You’ve had a long day at work and decide to kick back and relax with one of your very favorite crime shows: Bones!
You heard the name “Kathy Reichs’ ‘ while watching and decided to go ahead and google this minor character for backstory, only to discover that she’s the author of the books! Now, you want to begin reading but you’re sure of the reading order.
Sounds about right? I’m here to help. Bones is one of the most interesting crime fiction series in the world, and it’s pretty safe to say that bookish fans are hooked.
But, it’s worth mentioning that Reich is known for a variety of standalone novels, one of which helped her become a New York Times Bestselling Author for the first time. All that being said, what is the best order to read Kathy Reichs’ books?
If you’ve got this author on your “to read” list, then rest assured that I’m here to help. In this guide, I’m going to be providing you with a helpful list of the best reading order of Kathy Reichs’ books, including her series Bones as well as her standalone novels, too. Just read on!
About Kathy Reich Books
Before I get into the best reading order for Kathy Reichs’ books, I first want to take a moment to provide you with a little background on what type of writer she is, as this will help you to make a more informed reading decision.
A New York Times bestselling author and celebrated for her ability to write forensic crime fiction – Kathy Reichs shot to fame with her first novel of the Temperance Brennan series, Deja Dead.
The series has since inspired a TV Show centered around the books called Bones, which ran for many years.
A little known fact that you might not be aware of is that Kathy Reichs also goes by the name of Dr. Reichs, as she is one of the 100 forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology!
All that being said, it’s certainly easy to see why Kathy Reichs’ has seen such success as a forensic crime writer.
Now that you know a little bit more about Kathy Reichs and the type of books that she is known for writing, let’s go ahead and take a look at all of her books (so far, that is) in order.
Kathy Reich Temperance Brennan Books In Order
Déjà Dead (1997)
In this first installment in the series, it has been a year since Temperance Brennan has left behind her shaky marriage in North Carolina. When a female is discovered stashed in a trash can, Temperance is determined to find out who did it.
But, what Temperance doesn’t know is that her investigation will lead her friends and family into danger.
- Great use of characters and storyline.
- Some areas can be hard to follow.
Death Du Jour (1999)
In Death Du Jour, Temperance Brennan’s old flame, Ryan, is in Montreal investigating the disappearance of a very wealthy young woman. Tempe decided to investigate with Ryan to help uncover who the evil mastermind behind it all is.
- Plenty of tension.
- Easy to read and follow.
- You’ll need a good memory from the first book.
Deadly Decisions (2000)
When innocent blood gets spilled, Temperance Brennan is more determined than ever to discover who the person behind it is. But, just one misstep is all it will take to put herself or someone she loves in danger.
- Gripping and tense storyline.
- New characters.
- Some readers feel there is too much description in places.
Fatal Voyage (2001)
In this next book, the twisting tale begins with Temperance Brennan sadly discovering that an Air TrandSouth Flight has gone down in the mountains of western North Carolina.
With theories flying around, Tempe uncovers a shocking piece of evidence that leads to someone trying to stop her right in her tracks.
- More backstory into Temperance Brennan as a character.
- Plenty of attention to detail.
- Some readers feel the plot “jumps” in places.
Grave Secrets (2002)
Temperance Brennan finds herself involved in four different cases of wealthy young women who have each gone missing with no rhyme or reason from Guatemala City. Will her search for truth lead her into dangerous territory?
- The journey continues in Guatemala City.
- New characters to meet!
- Not Kathy Reichs best installment in the series.
Bare Bones (2003)
Bones have been discovered in North Carolina…but are they the bones of an animal or something a little more sinister? While x-rays and DNA can help to uncover who the bones belong to, they can’t reveal who is tracking Tempe and her loved ones.
- Tense and thrilling. A real page turner!
- Some readers feel Ryan brings nothing to the plot.
Monday Mourning (2004)
The journey continues in Israel, where Tempe finds herself thrust into an international mystery centered around Christ’s tomb. But, has the evil mastermind behind it all lured Tempe into a huge hoax?
- Great storyline and use of characters.
- Some readers found the jump to Israel a little confusing.
As Temp does her best to get to the bottom of the mystery in Israel, she finds herself fighting a battle closer to home as herself (and her loved ones) are also in danger of the mastermind behind the hoax.
- Great storyline continuation.
- Hard to get into in the first half.
Break No Bones (2006)
In Break No Bones, Tempe has been called back to South Carolina to fill in for a colleague that isn’t up to scratch.
Now, she’s stuck teaching in an archaeology field school when all she wants to do is get back out there on her quest to uncover the person that’s been tracking her and her family for years. What will she do?
- Easy, relaxed reading.
- More backstory into Tempe.
- Some readers feel that this is a “filler” installment.
Bones To Ashes (2007)
Temperance Brennan has discovered an unidentified skeleton in New Brunswick, while her love, Ryan, has been busy investigating a series of cold cases with seemingly no leads. Could the Tempe’s discovery of the skeleton be somehow linked to these cold cases?
- Great attention to detail.
- Thrilling and fast-paced!
- Some feel this book isn’t as strong as other installments.
Devil Bones (2008)
Forensic Temperance Brennan has been called in to explore the discovery of strange findings in a cellar.
Nothing is clear to Tempe when a young girl and boy is found, and with accusations from left and right, Tempe is going to need to buckle down and focus to find the real culprit.
- Plenty of tension, you won’t be able to put this book down!
- Easy to read and follow.
- Some readers feel this book could be longer.
206 Bones (2009)
There’s 206 bones in the human body, and forensic anthropologists like Tempe know each and every one in greater detail than most.
That being said, when Tempe finds herself beginning to regain consciousness in a very small, dark and cold space with her hands and feet bound, Tempe slowly begins to reconstruct and plan an escape.
- Full of mystery and intrigue – you’ll be hooked!
- Harder to get into than others in this series.
Spider Bones (2010)
Tempe discovers a man that has been identified twice, which simply can’t be. Her quest for the truth of the situation leads her to Hawaii, where she is joined by her love Andrew Ryan.
When Tempe finds herself contacted by Honolulu’s medical examiner, she’ll need to uncover whether a young boy was attacked by a shark, or whether something more sinister is at play.
- The journey continues in Hawaii!
- Well-paced and plenty of new characters to get to know.
- Some readers don’t feel the inclusion of Andrew Ryan brings much to the plot.
Flash And Bones (2011)
Thousands of fans are rushing into town for the Asphalt races, but when a body is discovered – Tempe has a crazy feeling that it could be the body of Wayne Gamble’s sister who disappeared with her boyfriend 12 years ago.
- Thrilling new plotline and characters.
- Some readers do not like the ending.
Bones Are Forever (2012)
A woman going by the name of Amy Roberts checks herself into a hospital complaining of pain. It is clear that she has recently given birth, but before doctors are able to do anything, Roberts seemingly disappears…
- New characters and plot!
- Easy to get into.
- Sensitive content that might not be suitable for all.
Bones Of The Lost (2013)
In Bones of the Lost, Temperance Brennan finds herself on another whirlwind journey as her examination of a young girl that was caught in a hit and run in North Carolina leads her on an investigation into International human trafficking.
- Engaging plot that will have you hiked from the jump!
- Hard to follow in certain points.
Bones Never Lie (2014)
There’s a twisted, evil man on the loose that has been linked to two cases in Canada. The only problem? The police are having a hard time finding him. Can Temperance Brennan find his whereabouts?
- Described as being one of Reichs’ best works.
- Well-paced, attention to detail and purposeful use of characters to drive the story forward.
- Some readers find this book predictable.
Speaking In Bones (2015)
An online amateur detective provides Temperance with a tape recording of a girl being held prisoner.
After watching, Brennan begins to believe that Hazel, the amateur detective, is truly on to something and the two decide to join forces to find the girl and bring her to safety.
- Well-written and fast paced.
- You won’t be able to put this down!
- Some readers wish this book was longer!
The Bone Collection (2016) (Novella Bundle)
In The Bone Collection, you’ll find a collection of pulse-racing tales centered around anthropologist Temperance – including the untold story of her very first case!
- The untold story of Temperance Brennan’s first case.
- Nice break from the main series.
- Some readers wish these short stories were longer.
A Conspiracy Of Bones (2020)
In this next installment in the series, Temperance Brennan finds herself having to put her skills to the test when a person is found without a face.
When she discovers a link to an older child case and the discovery that the unidentified person had her phone number, Tempe finds herself on a journey to find out the truth.
- Plenty of links to other cases within the series.
- Lots of twists you won’t see coming!
- Second half of the book is hard to follow.
The Bone Code (2021)
While on the way to Isle of Palms, which has just encountered a devastating hurricane, Tempe receives a call that a waste container has been found washed up on the South Carolina coast. What will Tempe find inside?
- Great use of tension.
- Hard to follow in certain areas.
Cold, Cold Bones (2022)
In Cold, Cold Bones, Temperance Brennan finds herself uncovering a series of gruesome findings that seem to be recreating some of her most evil earlier cases in the series.
- Plenty of story continuation from other installments in the series.
- Just like with some other installments, some readers find this book a little predictable in places.
Kathy Reichs Stand Alone Books In Order
Now that I’ve talked you through the Temperance Brennan series, I’m now going to be providing you with a list of Kathy Reichs stand alone books in order. Let’s take a look:
Two Nights is currently the only stand alone novel released by Kathy Reichs. In this novel, the story follows Sunday Night, a woman who is described as having both psychological and physical scars, as well as a killer instinct.
Known to her friends and loved ones as Sunnie, Sunday has spent many years of her life running from her past and trying to build a brand new life where no one knows anything about her past.
However, amidst her quest for independence and a fresh start, it is uncovered that a girl has gone missing and the family of the girl need Sunnie’s help. What has happened to the girl? Has someone taken her? Perhaps she has run away?
Or, maybe, something more sinister is the reason why… Whatever the reason for the girl’s strange and mysterious disappearance, one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be up to Sunnie to face her fears and help the family uncover what has happened to the girl.
Who knows, by helping out the family and getting to the truth of what happened to her and why she disappeared, maybe Sunnie will also have the opportunity to get to the bottom of what really happened to her all those years ago, too.
- Considered to be one of Kathy Reichs’ best works so far!
- A brand new character to get to know from the mind of Kathy Reichs.
- Excellent storytelling, great attention to detail and a page turner – you’ll be hooked!
- Some readers found that certain parts of the book felt a little predictable in certain places.
You’ve reached the end! Now that you have taken the time to read through this reading guide, I hope that I have been able to give you a clear idea of what the best order to read all of Kathy Reichs books is.
Along with that, I also hope that I have been able to give you a clearer understanding of what type of writer Reichs is, as well as whether or not you’ll like it.
If you’re looking for some light reading to enjoy at the beach or curled up in front of the fire with your favorite cup of hot cocoa, we think that starting with the standalone is a great option to choose.
Although, if you’re someone that loves delving into a series – Bones is where you should start. Thank you once again for taking the time to read through this guide, and I hope you have a great time reading a Kathy Reich book…or books! Bye for now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Order Of Kathy Reichs Books?
While there are a few ways to read Kathy Reichs books, the order that we have shared with you above is by far considered to be the best.
How Many Books Are In The Bones Series Of Kathy Reich?
At the time of writing, there are currently 22 books and counting in the Bones series! There is an upcoming installment that is going to be released in October 2023.