Bones Wiki

Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, an academic, bestselling writer of mystery novels and producer. 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. In 2019 she received the 'Order of Canada'.

She has been married to Paul Aivars Reichs since 1968. They have three children. Mother of Kerry Reichs.


Reichs studied anthropology at American University, earning a B.A. in 1971. She then received an M.A. (1972) and a Ph.D. (1975) in physical anthropology from Northwestern University. She was an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University from 1974 until 1978, when she accepted a position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She became a full professor in 1996. Reichs began consulting with the office of the chief medical examiner in North Carolina in the mid-1980s. She was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1986 and in 1988 began working part of each year at the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale in Quebec. She also taught at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In 1999 she served as a consultant to the UN Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda, and in 2001 she helped identify remains of victims of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. Throughout her academic career, Reichs wrote numerous scholarly articles; she also edited three books on physical and forensic anthropology.

In the late 1980s Reichs wrote a novel, which was not published. She reworked the novel in the mid-1990s, salvaging only the main character, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, from the earlier manuscript. In Brennan, Reichs created a memorable protagonist whose professional life paralleled her own. She gave meticulous accounts of Brennan’s forensic investigations, details of which she sometimes culled from her own lab work. Scribner, the first publisher to receive the completed manuscript for Déjà Dead (1997), signed Reichs to a $1.2 million two-book deal. Déjà Dead won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first novel. Other novels in the series included Death du Jour (1999), Bare Bones (2003), Devil Bones (2008), Bones of the Lost (2013), and Speaking in Bones (2015). The popularity of Reichs’s books led to a television show, Bones, which aired from 2005 to 2017. Reichs consulted with the show’s writers and was also a producer.

Reichs’s other fictional works included Two Nights (2017), about a reclusive former police officer who tries to find a missing teenager. She also wrote (with her son, Brendan Reichs) the young adult series Virals, which chronicles the adventures of Tory Brennan, the grandniece of Temperance Brennan

Academic papers[]

  • 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 books[]

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


In addition to technical books on Anthropology and Forensics, Kathy Reichs has written ten novels to date, which have been translated into 30 languages.[3] 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.

Temperance Brennan series[]

No. Title Published ISBNs Notes
1 Déjà Dead 1997 Paperback: ISBNT:0-09-925518-9
Audio CD: ISBNT:1-449-83348-9
Won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
2 Death du Jour 1999 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-925519-7
Hardcover:ISBNT: 0-684-84118-5
Audio CD:ISBNT : 0-754-05330-X
3 Deadly Décisions 2000 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-930710-3
Hardback:ISBNT: 0-434-00820-6
4 Fatal Voyage 2001 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-930720-0
Audio CD: ISBNT: 1-85686-927-X
5 Grave Secrets 2002 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-930730-8
Audio CD:ISBNT: 1-85686-928-8
6 Bare Bones 2003 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-944147-0
7 Monday Mourning 2004 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-944148-9
8 Cross Bones 2005 Paperback:ISBNT: 0-09-944149-7
Hardback:ISBNT: 0-434-01040-5
Audio CD:ISBNT: 1-85686-985-7
9 Break No Bones 2006 Hardback:ISBNT: 0-434-01042-1
Paperback:ISBNT: 0-434-01544-X
10 Bones to Ashes 2007 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0434014620
Paperback:ISBNT: 978-1416525653
11 Devil Bones 2008 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0743294386
Paperback:ISBNT: 978-1-4391-5440-3
Audio CD:ISBNT:978-1846571336
12 206 Bones 2009 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0743294393
Paperback:ISBNT: 978-0-4340-2005-8
13 Spider Bones 2010 ISBNT: 978-0-0995-5686-2
released as Mortal Remains in UK and Australia in hardback,
reverted to Spider Bones for paperback release
14 Flash and Bones 2011 ISBNT: 978-1439102411
15 Bones are Forever 2012 ISBNT: 978-0434021130
16 Bones of the Lost 2013 ISBNT: 978-1476754741
17 Bones Never Lie 2014 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0345544018
Paperback:ISBNT: 978-0804194471
18 Speaking in Bones 2015 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0434021192
19 The Bone Collection 2016 Hardback:ISBNT: 9780606394642
Paperback:ISBNT: 9780399593222
A short story collection including First Bones (a prequel to Déjà Dead), Bones in her Pocket, Swamp Bones and Bones on Ice. These books have been numbered as 0.5, 15.5, 16.5, 17.5, respectively.[4]
20 A Conspiracy of Bones 2020 Hardback:ISBNT: 9781785151187
21 The Bone Code 2021

Stand-alone books[]

No. Title Published ISBNs Notes
1 Two Nights 2017 Hardback:ISBNT: 978-0434021116
Paperback:ISBNT: 978-1524755577
Stand-alone, "off-series" novel with new characters.[5][6]

Virals series[]

Title Published ISBN Notes
Virals 2010 ISBNT: 978-0099543947
Seizure 2011 ISBNT: 978-1595143945
Code 2013 ISBNT: 978-0099543855
Exposure 2014 ISBNT: 978-1595145307
Terminal 2015 ISBNT: 978-1595145284
Trace Evidence 2016 ISBNT: 978-1784752392 a short story collection including Shock, Shift, Swipe and Spike (a new story set after the events of Terminal).


Reichs has released six downloadable short stories:

Title Published Notes
Shift 2013 Set in the Virals country, but featuring both the Virals characters and Temperance Brennan.
Bones In Her Pocket 2013 A Temperance Brennan story giving details of a case briefly mentioned in Bones of the Lost.
Swipe 2013 A Virals story, also featuring Temperance Brennan, set at Comic-Con in San Diego.
Swamp Bones 2014 A Temperance Brennan story set in the Florida Everglades.
Shock 2015 A Virals story telling how they first meet.
Bones On Ice 2015 A Temperance Brennan story of how she gets wrapped up in the ultimate cold case: a death on Mount Everest.


Main article: Bones (TV series)

A 2005 FOX television series, Bones, is inspired by Reichs' life and writing.[7] 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.[8]


Season 5[]

Season 9[]

Season 10[]

Season 11[]


External links[]