Kathleen Joan "Kathy" Reichs is a Chicago native and works as a forensic anthropologist, an academic, and bestselling writer of mystery novels. She is a Professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte but is currently on indefinite leave.[1] She divides her time between work for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology[2] and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Her schedule also involves a number of speaking engagements around the world.

Kathy Reichs

Academic careerEdit

  • 1971, B.A. in anthropology from American University
  • 1972, M.A. in physical anthropology from Northwestern University
  • 1975, Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Northwestern University

She has taught at Northern Illinois University, University of Pittsburgh, Concordia University, McGill University and is currently the Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.[3]

She has appeared in Rwanda to testify at the UN's Genocide Tribunal.[4] She has assisted Dr. Clyde Snow and the Foundation for Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology in an exhumation in the area of Lake Atitlan in the highlands of southwest Guatemala. She was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team assigned to assist at the World Trade Center disaster.

Academic papersEdit

  • Quantified comparison of frontal sinus patterns by means of computed tomography. Forensic Science International 1993 Oct;61(2-3):141-68.
  • Effect of age and osteoarthritis on bone mineral in rhesus monkey vertebrae. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 1993 Aug;8(8):909-17.
  • Forensic anthropology in the 1990s. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 1992 Jun;13(2):146-53.
  • Treponematosis: a possible case from the late prehistoric of North Carolina. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 1989 Jul;79(3):289-303.
  • Cranial suture eccentricities: a case in which precocious closure complicated determination of sex and commingling. Journal of Forensic Science 1989 Jan;34(1):263-73.
  • Ontogenetic plasticity in nonhuman primates: I. Secular trends in the Cayo Santiago macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 1987 Jul;73(3):279-87.

Academic booksEdit

  • Forensic Osteology: Advances in the Identification of Human Remains (1986)
  • Hominid Origins: Inquiries Past and Present (Editor) (1983)

Novels Edit

In addition to technical books on Anthropology and Forensics, Kathy Reichs has written ten novels to date, which have been translated into 30 languages.[5] Her first novel, Déjà Dead, won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The fictional heroine in her novels, Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, is also a forensic anthropologist. Her lifestyle closely mimics that of her creator. A good portion of the novels is based on real-life science. Most of the techniques used and technology mentioned are things that Kathy Reichs uses in her real life job. The blood spatters analysis used in Deadly Decisions, for instance, is directly from her job. In the novel Grave Secrets, she uses her experience from her visit to Guatemala to enhance the story. Reichs has said herself that she didn't want her character to be perfect and chose to give Temperance some history.

Title Published ISBNs Notes
Déjà Dead

1997 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-925518-9 Won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
Death du Jour

1999 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-925519-7
Deadly Decisions

2000 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-930710-3
Hardback: ISBN 0-434-00820-6
Fatal Voyage

2001 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-930720-0
Audio CD: ISBN 1-85686-927-X
Grave Secrets

2002 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-930730-8
Audio CD: ISBN 1-85686-928-8
Bare Bones

2003 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-944147-0
Monday Mourning

2004 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-944148-9
Cross Bones

2005 Paperback: ISBN 0-09-944149-7
Hardback: ISBN 0-434-01040-5
Audio CD: ISBN 1-85686-985-7
Break No Bones

2006 Hardback: ISBN 0-434-01042-1
Paperback: ISBN 0-434-01544-X
Bones to Ashes

2007 Hardback: ISBN 978-0434014620
Devil Bones

2008 Hardback: ISBN 978-0-7432-9438-6
206 Bones

2009 Hardback: ISBN

2010 Harback: ISNB 978-1-5951-4342-6 Book 1 of "Virals" series

2011 Hardback: ISBN 978-1-5951-4394-5 Book 2 of "Virals" series

2013 Hardback: ISBN 978-1-5951-4412-6 Book 3 of "Virals" series


Main article: Bones (TV series)

A 2005 FOX television series, Bones, is inspired by Reichs' life and writing.[6] The series borrows the name of the books' heroine, Temperance "Bones" Brennan. As in the books, Temperance (Emily Deschanel) is a forensic anthropologist. She moonlights as an author, writing about a fictional forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs. The TV series does not tie in with the book series. It includes a cast of new characters and while the books are all set in either North Carolina or Montreal, the television series is based in Washington, D.C.

Reichs appeared in an episode of Bones, Judas on a Pole, in which she played Professor Constance Wright, a forensic anthropologist on the board performing Zack Addy's Thesis Defense.[7]


  1. List of faculty at UNCC
  2. List of ABFA Diplomats
  3. Kathy Reiches abbreviated Vitae
  4. Smithsonian Magazine: Interview with Kathy Reichs
  5. Kathy Reichs book suppliers
  6. Bones Show Info
  7. IMDB profile for Bones episode Judas on a Pole

External linksEdit

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