Owned by me, read Feb. 8, 2009
A little different from some of the other Gideon Oliver aka Skeleton Detective series by Aaron Elkins, it was still fun and educational as well. Julie, Gideon's wife & her friend Marti Lau, wife of Gideon's good friend John Lau, have decided to vacation at a spa in Cabo San Lucas, and she tells Gideon he and John should take a vacation together somewhere too. A phone call to another friend who arranges vacations "On The Cheap" soon sets them up for a trip to the Amazon.
The book opens with a scene from the past involving headhunters and three unlucky botanists who inadvertently take a shortcut through the tribe's coca fields. The story then brings the reader into the present with the only survivor of this fiasco. Now a professor, department head and author, he is about to return to the Amazon with other ethnobotanists, an entomologist, and his co-author.
Naturally all this ties in as all the players arrive in Isquito to begin their cruise along the Amazon. Their "cruise" boat turns out to be over 100 years old and rickety, with few amenities. There are interesting characters, strange happenings, and of course the requisite bone fragments. There are also surprises in store for the reader. I am a great fan of Aaron Elkins' series and enjoyed this light read, as always.