Even if the TV show Bones has ended, Temperance Brennan never stops solving crimes, on paper at least.

Who is Temperance Brennan?

Temperance Deassee Brennan is a fictional character created by author Kathy Reichs. She’s a forensic anthropologist with a background in physical anthropology. And she solves crime.

Usually, Temperance is called to investigate human remains at crime scenes where the flesh is too degraded for a coroner to obtain evidence. She also works at the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and teaches at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte … when she’s not occupied with crime scenes.

Temperance Brennan Books in Order:

All of the short stories (‘First Bones’, ‘Bones in her Pocket’, ‘Swamp Bones’, ‘Bones on Ice’) are collected in The Bone Collection.


  1. ‘First Bones’ – collected in The Bone Collection.
  2. Déjà Dead – In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Temperance detects an alarming pattern – and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer.
  3. Death du Jour – In the bitter cold of a Montreal winter, Brennan is digging for a corpse buried more than a century ago. Although she thrives on such enigmas from the past, it’s a chain of contemporary deaths and disappearances that has seized her attention – and she alone is ideally placed to make a chilling connection among the seemingly unrelated events.
  4. Deadly Décisions – Nine-year-old Emily Anne Toussaint is fatally shot on a Montreal street. A North Carolina teenager disappears from her home, and parts of her skeleton are found miles away. The shocking deaths propel Tempe Brennan from north to south, and deep into a shattering investigation inside the bizarre culture of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
  5. Fatal Voyage – A commercial airliner disaster has brought Tempe Brennan to the North Carolina mountains as a member of the investigative agency DMORT. As bomb theories abound, Tempe soon discovers a jarring piece of evidence that raises dangerous questions – and gets her thrown from the DMORT team.


  1. Grave Secrets – They are ‘the disappeared,’ twenty-three massacre victims buried in a well in the Guatemalan village of Chupan Ya two decades ago. Leading a team of experts on a meticulous, heartbreaking dig, Tempe Brennan pieces together the violence of the past. But a fresh wave of terror begins when the horrific sounds of a fatal attack on two colleagues come in on a blood-chilling satellite call.
  2. Bare Bones – ‘Down time’ is not a phrase in Tempe Brennan’s vocabulary. A string of disturbing cases has put her vacation plans on hold; instead, she heads to the lab to analyze charred remains from a suspicious fire, and a mysterious black residue from a small plane crash. But most troubling of all are the bones. Even more disturbing is the fact that bones turns up on a family picnic in North Carolina – but are they animal or human?
  3. Monday Mourning – The bones of three young women are unearthed in the basement of a Montreal pizza parlor, and Tempe Brennan has unsolved murder on her mind as she examines the shallowly buried remains. Coming up against a homicide cop who is convinced the dead have been entombed on the site for centuries, Tempe perseveres, even with her own relationship with Detective Andrew Ryan at a delicate turning point.
  4. Cross Bones – Examining a badly decomposed corpse is de rigueur for Temperance Brennan. But puzzling damage on the body of a shooting victim, an Orthodox Jewish man, suggests this is no ordinary Montreal murder. When a stranger slips Tempe a photograph of a skeleton unearthed at an archaeological site, Tempe uncovers chilling ties between the dead man and secrets long buried in the dust of Israel.


  1. Break No Bones – Among the ancient remains in a Native American burial ground, Tempe discovers a fresh skeleton – and what began as an ordinary teaching stint at an archeology field school in Charleston, South Carolina, fast becomes a heated investigation into an alarming pattern of homicides. The clues hidden in the bones lead to a street clinic where a monstrous discovery awaits, and Tempe – whose personal life is in upheaval, with two men competing for her – can’t afford any distractions as she pieces together a shattering and terrifying puzzle.
  2. Bones to Ashes – For Tempe, the discovery of a young girl’s skeleton in Acadia, Canada, is more than just another assignment. Évangéline, Tempe’s childhood best friend, was also from Acadia. When Évangéline disappeared, Tempe was warned not to search for her, that the girl was ‘dangerous.’ 30 years later, flooded with memories, Tempe cannot help wondering if this skeleton could be the friend she lost so many years ago.
  3. Devil Bones – In a house under renovation in Charlotte, North Carolina, a plumber discovers a forgotten cellar, and some rather grisly remains – the severed head of a teenage girl, several decapitated chickens, and a couple of cauldrons containing beads, feathers, bones, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In a river not far away, an adolescent boy’s torso carved with a pentagram, is found. Are these crimes the work of devil worshippers?
  4. 206 Bones – There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can use them to reconstruct every kind of violent end. When Tempe finds herself regaining consciousness in some kind of very small, very dark, very cold enclosed space – bound, hands to feet – Tempe begins slowly to reconstruct…


  1. Spider Bones – John Lowery was declared dead in 1968 – the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American soldier end up in Canada?
  2. Flash and Bones – As 200,000 fans pour into town for Race Week, a body is found in a metal drum near Charlotte Motor Speedway – a discovery that has NASCAR crewman Wayne Gamble urgently seeking out Tempe. The FBI joined the investigation, but it was soon terminated. Tests reveal that a toxic substance was in the drum with the body – just as another disappearance occurs.
  3. Bones are Forever – In a run-down Montreal apartment, Tempe finds heartbreaking evidence of three innocent lives ended. The landlord says Alma Rogers lives there. Heading up an investigation crackling with the sexual tension of past intimacies, Tempe leads detective Andrew Ryan and police sergeant Ollie Hasty along the woman’s trail and into the farthest reaches of mining country.
  4. ‘Bones in her Pocket’ – collected in The Bone Collection.
  5. Bones of the Lost – When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse police find the ID card of a prominent local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific flea market fire months earlier. Was the girl an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered?


  1. ‘Swamp Bones’ – collected in The Bone Collection.
  2. Bones Never Lie – nexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common – the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan.
  3. ‘Bones on Ice’ – collected in The Bone Collection.
  4. Speaking in Bones – Hazel ‘Lucky’ Strike – a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases – comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl being held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab.
  5. A Conspiracy of Bones – coming soon.