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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters, Joan Hess

September 1, 2017

HarperCollins Publishers: New York 2017 (HC) In 2013 mystery novel readers and Egyptologists around the globe mourned the passing of Barbara Mertz, who under the pen name of Elizabeth Peters, wrote some of the most cherished stories of the late…


Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones

June 1, 2017

Random House, Inc.:  New York 1998 (PB) Between 1921 and 1937 a series of excavations were carried out at a site at Zhoukoudian, China, near Beijing (then known as Peking).  Fossil remains estimated to date from 500,000 years before the…


The Count of the Sahara by Wayne Turmel

April 1, 2017

The Book Folks:  London 2015 (PB) First-time novelist Wayne Turmel has written an imaginative and beguiling novel of historical fiction.  He takes the reader on an evocative journey back to the Roaring Twenties—a time when Howard Carter’s discovery of King…


Burials by Mary Anna Evans

March 1, 2017

Poisoned Pen Press:  Scottsdale, AZ 2017 (PB) Dr. Sophia Townsend was a brilliant archaeologist, but one who was reputed to be a foul-tempered loner who often made working for her a living hell.  In 1987 her one-woman cultural resources firm…


The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

February 1, 2017

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:  New York City 2016 (HC) The bucolic town of Walsingham in Norfolk has been a place of pilgrimage throughout England’s Christian era and perhaps stretching back into its pagan past.  Cathbad, the neo-Druid who is house- and…


A Carol for the Dead by Patrick Dunne

December 1, 2016

Tivoli Publishing:  Dublin, Ireland 2005 (PB) Patrick Dunne has penned an absorbing, intellectually satisfying mystery steeped in Irish lore, history and archaeology.  The setting is mid-December in the area immediately adjacent to Newgrange, the Neolithic monument dating from c. 3200…


Switcheroo by Aaron Elkins

November 1, 2016

Thomas & Mercer Publishers:  Seattle, WA 2016 (PB) In 1982 author Aaron Elkins, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin anthropology program, introduced his creation Gideon Oliver, the “Skeleton Detective,” to lovers of mystery fiction in his Fellowship of Fear. …


Death Among the Fossils by Isadore Durant

September 1, 2016

University of New Mexico Press:  Albuquerque, NM 1999 (HC) Bob Shafer was a celebrated paleoanthropologist, noted for his excavation of early hominids in East Africa, and published in all the prestigious journals of his field.  He was also arrogant, unscrupulous,…


The Death Season by Kate Ellis

July 1, 2016

Piatkus Publishers:  London 2015 (PB) Kate Ellis continues her unbroken string of complex and fascinating studies of the nature of evil—in both contemporary and past times—featuring the criminal investigation of Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson and the archaeological investigations of his…


Sunken Dreams by Steven Kuehn

April 1, 2016

Five Star Publishing:  New York 2016 (pb) Academic politics can be murder!  Or at least many college and university faculty have probably metaphorically come to that conclusion!  But in the life of Jacob Caine, associate professor of archaeology at “Wisconsin…