where There's A Will -- 2005

13.Unnatural Selection -- 2006
14. Little Tiny Teeth
15. Uneasy Relations --2008
Anyway, it turns out that it doesn't matter at all if you've read any or all of the previous books in the series. The hero, Gideon Oliver, is a professor of physical anthropology; an expert on bones. He travels to Gibraltar to attend celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the discovery of "The First Family", Gibraltar Woman and Gibraltar Boy. Although he did not work on the dig, he did examine the bones that were unearthed, and is scheduled to give a public lecture as part of the proceedings. He's travelling with his wife Julie, and they are anticipating a relaxing and stimulating time, catching up with old friends and visiting Gibraltar for the first time. Alas, relaxing it is not to be...
In true cozy mystery style, Gideon's amateur detective skills are put to the test as he assists his friend, police detective inspector Fausto Sotomayor, piece together the evidence and solve the baffling murders. Which one of the small group of experts is trying to off the others? What secret are they trying to hide?
I found Uneasy Relations thoroughly enjoyable! I love science, and learning a bit about foresic anthropology along the way was a definite plus for me.
Highly recommended.


Ladytink_534 said...

It sounds interesting. I really love the cover.

Aaron said...

Hello, Fiona,

Just came across this and wanted to say I'm glad you liked the book...and to thank you for such a nice write-up.

Hope you enjoy the rest of them too.

Aaron Elkins

P.S.--Ladytink...the book is even better than the cover! (A completely objective opinion, of course.)