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Kathy Reichs has published 15 novels featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan and I have read all of them. This morning, I polished off the final few chapters of the most recent, Bones are Forever.

I imagine that writing a long-running series like this presents certain challenges for the author. They have to balance continuity with change as well as constantly mining for new ideas. I did feel that Reichs was losing her way a bit a few books back but the last few seem to have recovered the formula without leaving too much of an artificial aftertaste. Of course, there is the need to accept the idea that the protagonist can balance being a scientific genius and holding down a widely-respected role in two forensic laboratories with the freedom to follow the trail of an investigation (including the inevitable points where she wanders off solo into trouble). I am not sure they qualify as the highest expression of crime literature but, for a blend of science, mystery and familiarity, I probably will not hesitate when I see the next one in the series appear on the library shelves.

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