Friday, August 28, 2009

Guest Blog - Kathy Reichs

This spring I read a Kathy Reichs’ procedural mystery for the first time. I enjoyed reading it and have read several since then. Reading her mysteries also led to me watching the Bones television series.

The first difference that you notice between the books and the series is that in Bones, Tempe Brennan is not a woman in her forties with a daughter in college and an ex-husband. There are lots of other differences. In fact the series is almost unrecognizable. Kathy Reichs says of the series that she thinks of it as Tempe when she was young. It is entertaining but don’t base your ideas about the novels upon the series.

Just a few weeks ago at the local library, I picked up Deja Dead, Reichs first novel. I was delighted that I was acquainted with most of the characters and enjoyed reading her award winning first mystery. When I began reading Death du Jour though, I ran into a personal stumbling block. When it was discovered that the twin babies’ hearts had been cut out of their chests, I reevaluated whether I wanted to keep on reading the book. In Reichs' novels there are often grotesque and unlikely reasons for the deaths of several people. In one book the reason for the killings turns out to be a rite involving cannibalism. Part of the way into Death du Jour, I thought, “if this is going to be a book about Satan worship, I don’t think I am going to read it.” Does the fact that I put the book aside tell you anything?

I haven’t given up on Reichs but I am going to approach her with caution. I feel that there are too many books and television programs that are looking for something new and unusual and reach for something shocking instead. I am quite happy with an average old mystery where the person who dies is the rich old uncle or the innocent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and saw something that condemned her to death.

In the meantime, although Bones is not a lot like the novels, I am still enjoying viewing the reruns.

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