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am 3. Juni 1999
"Death du Jour" is no better than "Deja Dead". Both books suffer from overly complicated and hackneyed plots and they are too grisly. "Death du Jour" falls back on the cliche of psychotic cult figures who wreak havoc on the gullible people who are sucked into their circle. Do you know how many books have been written lately about cults? Is it because we are closing in on the millennium? Tempe is an entertaining heroine, but the plot is dull and uninvolving. The book could have been much shorter and much tighter and the author should have made the characters more engrossing. The ending was so dull that I skimmed it, something which I rarely do.
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am 27. Juli 2000
A different kind of professional female sleuth with the feel of non-fiction fiction. The author is a real-life forensic anthropologist for the State of North Carolina, and is also a professor at The University of North Carolina. The author's character has been divorced, has a 'wacky' sister and a grown-up daughter,is working for the Province of Quebec and teaches at university as well. Dr. Temperance Brennan, the first person narrator, has co-workers who hate her and a male detective who irritates and attracts her. Real excitement is constantly being created because the distractions caused by her personal life interfere with her sleuthing, which the reader can figure out by a few minutes. Despite the University credentials of both character and author, the book is very readable and fast. If bone science doesn't give you the creeps, I suggest taking this book with you on summer vacation. (There is a lot of snowing in the book,a mental boost if the sun is getting too much.)
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am 14. Juni 2000
There is a rule of thumb that no novel should have more than one significant coincidence, and it's a shame Kathy Reichs never heard of that principle. In this novel, the protagonist just happens to be personally affected by seemingly unrelated events in South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, and Quebec, and it just so happens that each of these subplots tie in to each other culminating in the grand climax. After the first couple chapters, it was painfully obvious how the author had structured the plot. In any mystery where the protagonist is not a law enforcement officer, there is dilemma in plot construction of how the protagonist gets his or her information. It is at this point that Reichs has dropped the ball: Coincidences spanning three states and one Canadian province are not a solid foundation for a compelling novel.
Reich's previous novel had appeal because of the Montreal setting, and because the specialty of 'forensic anthropologist' provides an interesting vehicle for a murder mystery. Those types of 'hooks' may succeed with a writer's first novel, but are not enough to sustain a second novel, especially when compounded by such difficulties of plot construction.
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am 12. April 1999
In a church graveyard, Montreal forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan diligently digs up the remains of a nun who died in 1888. The church plans to bestow sainthood on Sister Elisabeth Nicolet. However, the marked site fails to contain the sister''s bones as for some mysterious reason they were moved to another locale. When she finds the remains, Tempe begins to feel that the good nun succumbed to foul play.

At the same time, modern deaths due to arson and a teaching assistant disappearance have Tempe overworked. Still, the Tarheel native plows ahead to solve the century old mystery of Sister Elisabeth while helping with the current case load even as it draws her back to Beaufort, North Carolina.

DEATH DU JOUR, the second Tempe tale, is as terrific as the award winning debut novel (see DEJA DEAD). Tempe remains a serene, warm (in spite of her always being cold) character and the support cast adds Canadian and Carolinian depths to the crisp story line. The subplots cleverly merge together, but it is Kathy Reich's' ability to describe in depth forensic tools and results (autopsies, etc.) without goring the reader with plot drifting that makes this work a winner. Instead, these graphic passages augment the entertaining tale with a ring of authenticity. Sub-genre fans will demand more Tempe tales.

Harriet Klausner
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am 18. Juli 1999
I've read one ridiculous, boring, outlandish, improbably plotted, terrible book by Patricia Cornwell. I vowed never to read anything by her again. Then I found Kathy Reichs' Deja Dead. I couldn't put it down! Since then, I've been eagerly awaiting her next book and was not disappointed by Death Du Jour. The characters are believable, the plot complex. I thought for sure I knew who the bad guy would turn out to be and I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong! I can understand the comparisons between Reichs and Cornwell, but there really is no comparison. Tempe Brennan kicks Kay Scarpetta's butt!
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am 23. Mai 1999
I bought the author's 1st book, Deja Dead, because I was glad to have found another female medical examiner protagonist similar to Cornwell's Dr. Scarpetta. Still, Deja Dead (Reichs' 1st novel) wasn't as good as when Cornwell is at her, now, occasional best. Death Du Jour, being another Dr. Brennan novel, was a very welcome sight. Then after reading Death Du Jour you see there is a definite improvement over Deja Dead. Reich's story telling skills have improved considerably; now the author really communicates with, and grabs, the reader - she keeps the book moving. I read so many books and not many lately have kept my attention as this one has. If you were iffy with Deja Dead give it another chance with this book.
My only gripe is her wacky sister. Not only was there absolutely no need for her but she took something away from the story and the main character. They are way too different and not believable at all. But not for the sister's appearance I would have rated it 5 stars.
I'll anxiously await and will buy Reichs next book (new character or not) when it comes out. I hope the author doesn't feel the need to constantly inject family members into her story as Cornwell has done; ruining many storylines by focusing on the neice (a consensus among all my reader friends). We all want to read about the character and her unique professional encounters not her relatives.
Congratulations to Ms. Reich on an excellent and intelligent read.
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am 25. Mai 1999
I won an advanced reading copy of this book and absolutely loved it! Kathy Reichs has been compared to Patricia Cornwall, but I think Reichs is better. There were several mysteries within the one book and all were totally unpredictable. The main character's job (which is apparently the same as Reich's) sounds absolutely fascinating. Totally recommend this book! I've gone back and found her first one too and can't wait to read it.
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am 29. August 1999
I couldn't warm up to the character of Tempe Brennan. Something false about her. There were too many coincidences to make the plot plausible. Connecting the murders she stumbled upon in North Carolina to the murders in Quebec was enough of a stretch, but then throwing her sister into the thick of things was one coincidence too many. The detailed forensics were interesting to an extent, but not interesting enough to make up for the story problems.
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am 15. Januar 2000
This was another love-hate read by Kathy Reichs. I enjoyed the story and will more than likely read her next installment (although I will probably borrow it instead of buying it). It wasn't great but it was a good read. I truly wanted to know whodunnit and why; however, there were a few stylistic hurdles to overcome.
1. I guess my biggest problem is that the events in Reichs' story seem to be too coincidental and contrived. The characters seem to be puppets reacting instead of truly independent characters. I see her heavy hand directing them in every scene and it doesn't quite ring true.
2. I don't think I like Tempe Brennan. She's rude, easily rankled, and always thinks she's right - without really showing any reason why I should think she is. I'm not convinced that she could truly take care of herself. The unavoidable comparison to Kay Scarpetta leaves me thinking that Scarpetta could take Tempe down in a hearbeat.
3. There are a few scenes where Tempe gets all emotional and I'm supposed to feel her pain. Sorry, but I just didn't care. I wanted to, but I had no reason to shed tears about characters that weren't developed enough to make me care about them.
4. As for the bad guys in the book, I have one thing to say: if you want to read a novel about a cult that is truly scary and doesn't just blow things up, read Kyle Mills' _Storming Heaven_.
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am 12. April 1999
In a church graveyard, Montreal forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan diligently digs up the remains of a nun who died in 1888. The church plans to bestow sainthood on Sister Elisabeth Nicolet. However, the marked site fails to contain the sister''s bones as for some mysterious reason they were moved to another locale. When she finds the remains, Tempe begins to feel that the good nun succumbed to foul play.

At the same time, modern deaths due to arson and a teaching assistant disappearance have Tempe overworked. Still, the Tarheel native plows ahead to solve the century old mystery of Sister Elisabeth while helping with the current case load even as it draws her back to Beaufort, North Carolina.

DEATH DU JOUR, the second Tempe tale, is as terrific as the award winning debut novel (see DEJA DEAD). Tempe remains a serene, warm (in spite of her always being cold) character and the support cast adds Canadian and Carolinian depths to the crisp story line. The subplots cleverly merge together, but it is Kathy Reich's' ability to describe in depth forensic tools and results (autopsies, etc.) without goring the reader with plot drifting that makes this work a winner. Instead, these graphic passages augment the entertaining tale with a ring of authenticity. Sub-genre fans will demand more Tempe tales.

Harriet Klausner
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