BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs

I’m a huge fan of the show “Bones.”  Even so, it took me forever to realize the small print saying “Based on the novels by Kathy Reichs” in the opening credits.

I’ll admit it – I was too distracted by the theme song.  My ears perk up whenever I hear it while channel surfing.

So, when I noticed the line in the past year or so, I wanted to read the books.

This isn’t technically the first book in the series.  Reichs released The Bone Collection in 2016, while her first book, Deja Dead, came out in 1997.  I’ll be reading Deja Dead eventually; it’s already on my bookshelf!

However, Reichs touted The Bone Collection’s 4 novellas as “A collection of pulse-pounding tales featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan – including the untold story of her first case!”  So, I figured I should read this book first.


Spoiler Level – Skim (I won’t give away any of the details about the “cases,” but there may be details floating about in the review)


I wanted to like this book.  I really did.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many beloved books turned shows/movies/other media formats (or vice-versa), it just didn’t live up to expectations. 

I’m not saying it was bad – it wasn’t.  The novellas were reasonable lengths, & I was interested in the “who done it” of the murder cases they contained.  Finding out how Reichs envisioned Temperance starting to work with law enforcement was also interesting.

It’s just that the main character – Temperance Brennan, aka “Bones” – wasn’t the same.  She was more of a realistic character in the novellas, whereas she was more of an automaton personified on the TV show.

I love the character on the show.  She’s out of touch with popular culture, she doesn’t understand social interaction, & she’s very literal.  In the novellas, Temperance is a real person. 

In fact, Temperance Brennan in the novellas seems to have a lot in common with Reichs.  Reichs gives short explanations at the end of each novella, explaining where she got the inspiration.  She often mentions her daughter – & she describes Brennan as having a daughter – & discusses her travels. 

It does sound like Reichs lived a very interesting life.  But Brennan sounds more like a – very smart – albeit regular human being.  It’s much more engaging when she’s a hyper rational, semi-antisocial genius.


Final Score:

2.5 out of 5 stars!  It was OK.  I like the sort of “meta” sense I got from the fact that Temperance Brennan writes about a forensic anthropologist who works with law enforcement, whom she named “Kathy Reichs,” while Kathy Reichs is writing about Temperance Brennan.

I also liked the inspiration explanations after each novella.  Reichs also explains her research process.  Her scientific nature comes across.

I’m still planning to check out Deja Dead & see how her early work comes across.

2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs”

  1. Someone told me about the books when Bones first came out, and I got super excited because I love Tess Gerritsen’s novels but didn’t like the show Rizzoli & Isles (nothing like the books), but I remember not being able to get into any of Kathy Reichs’ books. I’m interested in seeing your opinions on them – maybe they’ll influence me to read them, I have plenty of them! (At the school fair, every year, I’d buy a bunch of second hand books because a) I love books, so why the fuck not and b) all the proceeds go to renovating libraries and stuff like that, so to me, I get to support the community and get a bunch of books I want – you can get a whole bag for $5.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I’ll let you know what I think! It’s harder for people to get me to stop sharing my opinions than it is to get me to share them! 😂

      So far, I wasn’t impressed for sure. I’m hoping that the first book will be decent.

      Liked by 1 person

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