Books by Aaron Elkins

Aaron Elkins, in the time-honored fashion of writers, pursued careers ranging from boxer to anthropology professor before settling on that of full-time author. He has delighted millions of readers with his captivating Gideon Oliver mysteries, which have b


A LONG TIME COMING by Aaron Elkins
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"Great Milanese backgrounds, literate dialogue among characters whose appearances are described to the last jot and tittle, pleasingly shifting alliances, and an epilogue that seems to go on forever."
The latest stand-alone—or is it a series kickoff?—from the chronicler of forensic archaeologist Gideon Oliver (Switcheroo, 2016, etc.) presents an art curator whose business trip to Milan is complicated by the momentous favor he agrees to do for an old friend. Read full book review >
DYING ON THE VINE by Aaron Elkins
Released: Dec. 4, 2012

"A lot less tension for all hands than the unusually suspenseful The Worst Thing (2011). It's nice to see Gideon back in southern climes enjoying the good life, even if he's never cared for osso buco."
Yet another lecture/vacation junket, this time in Tuscany's wine region, turns into a murder investigation for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his unexpectedly helpful wife, Julie. Read full book review >
THE WORST THING by Aaron Elkins
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 2011

"A well-calculated change of pace for normally laid-back Elkins, with mounting thrills, a heavy emphasis on self-therapy and a nice surprise at the end."
The creator of forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver (Skull Duggery, 2009, etc.) plunges the egghead designer of a hostage-negotiation protocol into a harrowing abduction in far-off Iceland. Read full book review >
SKULL DUGGERY by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"Gideon's finest case in years proves that 'Professor Oliver finds happiness in baffling the mind of the simple hardworking policeman'—and everyone else."
Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver travels to Mexico in the latest from Elkins (Uneasy Relations, 2008, etc.). Read full book review >
UNEASY RELATIONS by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 2008

A trip to Gibraltar brings Dr. Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective (Little Tiny Teeth, 2007, etc.), up against old bones and new. Read full book review >
LITTLE TINY TEETH by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 5, 2007

"More dank travelogue than mystery, though Gideon manages a nice display of erudite deduction toward the end."
Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver steams down the Amazon and into intrigue, violence and unbearable humidity. Read full book review >
UNNATURAL SELECTION by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 6, 2006

"Though the Skeleton Detective seems more interested in the quick than the dead, the neat mystery is spiced by a great scene of Gideon excusing himself from an autopsy because he can't deal with soft tissue."
While his park-ranger wife Julie is wined and dined at a consortium on England's Isles of Scilly, forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver (Where There's a Will, 2005, etc.) plans to tag along out of the limelight. As if. Read full book review >
WHERE THERE’S A WILL by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 5, 2005

"Gideon is too content with the sun to spend much time with the suspects, and the plot is a little too determined to prove wrong absolutely everything you assume about Magnus's disappearance. But it all adds up to a diverting, mildly mystifying vacation."
Some ten-year-old remains turn forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver's Hawaiian trip into a busman's holiday. Read full book review >
WHERE HAVE ALL THE BIRDIES GONE? by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Lee's fourth (after Nasty Breaks, 1997, etc.) is plotted by the numbers. Duffers everywhere, though, will respond to her case of nerves when she tees off, her play in her first major event and her impossible shot on the eighteenth hole."
It's true: No caddie would miss a pro golfer's tee time unless he was dead. Read full book review >
GOOD BLOOD by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 3, 2004

"The prologue, alas, tells all. But stick around for those Italian dinners, which are superb."
A bambino bamboozle leads to kidnapping, murder, and a serious reassessment of an old family fortune. Read full book review >
TURNCOAT by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2002

"Likable and satisfying."
A mostly engaging thriller in which the sins of WWII ensnare a Brooklyn couple. Read full book review >
SKELETON DANCE by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 2000

"Gideon remains likable, but the pace is as slow as skeletons dancing a minuet."
It was supposed to be a leisurely, laid-back holiday for Gideon Oliver, professor and anthropologist (Dead Men's Hearts, 1994, etc.), and his wife, Julie: a bit of touring in England and France, combined with a little lowkey research for Bones to Pick, Gideon's book on the history of hoaxing. Read full book review >
LOOT by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Elkins (Twenty Blue Devils, 1996, etc.) produces canny answers to all these questions in this entertaining return to one of art history's darkest chapters."
Fifty years after the Lost Truck fabled among art connoisseurs disappeared amid the detritus of the Third Reich, along with some 106 Old Masters, one of the precious paintings—Vel†zquez's Count of Torrijos—has surfaced in a Boston pawnshop, as local expert Ben Revere satisfies himself on a hurried trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. Read full book review >
NASTY BREAKS by Charlotte Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 20, 1997

"Add two strokes to your score, though, if you can't spot the murderer before the ninth green."
Twenty-five years ago, salvage divers Stuart Chappell and Benny Trotter, desperate to escape the stormy seas off Block Island, abandoned their partner Andy Gottlieb as he searched for the treasures aboard the long-sunken Good Hope. Read full book review >
TWENTY BLUE DEVILS by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"Maybe this tale, which beautifully balances tangy Tahitian backgrounds with a deft and brainy whodunit, will be the wake-up call. (Mystery Guild featured alternate)"
There must be trouble brewing at Nick Druett's Paradise Coffee Plantation. Read full book review >
ROTTEN LIES by Charlotte Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 10, 1995

"Golfers will be enthralled."
The second in a series featuring Oregon's blossoming golf pro Lee Ofsted (A Wicked Slice, 1989) and her California-based policeman lover Graham Sheldon. Read full book review >
DEAD MEN'S HEARTS by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 1994

"A tedious, confusing puzzle takes second place to the author's wryly literate style, which captures the color, danger, and ancient glories of the Egyptian scene."
Elkins (Old Scores, 1993, etc.) sends Gideon Oliver— professor, anthropologist, and sleuth—to Egypt with wife Julie, where he will narrate a TV documentary for the Horizon Foundation about its work at Horizon House in Luxor and other sites in Egypt. Read full book review >
OLD SCORES by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 4, 1993

"An unpretentious, conversational style, convincing plot, laid- back hero, easy-to-take art-history, and a loving evocation of Paris—in a fresh, funny, thoroughly entertaining story."
A perceptive look at the world of museums, dealers, and collectors through the somewhat innocent eyes of Chris Norgren, curator of Renaissance art at the Seattle Art Museum (A Glancing Light, 1991, etc.). Read full book review >
MAKE NO BONES by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Fans may be just a tad disappointed—for others, an unrewarding slog."
Oregon's anthropologist-sleuth Gideon Oliver (A Glancing Light, p. 566, etc.) and his park-ranger wife Julie are attending a conference of anthropologists at Whitebark Lodge, where ten years before Professor Albert Evan Jasper, undisputed top dog in the field, died in a fiery bus crash, at the end of another conference and amid rather mysterious circumstances. Read full book review >
A GLANCING LIGHT by Aaron Elkins
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 1991

"Elkins at his best."
Another adventure for curator Chris Norgren, specialist in Renaissance and Baroque at the Seattle Arts Museum (Deceptive Clarity, 1987). Read full book review >
CURSES! by Aaron Elkins
Released: March 15, 1989

Gideon Oliver, professor of anthropology and specialist in the study of skeletons (The Dark Place, etc.), is asked by old friend and mentor Dr. Abe Goldstein to return to a reactivated dig at Tlaloc in the Yucatan. Read full book review >