Gideon oliver mysteries

Gideon oliver mysteries DEFAULT

Gideon Oliver Mysteries Series

When anthropology professor Gideon Oliver is offered a teaching fellowship at US military bases in Germany, Sicily, Spain, and Holland, he wastes no time accepting. Stimulating courses to teach, a decent stipend, all expenses paid, plenty of interesting European travel...What's not to like?

It does not take him long to find out. On his first night, he is forced to fend off two desperate, black-clad men who have invaded his Heidelberg hotel room with intent to kill. And then there are a few trivial details that the recruiting agency forgot to mention - such as the fact that the two previous holders of the fellowship both met with mysterious ends.

From there, it is all downhill. Gideon finds himself the target in an unfamiliar game for which no one has bothered to give him the rules. What he does have is his own considerable intellect and his remarkable forensic skills. He will need them, for he is playing for some fairly high stakes: the security of Western Europe.

©1982 Aaron Elkins (P)2019 Tantor Sours:
Fellowship of Fear
  • Length:

    18 Books

  • First:

    October 1982

  • Latest:

    February 2016

  • Rating:

Series List in Order

Book Descriptions for series: A Gideon Oliver Mystery

  • Fellowship of Fear
    Fellowship of Fear
    • Oct-1982
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 1

    Meet Professor Gideon Oliver, full-time anthropologist, part-time detective, and brand-new visiting fellow at Heidelberg University. Even though the two previous occupants of his chair both died under mysterious circumstances, he's eagerly looking fo...

  • Dark Place
    Dark Place
    • 1983
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 2

    SAVAGE HUNGER Deep in the primeval rain forests of Washington State, the body of a brutally murdered man is discovered. And a chilling mystery unfolds. Could the spear that killed him really be identical to one used by primitive hunters ten tho...

  • Murder in the Queen's Armes
    Murder in the Queen's Armes
    • Oct-1985
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 3

    SKULLDUGGERY... Why would anyone steal a thirty-thousand-year-old skull? England's famous Poundbury Man has been swiped right from its museum case, and anthropologist Gideon Oliver, honeymooning in Britain with his new bride, Julie, finds the myst...

  • Old Bones
    Old Bones
    • 1987
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 4

    When the treacherous tides of Mont St. Michel claim the aged patriarch of the du Rocher family, the authorities accept the verdict of "accidental drowning." But the unfortunate event is followed too quickly by a strange discovery: the discovery of a ...

  • Curses!
    • Feb-1989
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 5

    STICKS AND STONES...AND BONES Mayan ruins in the Yucatan ... a secret room in a tomb ... an ancient skeleton. To Gideon Oliver, anthropologist, this archaeological find is paradise on earth. He and his wife, Julie, have joined his old mentor, Abe ...

  • Icy Clutches
    Icy Clutches
    • 1990
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 6

    STONE COLD DEAD A few pieces of bone rest in the tomato soup carton--all that is left of three young people who perished in an avalanche thirty years ago near Alaska's Glacier Bay. Gideon Oliver expects to be bored when he accompanies his wife, Ju...

  • Make No Bones
    Make No Bones
    • 1991
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 7

    A RAG AND A BONE...AND A MURDER Not much was left of Dr. Albert Jasper. His jaw bone and a few charred bits were installed in a place of honor in an Oregon museum to create a fascinating, if macabre, exhibit. It was a fitting end for a great foren...

  • Dead Men's Hearts
    Dead Men's Hearts
    • 1994
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 8

    MYSTERY'S IN HIS BONES A skeleton tossed on an Egyptian garbage dump is the first mystery to rattle Gideon Oliver as he arrives in the famous Valley of the Nile. There to appear in a documentary film, Gideon and his wife, Julie, expect a luxurious...

  • Twenty Blue Devils
    Twenty Blue Devils
    • Jan-1997
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 9

    REMAINS OF THE COFFEE MAN Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective, is in Tahiti for a case that is not exactly his cup of... well, tea. After two close calls, an "accident" has killed the manager of the Paradise Coffee plantation. producer of the wo...

  • Skeleton Dance
    Skeleton Dance
    • Apr-2000
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 10

    There is a small village in France that is well known for pate de foie gras ... and bones. Boasting the largest concentration of prehistoric fossils in Europe, Les Eyzies-de Tayac is the home of the prestigious Institut de Prehistoire where eminent s...

  • Good Blood
    Good Blood
    • Feb-2004
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 11

    Soaking up the sun on their friend's idyllic island in Lake Maggiore, Gideon and his wife soon learn that the breathtaking view and sumptuous food come at a price. The padrone's only child has been kidnapped. And when nearby construction workers unea...

  • Where There's A Will
    Where There's A Will
    • Apr-2005
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 12

    Rancher Alex Torkelsson has just gotten word: after going missing ten years ago, Alex's late uncle Magnus's plane has been found south of Hawaii's Big Island. So too have Magnus's few skeletal remains, now handed over to the only man who can fit toge...

  • Unnatural Selection
    Unnatural Selection
    • Jun-2006
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 13

    When Gideon Oliver's wife Julie attends a conservation forum on the emerald Isles of Scilly, Gideon tags along, expecting a holiday. To amuse himself, he explores the Neolithic sites there. But instead of ancient ruins, he finds evidence of a very re...

  • Little Tiny Teeth
    Little Tiny Teeth
    • Jun-2007
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 14

    Aaron Elkins is back with more skullduggery for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective. Oliver journeys to the untamed South American rain forest, where his latest find may prove to be his last... Tagging along on an Amazon ...

  • Uneasy Relations
    Uneasy Relations
    • Jul-2008
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 15

    Buried ceremoniously, high in a cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, lies the skeleton of a human woman, clutching the skeleton of a part-human, part-Neanderthal child. Fascinated, Professor Oliver jumps at the chance to visit the site. But two deaths, pos...

  • Skull Duggery
    Skull Duggery
    • Sep-2009
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 16

    No one solves crimes like Skeleton Detective Gideon Oliver. Gideon and his wife are on vacation in Mexico when a local police chief requests his assistance on a case. A mummified corpse was discovered in the desert and the coroner believed the vic...

  • Dying on the Vine
    Dying on the Vine
    • Dec-2012
    • / Police/Detective/Law Enforcement
    • BuyBuy

    Book - 17

    Edgar® Award-winning author Aaron Elkins’s creation -- forensics professor Gideon Oliver -- has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth.” Now, the celebrated Skeleton Detective is visiting friends at a ...

  • Switcheroo

    Book - 18

    The Skeleton Detective is back. A cold case dating from the 1960s draws forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver to the Channel Islands decades later to shine a light on the mysterious connection between two men who died there on the same night. S...


Old Bones
1988 Edgar Allan Poe Award -- Novel
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The Gideon Oliver Series

Dying on the Vine  

It was the unwavering custom of Pietro Cubbiddu, patriarch of Tuscany’s Villa Antica wine empire, to take a solitary sabbatical in the Apennines at the close of the grape harvest, leaving the winery in the trusted hands of his three sons.  His wife Nola would take her own separate vacation. In exactly 30 days they would come home together.

Until, one year, they don't.

Months later, a hiker in the Apennines stumbles on their skeletal remains. The carabinieri investigate and release their findings: they are dealing with a murder-suicide. The evidence makes it clear that Pietro Cubbiddu shot and killed his wife and then himself. The likely motive: his discovery that Nola had been having an affair.

 Not long afterwards, Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, are in Tuscany visiting their friends, the Cubbiddu offspring. The renowned Skeleton Detective is asked to reexamine the bones. When he does, he reluctantly concludes that the carabinieri, competent though they may be, have gotten almost everything wrong. Whatever it was that happened in the mountains, a murder-suicide it was not.

Soon Gideon finds himself in a morass of family antipathies, conflicts, and mistrust, to say nothing of the local carabinieri’s resentment. And when yet another Cubbiddu relation meets an unlikely end, it becomes clear that the killer is far from finished…

“Lively and entertaining.”

- The Seattle Times

"Elkins is a master.”

- The Dallas Morning News

Sufjan Stevens - Mystery of Love (From \

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.

Read more on Amazon's Aaron Elkins page

Oliver mysteries gideon

Aaron Elkins

American mystery writer

Aaron Elkins (born July 24, 1935 in Brooklyn) is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'.


Elkins's father was a machinist, his mother a homemaker. Elkins graduated from Hunter College in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts, after which he studied at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earned master of arts degrees at the University of Arizona (1960) and California State University, Los Angeles (1962), and received a doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in 1976 from the University of California, Berkeley.

Elkins had a multi-year career as a government employee, consultant, lecturer, and teacher in the fields of business, psychology, and anthropology.[citation needed]

Elkins and his wife, Charlotte Elkins, live in Sequim, Washington;[1] they have two children.[2]


Elkins began his first novel (the first in the Gideon Oliver series) in 1978, at the age of 42. The fourth Oliver book, Old Bones, received the 1988 Edgar Award for "Best Mystery Novel" and was nominated for the 1988 Anthony Award in the same category.[3][4]

The seventh Gideon Oliver novel, Make No Bones, was nominated for an Agatha Award in 1991.[5]

In another series, the protagonist is museum curator Chris Norgren, an expert in Northern Renaissance art. His third novel in the Chris Norgren series, Old Scores, won a Nero Award for best mystery novel (1994),[6] and was also nominated for an Agatha Award for "Best Novel".[5]

One of his stand-alone thrillers, Loot, deals with art stolen by the Nazis and introduces protagonist Dr. Benjamin Revere.

With his wife, he has also co-written a series of golf mysteries about LPGA member Lee Ofsted. They shared an Agatha Award (1992) for their short story "Nice Gorilla".[5]


Gideon Oliver novels[edit]

  1. Fellowship of Fear (1982)
  2. The Dark Place (1983)
  3. Murder in the Queen's Armes (1985)
  4. Old Bones (1987)
  5. Curses! (1989)
  6. Icy Clutches (1990)
  7. Make No Bones (1991)
  8. Dead Men's Hearts (1994)
  9. Twenty Blue Devils (1997)
  10. Skeleton Dance (2000)
  11. Good Blood (2004)
  12. Where There's a Will (2005)
  13. Unnatural Selection (2006)
  14. Little Tiny Teeth (2007)
  15. Uneasy Relations (2008)
  16. Skull Duggery (2009)
  17. Dying on the Vine (2012)
  18. Switcheroo (2016)

Chris Norgren novels[edit]

  1. A Deceptive Clarity (1987)
  2. A Glancing Light (1991)
  3. Old Scores (1993)

Lee Ofsted novels (with Charlotte Elkins)[edit]

  1. A Wicked Slice (1989)
  2. Rotten Lies (1995)
  3. Nasty Breaks (1997)
  4. Where Have all the Birdies Gone? (2004)
  5. On the Fringe (2005)

Alix London novels (with Charlotte Elkins)[edit]

  1. A Dangerous Talent (2012) (German version: Gefährliches Talent, Translator: Olaf Knechten, 2013)
  2. A Cruise to Die For (2013)
  3. The Art Whisperer (2014)
  4. The Trouble with Mirrors (2016)

Other novels[edit]

  • Loot (1999)
  • Turncoat (2002)
  • The Worst Thing (2011)
  • A Long Time Coming (2018)


Elkins' forensic anthropologist detective starred in the eponymous prime time television series Gideon Oliver that ran on the ABC television network between February 1989 and May 1989 as part of the ABC Mystery Movie rotation.


  1. ^Urban, Diane (July 29, 2008), 'Looking out at the water, my mind floats freer': How author Aaron Elkins is inspired to write best-sellers, Peninsula Daily News, archived from the original on July 15, 2011, retrieved January 10, 2011
  2. ^"Profile of Aaron Elkins". Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  3. ^"Best Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  4. ^"Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  5. ^ abc"Malice Domestic Convention - Bethesda, MD". August 23, 1988. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  6. ^"Wolfe Pack Nero Award Recipients chronologically". December 12, 2011. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
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