Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass
Body Farm, Book 1
Finished: July 21, 2008
First Published: 2006
Genre: forensic mystery
Reason for Reading: Medical Mystery Challenge.
I picked up the hunting knife with my left hand and tested its heft, then shifted it to my right hand to compare.
Comments: Dr. Bill Brockton, anthropologist, is called in to a case in a backwoods town of Tennessee where a woman's body has been found, wonderfully preserved, in a cave. What Bill doesn't realize is that he is getting himself into a heap of trouble involving a long standing feud between two families, a corrupt sheriff's department, Big Jim (a backwoods gangster), and someone who doesn't want him poking his nose into any of this. Along with his policeman friend, Art, these two middle aged men walk write into the middle of a very dangerous and sorrowful tale.
Dr. Bill and his buddy, Art, are about two of the best detectives I've met in my long list of mystery reading. Bill is the main character, while Art comes along for the ride here and there. They have an equal relationship with neither one being the boss as in classic pairings of men detectives (Holmes/Watson etc.). These two guys have a running commentary whenever they are together that is so funny. They love puns and telling jokes and are very Southern. In fact, the book itself was as Southern as it gets and I just loved the uniqueness of a mystery taking place in this setting.
The mystery was well-written, and while I had my ideas early on the author(s) twisted things up whenever I thought I'd got the case solved. The forensics were fabulous, enough detail without getting boring for the layman and just a bit gruesome to keep it fun but certainly nowhere near as gory as other authors I'm used to reading. I think I enjoyed this book so much just because it was so much fun. The characters, the setting and the ride all perfectly meshed into one very fun and satisfying mystery. I will definitely read the next two books and be keeping up with this series.