Fellowship of Fear and Dark Place by Aaron J. Elkins

It’s the cold war era and the most recent visiting lecturers at the United States Overseas College have apparently been unpopular—one disappeared without a trace, one was killed in an odd car accident and the latest, Gideon Oliver, has just been attacked in his hotel room.  Fellowship of Fear is the first Gideon Oliver mystery and it’s okay.  Gideon is a recently widowed anthropologist looking for a change of pace from his normal routine—an all-expenses paid trip to Germany, Sicily and Spain seemed to be an ideal opportunity—little did Gideon know that lecturing was not the only task on his agenda.  FOF has a nice mixture of humor, mystery, and romance wrapped up in a spy thriller storyline.

The Dark Place is the second Gideon Oliver mystery and it’s good.  A skeleton has just been found Washington State’s Olympic National Park—and it has a spear point lodged in its vertebra.  The skeleton is that of a hiker who disappeared 6 years previously and once word gets out, local tales of Bigfoot sightings and rumors of a lost tribe of Indians are resurrected.  Interesting storyline!  To his dismay, Gideon earns ‘the Skeleton Detective’ nickname in this entry—but don’t feel too sorry for him, he does solve the mystery and find a new romance!

So far I think this series has promise.  Abandoning the spy thriller aspect after FOF was a good move—the series really seems to find its focus when it’s driven by mystery.  As far as the anthropological explanations—well, they make a lovely sound as they whoosh through my head but his professorial ways are part of Gideon’s charm.  I do cringe when he tries to sweet-talk his ladies with anthropological analysis—but I suppose that’s part of his charm as well.  Expect more posts!

  • Fellowship of Fear
  • The Dark Place
  • Murder in the Queen’s Arms
  • Old Bones
  • Curses!
  • Icy Clutches
  • Make No Bones
  • Dead Man’s Hearts
  • Twenty Blue Devils
  • Skeleton Dance
  • Good Blood
  • Where There’s a Will
  • Unnatural Selection
  • Little Tiny Teeth
  • Uneasy Relations



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