Hardcover Mysteries Kathy Reichs: The Case That Inspired Dèja Dead

Investigation Discovery: Hardcover MysteriesInvestigation Discovery recently launched a new series called Hardcover Mysteries, in which top fiction crime writers share stories of real-life cases that inspired them to write, or captured their fascination.

The episode debuting tomorrow night (Monday, Nov. 22 at 9PM ET) features New York Times bestselling author and creator of Temperance “Bones” Brennan, Kathy Reichs.

In the episode, Reichs recounts her real-life involvement as a forensic anthropologist in one of the most sensational homicide investigations in Canadian history and how the case inspired elements in her first novel, Dèja Dead.

Discovery Investigation was kind enough to let me pre-screen the episode, and I assure you it’s a gripping case:

Louise Ellis, a 46-year-old journalist from Ottawa, Canada, was on her way to visit friends in the Gatineau Hills, but never arrived. When a friend finds her car parked on a roadside with her belongings inside, authorities begin to suspect foul play. Detectives narrow in on two suspects – her new husband and her ex-boyfriend – but they can’t find Ellis’s body.

Reichs, who was writing her first book at the time she was called in to work on the Louis Ellis case, recounts how she felt a very personal connection with Ellis. They were both writers, strong willed, independent and, at times, argumentative. Reichs also notes that the case contained many of the same elements that make a good fiction thriller: twists and turns, as well as several false leads.

Unlike the villains in her novels however, which she prefers to keep in the “deep background” until unveiled, the villain in the Ellis case ended up being right under the investigators’ noses from the very beginning. To find out who it was, and hear Reichs talk about how the case “stayed with her,” tune in to Hardcover Mysteries on Monday, November 22, 2010 at 9PM.

– CONTEST: Win an Autographed Copy of Spider Bones –

Investigation Discovery has generously provided an autographed copy of Kathy Reichs’ new Temperance Brennan novel, Spider Bones, for one of my readers. To be entered for a chance to win, just leave a comment below. Be sure to include your email address in the comment form so you can be contacted if you’re the lucky winner! Contest open to U.S. addresses only, and runs through midnight on November 27, 2010.

*** The contest is now closed.***

You can learn more about Investigation Discovery and the Hardcover Mysteries series by visiting the Investigation Discovery website. You can also find Investigation Discovery on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Kathy Reichs, like her character Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist, formerly for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and currently for the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale for the province of Quebec. A professor in the department of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she is one of only eighty-five forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, is past Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and serves on the National Police Services Advisory Board in Canada. Reichs’s first book, Déja Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Spider Bones is her thirteenth novel. To learn more about Kathy, visit her website.

– Hardcover Mysteries: Kathy Reichs –


  • Suzie Schupp

    September 14, 2012 - 6:07 PM

    excellent write-up from you! spot on.

  • Kathleen A. Ryan

    November 29, 2010 - 5:19 PM

    Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I am absolutely thrilled! This is so exciting. I will treasure this signed copy of SPIDER BONES. You’ve made my day (my week, & my month, too!). I’ll send you my mailing address.

  • Elizabeth A. White

    November 29, 2010 - 3:25 PM

    The numbers have been plugged into Random.org and the winner is… Kathleen A. Ryan. Congratulations!

  • Betty C

    November 27, 2010 - 11:36 PM

    I’m a huge fan of mystery stories and I love the TV program “Bones” so this type of book is right up my alley.
    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Veronica Garrett

    November 27, 2010 - 10:51 PM

    It sounds like a great book. I would love to read it.