Gideon Oliver Books in Order

The Gideon Oliver books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Gideon Oliver books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Gideon Oliver Books

Fellowship of Fear

Elkins, Aaron 1982
The first novel featuring Gideon Oliver, "The Skeleton Detective." Read More

The Dark Place

Elkins, Aaron 1983
The Dark Place finds forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver on a trail that stretches from prehistoric times—to present danger. Read More

Murder in the Queen's Armes

Elkins, Aaron 1985
Edgar® winner Aaron Elkins follows "skeleton detective" Gideon Oliver on his honeymoon, one that will prove none too sweet. Read More

Old Bones

Elkins, Aaron 1987

"Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel of the year. With the roar of thunder and the speed of a galloping horse comes the tide to Mont St. Michel goes the old nursery song. So when the aged patriarch of the du Rocher family falls victim to the perilous tide, even the old man's family accepts the verdict of accidental drowning.

But too quickly, this ""accident"" is followed by a bizarre discovery in the ancient du Rocher chateau: a human skeleton, wrapped in butcher paper, beneath the old stone flooring. Professor Gideon Oliver, lecturing on forensic anthropology at nearby St.

Malo, is asked to examine the bones. He quickly demonstrates why he is known as the ""Skeleton Detective,"" providing the police with forensic details that lead them to conclude that these are the remains of a Nazi officer believed to have been murdered in the area during the Occupation.

Or are they? Gideon himself has his doubts. Then, when another of the current du Rochers dies—this time via cyanide poisoning—his doubts solidify into a single certainty: someone want old secrets to stay buried … and is perfectly willing to eradicate the meddlesome American to make that happen.


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Elkins, Aaron 1989

"Mayan ruins in the Yucatán…a secret room in a tomb…age-old skeletons. To anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the renowned Skeleton Detective, the invitation to join the archaeological excavation of Tlaloc promises two months of paradise on earth. That is, until an ancient series of Mayan curses against desecrators of the site is unearthed.

When the first one comes to pass (""The bloodsucking kinkajou will come freely among them""), it's taken by all as a practical joke. But by the time the fourth one is apparently consummated (""The one called Xecotcavach will pierce their skulls so that their brains spill onto the earth""), nerves have begun to fray and suspicions and discord to mount.

The steamy jungles weigh down upon the band of eccentric anthropologists as one by one the curses continue to materialize. It takes Gideon's special talents for deduction―along with the enigmatic insights of Mexico's one and only Mayan-Indian inspector of the state judicial police―to resolve an ancient riddle and a modern, murderous mystery.


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Icy Clutches

Elkins, Aaron 1990

"Gideon Oliver expects to be amicably bored when he takes on the role of “accompanying spouse” at a lodge in the magnificent wild country of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where his forest ranger wife Julie is attending a conference. But it turns out to be exactly his cup of tea.

There is another group at the lodge: six scientists on a memorial journey to the site of a thirty-year-old glacial avalanche that killed three of their colleagues. Their leader is TV’s most popular science personality, the unctuous M. Audley Tremaine, who is the sole survivor of the fatal avalanche.

But he doesn’t survive long, and is soon found hanged in his room. If that isn’t upsetting enough, shocked hikers discover human bones emerging from the foot of the glacier―are they the shattered remains of the three who died, finally seeing daylight after their two-mile.

three-decade journey within the glacial flow? When the FBI seek expert help, everyone agrees how fortunate it is that Dr. Oliver, the famed Skeleton Detective, is on the scene. Everybody, that is, but the person who wants ancient history to stay that way―and who believes that murder is the surest way to keep the past buried.


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Make No Bones

Elkins, Aaron 1991

"There isn't much left of the irascible Albert Evan Jasper, ""dean of American forensic anthropologists,"" after his demise in a fiery car crash. But in accord with his wishes, his remains―a few charred bits of bone―are installed in an Oregon museum to create a fascinating if macabre exhibit.

All agree that it's a fitting end for a great forensic scientist--until what's left of him disappears in the midst of the bi-annual meeting (aka the ""bone bash and weenie roast"") of the august WAFA―the Western Association of Forensic Anthropologists―in nearby Bend, Oregon.

Like his fellow attendees, Gideon Oliver―the Skeleton Detective--is baffled. Only the WAFA attendees could possibly have made off with the remains, but who in the world would steal something like that? And why? All had an opportunity, but who had a motive? Soon enough, the discovery of another body in a nearby shallow grave will bring to the fore a deeper, more urgent mystery, and when one of the current attendees is found dead in his cabin, all hell breaks loose.

Gideon Oliver is now faced with the most difficult challenge of his career―unmasking a dangerous, brilliant killer who knows every bit as much about forensic science as he does. Or almost."

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Dead Men's Hearts

Elkins, Aaron 1994
Traveling to the Valley of the Nile to appear in a documentary film, Gideon Oliver and his wife Julie make an important discovery about a skeleton at an Egyptian garbage dump just before an Egyptologist dies violently. Reprint. Read More

Twenty Blue Devils

Elkins, Aaron 1997

"The dead man is the manager of Tahiti's Paradise Coffee Plantation, producer of the most expensive coffee bean in the world, the winey, luscious Blue Devil. Nothing tangible points to foul play behind his fall from a cliff, but FBI agent John Lau, a relative of the coffee-growing family, has his suspicions.

What he needs is evidence, and who better to provide it than his friend, anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective? Gideon is willing to help, but surprisingly―and suspiciously―both the police and the other family members refuse to okay an exhumation order.

As a result, Gideon, to his surprise and against his better judgment, finds himself sneaking into a graveyard under cover of night with John, a flashlight, and a shovel―not exactly up to the professional standards of the world's most famous forensic anthropologist, but necessary under the circumstances.

Gideon prefers his bones ancient, dry, and dusty, but the body he must examine had lain in the tropical sun for a week before it was found, and then buried native-style―shallowly, with no casket―so it is not exactly his…well, cup of tea. But it's not the state of the remains that bothers him the most, it's the deeper human ugliness that his examination uncovers: subtle clues that do indeed point to foul play, to mistaken identity, and to a murderous conspiracy that may have percolated through the family for decades―and brewed a taste for murder.


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Skeleton Dance

Elkins, Aaron 2000

"Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac is known for three things: pâté de fois gras, truffles, and prehistoric remains. The little village, in fact, is the headquarters of the prestigious Institute de Préhistoire, which studies the abundant local fossils. But when a pet dog emerges from a nearby cave carrying parts of a human skeleton―by no means a fossilized one―Chief Inspector Lucien Anatole Joly puts in a call to his old friend, Gideon Oliver, the famed ""Skeleton Detective.

"" Once Gideon arrives, murder piles on murder, puzzle on puzzle, and twist follows twist in a series of unexpected events that threaten to tear the once-sober, dignified Institut apart. It takes a bizarre and startling forensic breakthrough by Gideon to bring to an end a trail of deception thirty-five thousand years in the making.


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Good Blood

Elkins, Aaron 2004

While enjoying their holiday on an idyllic Italian island, anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his wife find themselves caught up in a case of kidnapping and murder when the local padrone's only child, Achille, is abducted, bones are discovered, and Gideon becomes caught up in the investigation into the crimes.

25,000 first printing.

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Where There's a Will

Elkins, Aaron 2005

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 unearths a wealthy family’s darkest secrets…Alex Torkelsson has just gotten word: his late uncle Magnus’s plane has been found south of Hawaii’s Big Island after ten long years.

So too have Magnus’s few skeletal remains, now handed over to the only man who can fit together the pieces of this mystery...What forensic detective Gideon Oliver discovers could shake the Torkelsson family tree to its very roots. But this time his work is yielding more questions about the past than answers.

Questions about the long-ago execution-style murder of Magnus’s brother...about a mysterious will that benefits—as well as incriminates—its heirs...and most disturbing of all: questions as to the true identity of the corpse in the lagoon. As lie upon lie is revealed, Gideon’s only hope is to let the bones of the dead condemn the living—before the living take revenge.

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Unnatural Selection

Elkins, Aaron 2006

Heading for the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornwall coast, with his wife, who has been invited to attend a consortium hosted by Russian expatriate Vasily Kozlov, forensics professor Gideon Oliver is delighted to spend the time puttering around local Neolithic sites, until he stumbles upon a much newer bone that could be tied to a brand-new murder.

25,000 first printing.

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Little Tiny Teeth

Elkins, Aaron 2007

Forensics professor Gideon Oliver's supposedly peaceful Amazon riverboat jaunt with a group of research botanists turns deadly when one of the scientists is killed by a deranged passenger who then leaps overboard in the darkness, a case that is further complicated by the discovery of a fresh skeleton that turns up in the river, scoured clean by the local piranhas.

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Uneasy Relations

Elkins, Aaron 2008
Joining a team researching a prehistoric ceremonial burial of a human woman and a part-human, part-Neanderthal child on Gibralter, forensics specialist Professor Gideon Oliver is confronted by all-too-modern murder when two suspicious deaths rock Gibralter. Read More

Skull Duggery

Elkins, Aaron 2009

Gideon is happy to be in Mexico with his wife-until he's asked to examine the mummified corpse of a drifter thought to be shot to death. Gideon's findings reveal that the cause of death is far more bizarre. Then he's asked to examine the skeleton of a murder victim found a year earlier-only to discover another coroner error.

The Skeleton Detective knows that two "mistakenly" identified bodies are never a coincidence. But if he isn't careful, unearthing the connection between them could make him another murder statistic in Mexico.

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Dying on the Vine

Elkins, Aaron 2012

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 vineyard in Tuscany when murder leaves a bitter aftertaste… It was the unwavering custom of Pietro Cubbiddu, patriarch of Tuscany’s Villa Antica wine empire, to take a solitary month-long sabbatical at the end of the early grape harvest, leaving the winery in the trusted hands of his three sons.

His wife, Nola, would drive him to an isolated mountain cabin in the Apennines and return for him a month later, bringing him back to his family and business. So it went for almost a decade—until the year came when neither of them returned. 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 bone-chillingly clear that the killer is far from finished…

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Elkins, Aaron 2016

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.Swapped as young boys by their fathers during the Nazi occupation, wealthy Roddy Carlisle and middle-class George Skinner had some readjusting to do after the war ended—but their lives remained linked through work, trouble with the law, and finally, it would seem, through murder.

Nobody expects that Gideon’s modern-day investigation will turn up fresh bodies. But old bones tell many tales, and the Skeleton Detective has to be at his sharpest to piece together the truth before the body count mounts still higher.Declared “a series that never disappoints” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Gideon Oliver mystery series is highly recommended for fans of Agatha Christie and Kathy Reichs.

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Gideon Oliver books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

Happy reading!

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