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Good Blood (Gideon Oliver #11)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  583 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published (first published 2004)
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Good Blood by Aaron Elkins.

Julie, Gideon Oliver's wife, is on a Peddle & Paddle on the cheap in Italy. Gideon, on the other hand, wants a rest and relaxation vacation with modern conveniences. So although the two of them are in Italy...they are not together. Gideon runs into an old friend, Phil, who just so happens to be on the way for a rare visit to his family home. Phil's home turns out to be an estate for the De Grazia family.
No sooner do Phil & Gideon arrive when the padrone's only
Jan 18, 2016 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Good Blood by Aaron Elkins is the eleventh book to feature the "Skeleton Detective," Gideon Oliver. This time Oliver and his wife, Julie, are headed to Italy for a bit of R&R. Gideon plans to stay in the nicely civilized hotels while Julie joins their friend Phil Boyajian on one of his "On the Cheap" tours which involves far too many primitive stays in tents for Gideon's tastes. Phil also uses the time in Italy to drop in on his relatives--which he does once or twice a year (more than enough ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elkins sends his crime-solving couple to Italy to tour the countryside with their mutual friend, Phil. When asked to take a detour to visit with Phil’s family, things begin to heat up. The trio walks into the middle of a family meeting surrounding the recent kidnapping of Phil’s teenage relative, whose life is being held for ransom. Gideon and Julie steer clear of the family drama, until a set of bones turn up, unearthed by a construction firm in a nearby town. Gideon uses his expertise and acad ...more
Sandra Strange
I really enjoy this series. This one's set in Italy, involving Italian aristocracy and modern business, with bones uncovered when the family company is digging foundations of a new development. Lots of intricate family relationships and class and past-vs-present frictions.
May 15, 2016 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the best of Mr. Elkins' books, but enjoyable nonetheless. It took awhile to get to the "meat" and bring Dr. Oliver into the story (too long in my opinion), but once there it moved along quite nicely. Reading this series is always a lovely breathe of fresh air.
Jan 10, 2015 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense-mystery
Pretty suspenseful story, although I admit that I eventually had to make a chart to keep track of all the people involved. Set in Italy, which interests me. No trashy stuff, no political sermonizing. I recommend it.
Wiebke Kuhn
My first stab at this series - and it is rather deep into it, which may explain why it took quite a long time to get going with it. But the story did turn out to be quite interesting, especially in its attention to forensic anthropological detail.
I was jazzed to read this book since I really liked Loot by Elkins, but this was pretty contrived. Phil is leading an adventure course in Italy’s lake district and Julie, the park ranger is helping, while her husband Gideon, the forensic anthropologist is a long for the ride. It turns out Phil is related to the wealthiest family of the city, the youngest member is kidnapped and a body is found for Gideon to jam on. The history of Italian aristocracy is interesting, and liked the blue collar cop, ...more
May 27, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is one of the more worthwhile in the recent spate of books featuring forensic anthropologists. Part travelogue, the story is set on the Italian side of Lake Maggiore, where Gideon Oliver and his forest ranger wife Julie are helping out their friend Phil who is leading a camping and cycling tour of the lake. Phil’s bratty cousin is kidnapped and his dysfunctional family, former aristicorats that take their “good blood” seriously, look like promising suspects. In the meantime, the poli ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Ema rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The actual forensic anthropology was very interesting, as was the setting, but the characters were very static and stereotypical, sometimes engaging in very stilted-seeming and too-polished dialogue. It seemed more like an "armchair-detective" story than anything. Descriptions of the scenery seemed to be straight out of a guide-book, or described from a photograph, like a flat, stale reproduction. Overall, had it not been for the forensics and many-faceted (yet almost too-straightforward) plot, ...more
May 01, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kathy  Petersen
A second (the first was Little Tiny Teeth) and much more satisfying acquaintance with the Skeleton Detective. I still don't know much about Gideon Oliver or his wife Julie, but bones were much more in evidence (horrors, a pun) and put to better work, better description and discussion, too. The plot was intricate but clearly presented, considerably twisted but just about believable.

It's always nice to find a new detective to run after.
Mar 04, 2013 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
The Skeleton Doctor travels to Italy and gets himself embroiled in a case involving the local padrone. A VERY convoluted story, but generally not difficult to follow, as long as family relationships are tracked carefully. Interesting, and just generally made me want to go back to Italy for a visit, to explore the northern bits around Lake Como and Milan.

Someday...though I hope I don't find any dead bodies or kidnap victims!!
Jun 18, 2007 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not my favorite in the Gideon Oliver series, but since an average effort by Elkins is better than many writers' best efforts, it's still worthy of three stars.

This one is set in Italy and involves a wealthy family and some semi-mafioso characters, but it doesn't have anywhere near as much anthropology, archaology, or history as "The Dark Place" and some of my other favorites. Still, it's a good, solid mystery.
Dec 02, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gideon Oliver and his wife Julie travel to Italy with their good friend Phil Boyajian so Julie can help Phil on one of his On The Cheap tours. When they arrive they discover that Phil's cousin Achille has been kidnapped. When the police find a skeleton that might belong to Achille they call on Gideons expertise as a forensic anthropologist. A good mystery with a surprising conclusion.
Jan 29, 2009 Samira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A very well written quick mystery. Nothing in the writing was jarringly bad, the clues worked well together, the depiction of Italy was lovely. There was less character development than I tend to like, but that is a matter of taste. I really prefer novels that happen to contain mysteries, where this is simply a mystery. This, however, is a fine example of its kind.
Sep 16, 2010 james rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All right, three stars may be a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, the book moved along quite well and the action took place in an interesting locale: the mountainous region of Northern Italy. This is part of a series by Aaron Elkins, who has written many good books which are not about Gideon Oliver.
Nov 23, 2014 Rodney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most of his books, I enjoyed this one. that said, it left a little on the table, so to speak. The characters/relationships were convoluted and took too much explaining. the plot didn't require all that. Still, Caravale was a good character.
May 25, 2015 Bea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I jumped into this mystery series with this book, and I must admit that I enjoyed it. Of course, anthropology, forensic science and mysteries are right up my alley for a good book. I will be looking for other Gideon Oliver books.
May 29, 2013 Shaleh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pg, action, mystery
Very good book, but I think the ending was a little wonky. Kind'a like the author didn't want you to guess it, so he just chose some random character to have perpetrated the crime.
Mar 05, 2008 Ferret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Not one of the better Gideon Oliver mysteries. The secret is far too predictable. Still, Gideon Oliver is one of the more engaging and pleasant detectives out there.
Nov 14, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story that shows just how silly people can get of blood lines and judging people by the 'good blood' that they think is in their veins.
Apr 26, 2013 Mysteryfan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Not one of the stronger entries in the series. Babies exchanged at birth, mysterious inheritance. I liked the setting in Italy.
Nov 25, 2010 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book and entertaining characters, but more predictable than others in the Gideon Oliver series.
Good story. Interesting from the viewpoint of the family and its desire for 'purity'.
Aug 12, 2009 Nik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
was a decent read, but i probably wouldn't recommend it to my friends.
Nov 09, 2008 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery & forensics
One of the newer Gideon Oliver books, with a different twist.
Oct 21, 2009 Alexa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-give-up, for-class
This book is not worth reading unless you already love Gideon Oliver.
Kim Yoder
Apr 05, 2013 Kim Yoder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Gideon Oliver, You'll like this installment
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It was a GOOD READ! 1 4 Apr 26, 2009 07:24PM  
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Aaron J. Elkins AKA Aaron Elkins (born Brooklyn July 24, 1935) is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'. The fourth Oliver book, Old Bones, received the 1988 Edgar Award for Best Novel. As Oliver is a world-renowned authority, he travels around the world and each book is set in a different and ...more
More about Aaron Elkins...

Other Books in the Series

Gideon Oliver (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Fellowship of Fear (Gideon Oliver, #1)
  • The Dark Place (Gideon Oliver, #2)
  • Murder in the Queen's Armes (Gideon Oliver, #3)
  • Old Bones (Gideon Oliver, #4)
  • Curses! (Gideon Oliver, #5)
  • Icy Clutches (Gideon Oliver, #6)
  • Make No Bones (Gideon Oliver, #7)
  • Dead Men's Hearts (Gideon Oliver, #8)
  • Twenty Blue Devils (Gideon Oliver, #9)
  • Skeleton Dance (Gideon Oliver, #10)

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