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Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan Novels) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 387 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"In Quebec, winters can be slow for the forensic anthropologist. The temperature rarely rises above freezing. The rivers and lakes ice over, the ground turns rock hard, and snow buries everything. Bugs disappear, and many scavengers go underground. The result: Corpses do not putrefy in the great outdoors. Floaters are not pulled from the St. Lawrence... and some of last season's dead are not found until the spring melt."

Readers of Kathy Reichs's cool and clever first forensic thriller Déjà Dead will recognize the ironic voice of Tempe (short for Temperance) Brennan, the North Carolina-born scientist who winds up working at the Laboratoire de Médicine Légale in Montreal. Here she bristles at the conservative attitudes of some of her Canadian colleagues.

Despite the cold weather, Tempe's workload quickly becomes heavy: the bones of a long-dead nun now up for sainthood have been moved and tampered with; a deadly house fire turns out to be arson; and a university teaching assistant disappears after joining a cult. Tempe must figure out where (and why) all the bodies are buried in the hard Canadian ground. Her investigations take her home to North Carolina, and to a strange colony living on an offshore island.

Unlike certain other writers who specialize in forensic pathology, Reichs doesn't revel in the horror of death or rub our noses in gore: she uses the science of death to reveal rather than to shock or startle. It definitely makes for easier reading--especially at mealtimes. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Forensic anthropologist Temperance "Tempe" Brennan of the Laboratoire de M?dicine L?gale in Montreal makes a triumphant second appearance in Reichs's powerful followup to her bestselling debut, D?j? Dead. The novel opens atmospherically in a frigid church graveyard as Tempe labors to exhume the century-old remains of a nun so that the Church can posthumously declare her a saint. But the bones aren't where they're supposed to be according to the graveyard map, and there's something suspicious about them when they do turn up. Tempe's caseload multiplies as a house fire proves to be a horrific instance of arson and a university teaching assistant who's recently joined a cult goes missing. The three seemingly individual events begin to braid together, as the doings with the doomsday cult draw Tempe to North Carolina. As in D?j? Dead, ReichsAherself a forensic anthropologistArenders comprehensively and believably the cool, tense intelligence of her heroine. A North Carolina native who consults in Montreal only a few months of the year, Tempe still hasn't acclimated to the bone-chilling Northern cold, and if she's come to expect the misogynist attitudes of some of the Canadian officials, she still bristles at them. Also well presented are Tempe's refreshing compassion in the face of relentless autopsies, her ability to describe a corpse with judiciously graphic detail and her penchant for revealing the art behind the science on such matters as the preservation of a corpse's teeth. Reichs's first novel, which won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel of 1997, was compared justifiably to the Kay Scarpetta novels of Patricia Cornwell. Soon, Cornwell's novels may be compared to Reichs's. Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Temperance Brennan Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671011375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671011376
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For the first 25 pages I was enthralled by the writing and the forensics. Then the coincidences piled up: 1. In Quebec, Tempe investigates the fiery death of a family (later found to be killed by a quasi-religious cult.) 2. In a totally separate storyline, Tempe is asked by a nun acquaintance to find the nun's missing niece ... who JUST HAPPENS to have links to the first murder. 3. Weeks later, Tempe's relaxing on an island off the Carolina coast when she JUST HAPPENS to discover the buried bodies of two murdered women. Guess what? This new crime JUST HAPPENS to be related to those murders way up north in Quebec. 4. Tempe's troubled sister, living in ANOTHER state, JUST HAPPENS to have recently joined the same murderous cult responsible for all these murders! Tempe doesn't have to pursue the investigation -- the clues just come flying to her from points all over North America. I am amazed that so many self-described mystery buffs do not even comment on these faults in their reviews. Did they not notice them? Or are they so dazzled by the forensic details (which are indeed excellent)that they forgot the basics of a believable plot?
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Format: Hardcover
I bought the author's 1st book, Deja Dead, because I was glad to have found another female medical examiner protagonist similar to Cornwell's Dr. Scarpetta. Still, Deja Dead (Reichs' 1st novel) wasn't as good as when Cornwell is at her, now, occasional best. Death Du Jour, being another Dr. Brennan novel, was a very welcome sight. Then after reading Death Du Jour you see there is a definite improvement over Deja Dead. Reich's story telling skills have improved considerably; now the author really communicates with, and grabs, the reader - she keeps the book moving. I read so many books and not many lately have kept my attention as this one has. If you were iffy with Deja Dead give it another chance with this book.
My only gripe is her wacky sister. Not only was there absolutely no need for her but she took something away from the story and the main character. They are way too different and not believable at all. But not for the sister's appearance I would have rated it 5 stars.
I'll anxiously await and will buy Reichs next book (new character or not) when it comes out. I hope the author doesn't feel the need to constantly inject family members into her story as Cornwell has done; ruining many storylines by focusing on the neice (a consensus among all my reader friends). We all want to read about the character and her unique professional encounters not her relatives.
Congratulations to Ms. Reich on an excellent and intelligent read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A different kind of professional female sleuth with the feel of non-fiction fiction. The author is a real-life forensic anthropologist for the State of North Carolina, and is also a professor at The University of North Carolina. The author's character has been divorced, has a 'wacky' sister and a grown-up daughter,is working for the Province of Quebec and teaches at university as well. Dr. Temperance Brennan, the first person narrator, has co-workers who hate her and a male detective who irritates and attracts her. Real excitement is constantly being created because the distractions caused by her personal life interfere with her sleuthing, which the reader can figure out by a few minutes. Despite the University credentials of both character and author, the book is very readable and fast. If bone science doesn't give you the creeps, I suggest taking this book with you on summer vacation. (There is a lot of snowing in the book,a mental boost if the sun is getting too much.)
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Format: Hardcover
Generally I do not read a lot of narrative prose, but when I do my preferred genre is the murder mystery. My friend Mo recommended Kathy Reichs' Death du Jour to me because of my interest in the sciences and anthropology. I have to admit the book sat on my shelf for about 3 months before I finally got around to examining even the cover, but when I did the author's professional credentials engaged my attention. Dr Reichs is a forensic anthropologist trained at Northwestern University and employed by both the state of North Carolina and the Province of Quebec as an expert in forensics and by the University of North Carolina as a professor of anthropology. Her expertise is definitely reflected in the content of the novel. After reading the first few lines of the book I was hooked. So much was this the case that I finished it in the space of a single afternoon.
Each of the characters is a real person with a distinct personality. The heroine Tempe, a forensic anthropologist--who is much as I imagine Dr. Reichs to be herself--is clearly defined as an individual. She has a past and a present and family relationships and problems much as we all do. Her sister Harry is not simply a carbon copy of the heroine. She too is an individual.
The mise en scene of the action in both Quebec and North Carolina are vividly recreated for the reader. One can almost feel the damp bone-chilling cold of a Canadian winter and the balmy days of a southeastern coastline. Incorporating the little details of activity such as specific restaurants eaten at and things ordered there, specifics of the medical examiners' offices in Montreal and how the character proceeds with her work there add verisimilitude to the narrative.
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