The dead man is the manager of Tahiti's Paradise Coffee plantation, producer of the most expensive coffee bean in the world - the winey, luscious Blue Devil. His fall from a cliff is the latest accident in a string of mishaps, and although nothing tangible points to foul play, FBI agent John Lau has his suspicions. What he needs is evidence - and the best forensic expert in the business, his friend anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective. Gideon likes his java strong and his bones ancient, dry, and dusty. But the body he must examine had lain in the tropical sun for a week before it was found, and then buried native-style, without a casket. If this case is not exactly Gideon's cup of...well, tea, it is not the state of the remains that bothers him. It's the real human ugliness he suspects he'll soon unearth. To make matters worse, Gideon finds trouble in paradise: a most unwelcoming local police commandant, a strange reluctance by the Blue Devil owners to uncover any wrong-doing, and the lack of an exhumation order. Sneaking into a graveyard with a shovel and flashlight isn't his idea of a professional analysis. And what he finds six feet under will prove the ultimate test of his skills: a subtle clue that points to foul play, and bones so puzzling that they have Gideon stumped...for a while. Now Gideon must cut to the heart of a crime to find the motive that may have percolated through a family for decades - and brewed a taste for murder.
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Brew up a pot of your favorite gourmet java and enjoy the latest adventure of forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, who this time around exercises his wits on a coffee plantation in Tahiti. Aaron Elkins has a sharp, cool eye for detail; his descriptions of a flawed tropical paradise going through some serious business changes ring true. And the family that runs the coffee plantation has enough diversity to keep everyone guessing about the death of one of its members until the last drop. To bone up on Gideon Oliver in paperback, try: The Dark Place, Dead Men's Hearts, Fellowship of Fear, Icy Clutches, Make No Bones, Murder in the Queen's Armes, and Old Bones.About the Author:
Aaron Elkins is a former anthropologist and professor who has been writing mysteries and thrillers since 1982. His major continuing series features forensic anthropologist-detective Gideon Oliver, “the Skeleton Detective.” There are fifteen published titles to date in the series. The Gideon Oliver books have been (roughly) translated into a major ABC-TV series and have been selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Literary Guild, and the Readers Digest Condensed Mystery Series. His work has been published in a dozen languages.
Mr. Elkins won the 1988 Edgar Award for best mystery of the year for Old Bones, the fourth book in the Gideon Oliver Series. He and his cowriter and wife, Charlotte, also won an Agatha Award, and he has also won a Nero Wolfe Award. Mr. Elkins lives on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with Charlotte.
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