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Little Tiny Teeth (The Gideon Oliver Mysteries Book 14) Kindle Edition

25 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Forensics anthropologist Gideon Oliver's compelling 14th adventure (after 2006's Unnatural Selection) involves a hot, humid and decidedly deadly expedition up the Amazon River with his friends Phil Boyajian, who heads a budget travel agency, and FBI agent John Lau. While Phil rates the boat's amenities, Gideon and John marvel at the natural wonders. But before long, they pick up on tension among the other passengers, who include world-famous ethnobotanist Arden Scofield and two of his colleagues—a ghostwriter and a bug researcher—plus a mysterious guide known only as Cisco. As the travelers go deep into the jungle, fearful of the rarely seen Chayacuro headhunters, Gideon and his pals find themselves in the middle of a decades-old blood feud, along with drug smuggling, greed and murder. Edgar-winner Elkins delivers fascinating descriptions of the Amazon and a satisfying denouement, courtesy of Gideon's characteristically astute analysis of human remains. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Elkins, who has won the Edgar Award for his Gideon Oliver series, trots out forensic anthropology professor Oliver for another adventure, this time along the Amazon River. Elkins totally avoids the sin of sloth represented by some mystery writers who habitually underresearch their topics. Elkins always presents a rich buffet of fascinating scientific facts, and this time his table overflows with information about the Amazon's wildlife and, even more intriguingly, its plant life, long used by natives as medicine and now studied by medical ethnobotanists. Elkins, generous with background, is a bit too generous with setup: by the time Professor Oliver and the research botanists actually get to the Amazon, readers may be tired of the overly long, and-then-there-were-none-style introductions to each character. Once underway on the Amazon, however, things quickly pick up, as a shrunken head, carried by a spear, lands on deck, and Oliver's detective skills are called into play when one of the botanists is murdered. Learned and entertaining. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 625 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Publication Date: June 5, 2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000U20V9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,545 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm a former anthropologist who has been writing mysteries and thrillers since 1982, having won an Edgar for Old Bones, as well as a subsequent Agatha (with my wife Charlotte), and a Nero Wolfe Award. My major continuing series features forensic anthropologist-detective Gideon Oliver, "the Skeleton Detective."

Lately, I've seen myself referred to as "the father of the modern forensic mystery," and, by gosh, I think I am! Before "Fellowship of Fear," the first Gideon Oliver, published in 1982, you'd have to go back 70 years and more to Austin Freeman and his Dr. Thorndyke series. Between the two good doctors (Thorndyke and Oliver), there was only Jack Klugman's "Quincy," so far as I know, and he was a TV character.

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. My work has been published in a dozen languages. Charlotte and I live on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, our marriage having survived (more or less intact) our collaboration on novels and short stories.

Although I've been a full-time writer for some time now, I also remain active in real-life forensics by serving as the forensic anthropologist on the Olympic Peninsula Cold Case Task Force.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan A. Turner VINE VOICE on June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I usually begin reviews of Aaron Elkins's novels by calling him "the best writer of classical mysteries working today". That's still true, but _Little Tiny Teeth_ represents a bit of a departure from the format. It's part straight mystery, part thriller--and all delightful.

Most of the usual delights of a Gideon Oliver story are, happily, still present. There's a terrific setting, even more evocative than usual. There's a soupçon of dry wit. There are some clever deductions by Gideon and his sidekick John Lau, and a nice twist ending. And, of course, there are fascinating forensic tidbits galore.

But this time around, we also get: Jungles! Piranhas! Headhunters! Drug smugglers! More piranhas! Giant spiders! Poisoned blowgun darts! Still more piranhas! With a setup like that, how can you go wrong?

Mystery aficionados will note some shifts in the story's structure, to accommodate its thriller-esque aspects. The actual crime doesn't happen until midway through the book, although the lead-in is so interesting that you probably won't mind. The cast of suspects, while deftly sketched, gets relatively less attention than usual; there's no room in the tale to trace their alibis, set them up as red herrings, or unearth their long-buried secrets. That's probably a sensible choice, given the book's relatively rapid pacing--it's not an action-adventure by any means, but it does move smartly along.

Elkins does, perhaps, reveal too much too soon. The nefarious doings of one major character are fully laid out in an early expository chapter, before the narrative really gets going; I'd have preferred to see these matters left nebulous, and only gradually revealed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a very enjoyable read, ideal for vacation time, particularly while floating down a tropical river somewhere. It is very good at describing tropical heat and enervating humidity, the languid pace of river voyages, and the endless forest of the Peruvian Amazon, in its subtle variety. Prof. Gideon Oliver, and his trusty FBI friend, John Lau, have joined a botanical "fishing" expedition in the selva. Elkins does a wonderful job differentiating the scientists and sending them off together with contentious differences you just know have to result in violence. Oh, so many motives targeted on their arrogant leader. But people just sorta...vanish, from the old steamer boat. Serious modern crises form the distant backdrop to this story, never directly confronted: drugs good and bad, nature, logging, eco-disaster and -tourism, tribal survival. Perhaps the most exciting moment in any Oliver adventure is here. Prodded into the trackless jungle toward undoubted death, all Gideon can think of is the amazingly splayed toes of his tree-dwelling captors. Only a Gideon Oliver fan will understand how hilarious that is.

Oh right, what's the mystery? This is more of a shaggy suspense story. Surely there's a murder? Only if people don't vanish for other reasons. But there has to be more about bones, besides hallux varus, no? After all, this is about "The Skeleton Detective." Well, barely. Mainly this is a well-told tourists-over-their-heads-in-the-tropics adventure story. Elkins has it down, even to the ubiquitous jars of Nescafé powdered instant coffee. He does forget to make much of the biting bugs that would plague you at every stop, something else the glossy tour brochures don't tell you about. Get this book, sit back, and enjoy this story on your cruise. Douse yourself with repellent and turn up the heat, just for atmosphere.
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Format: Hardcover
Rarely have I read a beginning of a mystery with a more chilling start. Little Tiny Teeth's prologue features three graduate students who are lost in the upper Amazon basin and are being trailed by poisonous blow-dart carrying Chayacuros, an indigenous people who had never been conquered by the Spanish who are known for "harvesting" heads of their enemies. The threat in the beginning sets an eerie tone for the rest of the book that makes the Amazon basin the most interesting aspect of the story.

As the main part of the book opens, an unlikely group is introduced who are to embark on an ethnobiological tour of the upper Amazon led by Professor Arden Schofield. Of the professionals in the group, the one thing they have in common is a dislike for Schofield. There are also three tagalongs: Gideon Oliver (an physical anthropology professor who is known as "the skeleton detective") and John Lau ( an FBI agent friend) have been cut loose by their wives to take a vacation together with Gideon's old friend from graduate school, Phil Boyajian, who runs an economy vacation service called On the Cheap.

From there, you'll enjoy great descriptions of the Amazon and the people there. The word pictures are so vivid I felt like I could see them in my mind.

Danger lurks everywhere from both the uncivilized beasts and the so-called civilized people with hidden, uncivilized plans. Naturally, the Amazon's piranhas play a role in the story.

Soon, there are two missing people following a series of attacks. What will happen next?
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