Book Notification

Gideon Oliver Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Gideon Oliver Books

Fellowship of Fear (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Place (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Queen's Armes (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Old Bones (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Curses! (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Icy Clutches (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Make No Bones (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Men's Hearts (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Twenty Blue Devils (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skeleton Dance (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Blood (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where There's a Will (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unnatural Selection (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little Tiny Teeth (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uneasy Relations (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skull Duggery (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dying on the Vine (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Switcheroo (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

If you love mysteries where someone has to find out what went wrong with his head instead of his fists, then you would love the series on Gideon Oliver. Written by Aaron Elkins, a remarkably intelligent and talented individual, the series is about the skeleton Detective. It is more of Magician and Sherlock Holmes series making it fascinating and charming. Gideon Oliver makes use of his knowledge in past cultures to solve different crimes within the Western Hemisphere. He bears the title Skeleton detective since he pulls off amazing facts with skeletons.

Gideon Oliver is an anthropology professor at the Columbia University. Having taught in different countries such as Spain, Holland, Sicily and Germany, he was offered a teaching job in the US military and gladly accepts it. He has stimulating courses to teach, a decent salary with all expenses paid and several interesting European travels. The story takes on an interesting turn during his first night, he is forced to run from two men dressed in black. These men take on his room in Heidelberg hotel, with a clear intention to have him killed. This comes with crucial details that the recruiting agency forgot to mention; the previous holders of the position had both been ended with mysterious deaths. From then on, everything is a downhill as Gideon finds himself a target in a game where no one is ready to give him the playing rules.

Throughout different novels in the series, Gideon has to make full use of is intellect and his remarkable forensic skills. He will need them for he plays with fairly high stakes in the Western Hemisphere. In the TV series, he gets the support from his adult daughter Zina who adds a great deal of enthusiasm throughout the whole series.

Early books in the series

Old Bones (1987)

Old bones is a 1988 Edgar Award winner for the Best Mystery Novel. It was also nominated as a 1988 Anthony award within the same category. The book is the fourth novel in series that features Gideon Oliver as the central character. It debuts with a striking thunder that results in an accident. It is the followed with a bizarre discovery of an ancient human skeleton enfolded in butcher paper, below an old stone flooring. Gideon Oliver, a skeleton detective is given the mandate to examine this.

Oliver demonstrates his expertise, he shows why he bears the title why he is title Skeleton Detective. He provides to police officers with details that could close the case. The remains are that of an officer perceived to have been murdered during the Nazi occupation period. Gideon highly doubts this, one of the current du Rochers dies. This time is through cyanide poisoning, his doubts solidify with more certainty. Someone wants to have the old secrets remain buried, even if it is by eradicating the meddlesome American to let it buried.

The Old Bones novel is simply the most entertaining novel you will ever read. It is a rarity of the 90s. It offers an interesting read that will keep you glued to its last page. It is categorized as a mystery and offers an enjoyable read, it can be completed few days of moderate reading. Even though the mystery within this book is not complicated, nor are there shocking solutions, many elements of the story will help you appreciate the book. The characters are well-done and well-written, this setting too adds a great excitement.

Make No Bones (1991)

Make No Bones is a 1991 Agatha award for the best Mystery Novel. The novel is the seventh book series that features Gideon Oliver as the central character. The novel begins with Albert Evan Jasper’s wishes being fulfilled, after his demise in a fiery car crash he has his bone remains installed in an Oregon museum. When the bones disappear, everyone agrees that it is fitting for forensic scientists deal with this issue. Just like the fellow attendees, Gideon Oliver is also surprised. Who could have possibly stolen something like that? The WAFA attendees are the only suspects, while everyone has had an opportunity to steal, no one has a motive. Soon enough, the discovery of another body in a nearby shallow grave brings in a deeper mystery. All hell breaks loose when one of the current attendees is found dead in his cabin. Gideon Oliver is then faced with a difficult challenge of his career, unmasking a dangerous and brilliant killers that knows every bit about forensic science just like him.

The story has a good element of Elkins books, another great lesson when dealing with forensic anthropology. Oliver’s wife takes an active role in this novel. Although the proposed motive for the killing is somewhat unconvincing, Julie’s role in the novel makes it worthwhile. For most of the time, the novel is funny and its spots is quite morbid.

The Gideon Oliver Television series

The Gideon Oliver series was made a television series that ran on the ABS television network. It was run from February 1989 to May 1989 as a rotation in the ABC Mystery Movie. It was run along with other series on the same genre. Only five episodes of the series were aired.

If you want a series where you would return to it over and over again, then you should consider reading this series. It will be the best mysteries you will come across, reminding you of the good aspects of Sherlock Holmes stories. The novels are old standbys that take you to a world of intellectual relaxation and stimulation. The forensic science information and the anthropological comments are correct and well thought. Even after explaining how everything is done, it still seems quite amazing.

Elkin’s writing offers a great deal of charm, the writing is very fluid and descriptive. The whole series has a simple writing without the rills of writers that would want to show how beautifully they can write. There are many layers to the whole mystery, and together they always come out very nicely. The series is recommended to fans of mystery series, it is well written and attention holding.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Gideon Oliver

One Response to “Gideon Oliver”

  1. Robert Weed: 7 years ago

    I’ve read these books, many of them more than once. I really enjoy them. Never heard of an adult daughter or anyone named Zina in these books.


Leave a Reply