Why do I continue reading Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan novels?
Because I enjoy them, of course!
They hold my attention; I like the geeky details of the forensics; and I’m always interested in the character development through the series. Cold Cold Bones is #21, and the series shows no sign of ending soon. I reviewed a previous book a couple of years ago.
I only wish that Brennan would stop showing symptoms of being TSTL. Someone with her intelligence and experience shouldn’t be getting into obviously dangerous situations so often!
You can successfully read this novel without reading the previous 20, although of course you’ll miss the character development.
One general point—more general than anything about Reichs and her series: I’m always suspicious when a reviewer says that they figured out whodunit early in reading a novel. My hypothesis is that most of the time the reader thinks that the perp might be A, or possibly B, or maybe even C…and then, at the end of the story, when it turns out to be B, the reader says “I knew it all the time!” Self-deception is an all-too-easy trap to fall into. So here’s what I recommend: write yourself a dated note or an email as soon as you think you know, and then see whether you were right. Keeping it in your head isn’t sufficient. Usually I don’t really figure out whodunit, but in this case I did, about halfway through, and I wrote myself a dated note so I wouldn’t inadvertently lie to myself. I followed the dictum that Dennis Lehane told us in a talk I attended: ask yourself “Why is this character in this scene?”; if there is no good answer, it’s probably the perp. YMMV.