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by author "Aaron Elkins" in All Categories
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The Dark Place
Gideon Oliver Mysteries Series, Book 2
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
Deep in the primeval rainforest of Washington state's Olympic Peninsula, the skeletal remains of a murdered man are discovered. And a strange, unsettling tale begins to unfold, for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver determines that the murder weapon was a primitive bone spear of a type not seen for the last 10,000 years. And whoever - or whatever - hurled it did so with seemingly superhuman force. Bigfoot "sightings" immediately crop up, but Gideon is not buying them.
Anthropology Professor Gideon Oliver would prefer to keep his mind on his beautiful new bride, Julie, during their English honeymoon, but one intrusive question will not stop nagging at him: Who would want to steal a 30,000-year-old parieto-occipital calvarial fragment? Yet someone has lifted this chunk of prehistoric human skull from a musty museum in Dorchester. Then, 30 miles away, an archaeology student is murdered, increasing tension and suspicion at a dig that had already seethed with suspicion, rivalry, and mistrust.
"With the roar of thunder and the speed of a galloping horse comes the tide to Mont St. Michel", goes the old nursery song. So when the aged patriarch of the du Rocher family falls victim to the perilous tide, even the old man's family accepts the verdict of accidental drowning. But too quickly, this "accident" is followed by a bizarre discovery in the ancient du Rocher chateau: a human skeleton, wrapped in butcher paper, beneath the old stone flooring. Professor Gideon Oliver, lecturing on forensic anthropology at nearby St. Malo, is asked to examine the bones.
Buried ceremoniously, high in a cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, lies the skeleton of a human woman, clutching the skeleton of a part-human, part-Neanderthal child. Fascinated, Professor Oliver jumps at the chance to visit the site. But two deaths, possibly murders, have rocked Gibraltar. As Oliver tries to piece things together, he's about to fall for some deadly tricks. After all, unlike the Gibraltar Boy, he's only human.
When anthropology professor Gideon Oliver is offered a teaching fellowship at US military bases in Germany, Sicily, Spain, and Holland, he wastes no time accepting. On his first night, he is forced to fend off two desperate, black-clad men who have invaded his Heidelberg hotel room with intent to kill. And then there are a few trivial details that the recruiting agency forgot to mention - such as the fact that the two previous holders of the fellowship both met with mysterious ends.
Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac is known for three things: pâte de fois gras, truffles, and prehistoric remains. The little village, in fact, is the headquarters of the prestigious Institute de Prehistoire, which studies the abundant local fossils. But when a pet dog emerges from a nearby cave carrying parts of a human skeleton - by no means a fossilized one - Chief Inspector Lucien Anatole Joly puts in a call to his old friend, Gideon Oliver, the famed “Skeleton Detective.”
From the outside, Alix London appears to have it all. Unfortunately for Alix, what you see isn’t exactly what you get. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, Alix and her world were left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Then she meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with deep pockets and a handle on a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris needs the painting authenticated....
The second Alix London Mystery finds the art restorer in a world brimming with idle luxury, spectacular locations, and deadly intrigue. Surrounded by art and wealth and the sun-drenched Greek isles, she's aboard a sumptuous mega-yacht with no responsibilities save the occasional lecture to the guests of her temporary employer, Panos Papadakis, one of the world's richest men. But there's a catch: Papadakis has long been suspected of being at the center of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and Alix is actually there as an undercover operative of FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth, a member of the Bureau's Art Crime Team.
Mayan ruins in the Yucatán...a secret room in a tomb...age-old skeletons. To anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the renowned Skeleton Detective, the invitation to join the archaeological excavation of Tlaloc promises two months of paradise on Earth. That is, until an ancient series of Mayan curses against desecrators of the site is unearthed.
Art curator Val Caruso is not a happy camper. His promotion has just been nixed, his divorce has become final, and he’s dug himself into a nice little rut for his fortieth birthday. The uplift? A trip to Milan to help Holocaust survivor Sol Bezzecca recover a pair of cherished sketches by Renoir. They’d once been given to Sol’s family by the artist, looted by the Italian Fascist militia, and now after decades in hiding have turned up for auction. It’s Val’s job to get them back. Unfortunately, his Italian adventure takes a dangerous turn when he becomes trapped in an intricate web.
Alix London, the art restorer and FBI consultant renowned as the Art Whisperer, can spot a counterfeit masterpiece before the paint even dries. What she can't see is why an elite European art dealer would offer her big money for a little mirror that's no more than a homemade gift from her beloved uncle Tiny. Not that Alix would part with it at any price. But when the mirror is abruptly stolen from her home, she realizes that someone sees more in the looking glass than mere sentimental value.
When art conservator Alix London spots a forgery, she knows trouble will follow. So she’s understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur’s eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at Palm Springs’s Brethwaite Museum - her current employer. Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite’s despicable senior curator, obsessed with the "maximization of monetized eyeballs," angrily refuses to decommission the celebrated Pollock piece.
Alix London hat eine glänzende Karriere als Kunstberaterin vor sich, eine schicke Wohnung im besten Viertel von Seattle und eine tolle Figur. Ihr haftet eine Aura von Elite-Uni und altem Geldadel an. Sie hat einfach alles, was man sich wünschen könnte. Oder trügt der Schein? Außer Alix weiß niemand, dass ihr Image nur ein sorgsam aufgebautes Trugbild ist, das die peinliche Wahrheit verschleiern soll.
Malice Domestic 1: An Anthology of Original Mystery Stories (Unabridged)
Elizabeth Peters - editor, Charlotte MacLeod, Barbara Paul, and others
Mary Catlett, Richard Gilliland, Jill Larson, and others
Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
Malice Domestic distinguishes the personal and private aspects of crime from the public and impersonal. Our murderers don't kill for the fun of it (serial killers) or for a misguided ideal (assassins and terrorists) or for pay (hired hit men). They only do in people they know and love (or hate).
When Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, are in Tuscany visiting the Cubbiddu family, the renowned Skeleton Detective is asked to reexamine the remains of a mysterious family tragedy. Pietro Cubbiddu, former patriarch of the Villa Antica wine empire, is thought to have killed his wife and then himself in the remote mountains of the Apennines. It does not take long for Gideon to deduce that, whatever happened, a murder-suicide it was not. Soon Gideon finds himself in a morass of family antipathies, conflicts, and mistrust, to say nothing of the local authority's resentment.
Gideon is happy to be in Mexico with his wife - until he's asked to examine the mummified corpse of a drifter thought to be shot to death. Gideon's findings reveal that the cause of death is far more bizarre. Then he's asked to examine the skeleton of a murder victim found a year earlier - only to discover another coroner error.
An ancient skeleton tossed in a garbage dump is the first conundrum to rattle Gideon Oliver when he arrives in Egypt. There to appear in a documentary film, he expects an undemanding week of movie star treatment and a luxurious cruise up the Nile with his wife, Julie. But then Gideon discovers a tantalizing secret in the discarded bones - and violence claims a famous Egyptologist's life. Plying his calipers as the world's foremost forensic anthropologist, Gideon's investigation of the goings-on leads him through the back alleys and bazaars of Cairo.
There is not much left of the irascible Albert Evan Jasper, "dean of American forensic anthropologists," after his demise in a fiery car crash. But in accord with his wishes, his remains are installed in an Oregon museum to create a fascinating if macabre exhibit. All agree that it is a fitting end for a great forensic scientist - until what is left of him disappears in the midst of the biannual meeting of the august WAFA - the Western Association of Forensic Anthropologists - in nearby Bend, Oregon. Like his fellow attendees, Gideon Oliver - the Skeleton Detective - is baffled.
Gideon Oliver expects to be amicably bored when he takes on the role of "accompanying spouse" at a lodge in the magnificent wild country of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where his forest ranger wife, Julie, is attending a conference. But it turns out to be exactly his cup of tea. There is another group at the lodge: six scientists on a memorial journey to the site of a 30-year-old glacial avalanche that killed three of their colleagues. Their leader is TV's most popular science personality, the unctuous M. Audley Tremaine - the sole survivor of the fatal avalanche. But he does not survive long.