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The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013

Book 7 of 9 in the Body Farm Novel Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Body Farm (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061807060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061807060
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This series . . . just keeps getting better. [Bones of Betrayal] features both the most compelling story and the best portrayal yet of Brockton, who has completed the transition from fictional representation of coauthor Bass to fully realized protagonist.” (Booklist)

“Carved in Bone has a unique corpse, solid science, quirky humor and a loveable protagonist. That a novel like this can be described as charming is a tribute to the team that created some very human, down-to-earth characters.” (USA Today)

“A superb mystery novel—well-plotted, filled with memorable characters, based on accurate forensic science and written with more flair and literary sensibility than anything by John Grisham. The novel, in fact, is in Cornwell’s league, high praise indeed.” (Charlotte Observer on The Devil's Bones)

“The Sherlock Holmes for bones has arrived. . . . A privileged glimpse into the world of a ground-breaking pioneer.” (Katherine Ramsland, Author of The Forensic Science of C.S.I.)

From the Back Cover

While helping to excavate a newly unearthed chamber beneath the spectacular Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France, Miranda Lovelady—protégée of Dr. Bill Brockton—makes a startling discovery: a stone chest bearing an inscription declaring it holds the bones of Jesus of Nazareth. The find could rock the Church to its very foundations, and it draws Brockton from the Body Farm to determine the truth, using modern forensic science.

But when Brockton and Miranda link the bones to the haunting image on the famous Shroud of Turin, their investigation sparks a deadly tug of war between scientists, the Vatican, and Apocalypse-obsessed fanatics—and a newly slain corpse soon appears on hallowed ground. Suddenly the search for answers to a mystery born in an ancient era has taken on a frightening urgency . . . as a crazed zealot waits in the shadows, determined to trigger the end of time.

Customer Reviews

This is the best one yet!
Kindle Customer
Now, with this new novel, they enter into the religious, artistic and historical fiction realm of authors like Dan Brown and Iain Pears.
Ray J. Palen Jr.
The story is intriguing and as with all boady farm novels has twists and turns that surprise and excite the reader.
Danielle Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ethan on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is no secret that the ancient Catholic Church saw years of corrupt leaders, cover-ups and conspiracies. For modern mystery and thriller authors, this storied past has provided inspiration for countless gripping tales. In The Inquisitor's Key, the latest installment in the Body Farm series by duo author Jefferson Bass, the past of the church mixes with present day themes to form a unique take on the modern thriller.

Dr. Bill Brockton is no stranger to death. He works at the Body Farm, a Tennessee based institution devoted to the study of the human anatomy, and serves as a consultant on murder cases, providing his expert analyses of human remains. As he comes to the latest crime scene, where the burned remains of a presumed drug runner lie, he can't help but miss the companionship of his usual assistant/student Miranda Lovelady, who is assisting with an excavation in Avignon, France. As he begins to study the charred remains, he notices that gas is still leaking. With barely enough time to react, the building is enveloped in flames, and Brockton narrowly escapes the same death as the poor soul he was meant to be examining. It is all but apparent that whoever created this crime scene intends for Brockton to be his next victim.

On top of this, Brockton is summoned by Miranda to come to France to assist with the excavation. When he arrives to the site, The Palace of Popes, he is faced with an extremely puzzling case. The bones that have been discovered in a subterranean chamber contain wounds that resemble those depicted in the story of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Despite being skeptical of this, evidence points that the age of the bones are from the same time period as the life of Christ.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Gallimore on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I normally do not write book reviews as I am not a 'writer', I am a reader. However, I am such a great fan of the Body Farm series, that I had to do a short review of the Inquisitor's Key.
This is again another wonderful saga in the Body Farm Series. The author does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to historical France while simultaneously using cutting edge technology in determining the origin of the bones. The dialogue and banter are excellent as well as the underlying bits of humor that catches you off guard. I love reading the books by Jefferson Bass because they are so well written and just flow so easily - you just fall in love with the characters and find yourself 'rooting' for them during their struggles and hurting for them during their times of despair.
The Inquisitor's Key and the entire Body Farm series are a must read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Honest Opinion on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read most of the Jefferson Bass books and it's been a bit of a mixed bag. This one was panned by Publisher's Weekly, so I almost didn't read it, but as a fan of Angels and Demons and DaVinci Code, I thought I'd at least give it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the ancient mystery and how that played out with some chapters set in the Thirteenth Century, that was just great. Loved Miranda! I was so glad she had a bigger part in this book than in many of the others. I thought they did a really good job portraying the French cop and the hotel owner, I could just see the breakfasts in the hotel garden!

A few spots had some situations or statements that were just goofy, but that was maybe 5 pages of the entire book. Yes, some of it was somewhat predictable. However, it was still a great read. I loved it and I intend to reread it at some point, as well. If you have enjoyed any of the previous books by this author, give this one a try.

My favorites of Bass are Carved in Bone and Bones of Betrayal. If you're really into this genre, I'd suggest Barbara Wood's book, The Prophetess, or Daughter of God, by Lewis Perdue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Clarington on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read enough mystery series by bestselling authors to recognize the phenomenon of a series that has run out of steam. Prominent examples include Elizabeth George (Lynley) and Patricia Cornwall (Scarpetta), both series I loved ... then hated when they fell apart around the someteenth book and went downhill from there. I've enjoyed the Jefferson Bass books, but this one was so implausible and tedious after the first third or so that I decided to spare myself the anticipated further disappointment of finishing it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JeanBookNerd on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Inquisitor's Key by the team of Jefferson Bass (Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass) continues the story's main character, renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton. This is the seventh novel in the Body Farm series, which Dr. Brockton's forensic work this time around is more eminence to religious and art history. His assistant, Miranda Lovejoy, is in Avignon, France performing an excavation at a medieval fortress that once was the residence to the French Pope. Miranda and her associate, Stefan Beauvoir, may have just unearthed the greatest archaeological discovery in history. With bones anticipating Dr. Brockton's knowledge in Avignon, France, he is once again at the heart of a mystery after learning that the bones may be that of Jesus Christ.

The mystery that surrounds the bones will keep readers interested in the story. A storm of questions will brew and will continue to do so until the very last page. Readers will also get a history lesson about the Inquisition and the demolition of the Knight's Templar's in the 14th century. Jefferson Bass confers on the history of art and religion, the geography and architecture of modern-day Europe, and the science of forensic anthropology.

The writing style of Jefferson Bass is incredible and the details brought upon this book are unparalleled compared to others. With an author who founded The Body Farm at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, readers get a firsthand look at the interesting works of forensic anthropologists. This novel was definitely cooked from intelligence, experience, and history. A combination that is not easy to put together in a book. Longtime readers and newcomers to the series will find The Inquisitor's Key to be a thrilling entry into an already concrete series. The book's new direction towards religion and art history is also a great way for newcomers to taste the adventures of Dr. Bill Brockton without having to dive into the previous ones.
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More About the Author

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Together, they wrote Death's Acre, a nonfiction account of the Body Farm, before tackling forensic under the pen name of Jefferson Bass. Their debut novel, Carved in Bone, reached # 25 on The New York Times Best Seller list and was followed by Flesh and Bone, The Devil's Bones, and a second nonfiction title, Beyond the Body Farm. Of the six Body Farm novels already in print, five have been New York Times bestsellers. Their seventh novel, "The Inquisitor's Key," comes out May 8, 2012.

Jefferson and Bass bring their own unique set of strengths to the partnership. Dr. Bass, the duo's scientific expert, is a legend in forensic circles. In 1980 he created the world's first laboratory devoted to human decomposition: the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm." Dr. Bass has authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific publications, most of them based on the research facility's work. During half a century in the classroom, Dr. Bass taught tens of thousands of students, including many of the foremost forensic anthropologists practicing in the United States today. He's been featured on numerous network television news programs, as well as in documentaries for National Geographic and the BBC. CBS was not exaggerating when it called Dr. Bass "America 's top forensic scientist."

Jon Jefferson, the "writer" half of Jefferson Bass, is a veteran journalist, science writer, and documentary filmmaker. His journalism credits include work for The New York Times, National Public Radio, Newsweek, and USA Today. Jefferson learned the art of combining scientific material with compelling human stories during a decade as a science writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In the 1990s he began writing and producing television documentaries, mainly for the History Channel and the Arts and Entertainment Network, covering topics ranging from World War II fighter planes to ancient art treasures at the Vatican. While making a two-hour A&E special about the Vatican in 1998, Jefferson first visited Avignon; thirteen years later, he returned to Avignon to research the richly layered new Body Farm novel, The Inquisitor's Key. The Jefferson-Bass collaboration began in 2001, when Jefferson wrote and produced two National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm--films that earned high rating around the world. The rest, as they say, is history--or, in this case, memoir and crime fiction!

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