Best Aaron Elkins books

A Dangerous Talent (An Alix London Mystery)

Charlotte Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 8.53

Buy
Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, her world was left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Now a Harvard dropout with an emptied bank account, she is languishing in a career that has produced little more than a lucky house-sitting gig. But all of that changes when Alix meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with money to burn and a hot tip on a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris hires Alix to perform the authentication, an assignment that finally could launch Alix into the big leagues. But soon after her arrival in Santa Fe, she finds herself tangled up in a web of forgery, deceit—and murder. Anxious to avoid becoming the next victim, she teams up with FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—and gets a little unlikely help from her roguish father—to uncover the truth behind the painting and those who would kill to have it. Sharp, witty, and devilishly fun, A Dangerous Talent offers an insider’s look into the surprisingly treacherous contemporary art world.

The Trouble with Mirrors (An Alix London Mystery)

Charlotte Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 9.11

Buy

Alix London, the art restorer and FBI consultant renowned as the Art Whisperer, can spot a counterfeit masterpiece before the paint even dries. What she can’t see is why an elite European art dealer would offer her big money for a little mirror that’s no more than a homemade gift from her beloved uncle Tiny. Not that Alix would part with it at any price. But when the mirror is abruptly stolen from her home, she realizes that someone sees more in the looking glass than mere sentimental value.

When her uncle Tiny disappears mysteriously just after the mirror is stolen, the simple art theft becomes a personal and professional challenge Alix can’t ignore. With backup from her friends in the FBI, her game-for-anything pal Chris, and an aging-but-dogged Italian police detective, she delves into the puzzling case, only to find that there is much more to this theft than meets the eye. Once the Mafia shows up on the scene, Alix’s mission becomes a do-or-die race to find the one possible man with all the answers.

Switcheroo (A Gideon Oliver Mystery)

Aaron Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 9.23

Buy

The Skeleton Detective is back.

A cold case dating from the 1960s draws forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver to the Channel Islands decades later to shine a light on the mysterious connection between two men who died there on the same night.

Swapped as young boys by their fathers during the Nazi occupation, wealthy Roddy Carlisle and middle-class George Skinner had some readjusting to do after the war ended—but their lives remained linked through work, trouble with the law, and finally, it would seem, through murder.

Nobody expects that Gideon’s modern-day investigation will turn up fresh bodies. But old bones tell many tales, and the Skeleton Detective has to be at his sharpest to piece together the truth before the body count mounts still higher.

Declared “a series that never disappoints” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Gideon Oliver mystery series is highly recommended for fans of Agatha Christie and Kathy Reichs.

Fellowship of Fear (The Gideon Oliver Mysteries) (Volume 1)

Aaron Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 8.7

Buy
When anthropology professor Gideon Oliver is offered a teaching fellowship at US military bases in Germany, Sicily, Spain, and Holland, he wastes no time accepting. Stimulating courses to teach, a decent stipend, all expenses paid, plenty of interesting European travel . . . What’s not to like?

It does not take him long to find out. On his first night, he is forced to fend off two desperate, black‑clad men who have invaded his Heidelberg hotel room with intent to kill. And then there are a few trivial details that the recruiting agency forgot to mention—such as the fact that the two previous holders of the fellowship both met with mysterious ends.

From there, it is all downhill. Gideon finds himself the target in an unfamiliar game for which no one has bothered to give him the rules. What he does have is his own considerable intellect and his remarkable forensic skills. He will need them, for he is playing for some fairly high stakes: the security of Western Europe.

A Cruise to Die For (An Alix London Mystery)

Charlotte Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 6.21

Buy

This should be the cushiest job Alix London’s ever had.

The second Alix London mystery finds the art restorer in a world brimming with idle luxury, spectacular locations, and deadly intrigue.

Surrounded by art and wealth and the sun-drenched Greek isles, she’s aboard a sumptuous mega-yacht with no responsibilities save the occasional lecture to the guests of her temporary employer, Panos Papadakis, one of the world's richest men. But there’s a catch: Papadakis has long been suspected of being at the center of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and Alix is actually there as an undercover operative of FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth, a member of the Bureau’s Art Crime Team. They hope Alix can gather the inside information they need to finally put the cagey Papadakis away.

Alix’s exposure to the enormous wealth of high-end collectors and the shadier aspects of the art trade—the avarice, naked greed, and ingenious scams—somehow brings her closer to her charming, "reformed" rogue of a father, and helps crystalize in her own mind just where she fits into the mix.

Moguls, murders, a forged Manet, and the Albanian mafia all play a role and send this pleasure cruise into brutally dangerous waters.

Set on the Aegean—Homer's fabled "wine-dark sea"—with stops at enchanted islands where ancient legends still live, A Cruise to Die For delivers a witty blend of suspense and mystery, as well as an insider’s take on the contemporary art world and its eccentric characters. It’s all served up with the style and sophistication with which Charlotte and Aaron Elkins have rewarded mystery readers for the past 30 years.

The Art Whisperer (An Alix London Mystery)

Charlotte Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 8.69

Buy

When art conservator Alix London spots a forgery, she knows trouble will follow. So she’s understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur’s eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at Palm Springs’s Brethwaite Museum—her current employer.

Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite’s despicable senior curator, obsessed with the “maximization of monetized eyeballs,” angrily refuses to decommission the celebrated Pollock piece. But it’s only when a hooded intruder attacks Alix in her hotel room that the real trouble begins. And when FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—with whom Alix had inadvertently, but thoroughly, botched a budding relationship just a year prior—turns up to investigate the Pollock, Alix knows she’s about to have her hands full.

In her third mystery, Alix London must see through mirages in the desert to uncover the knotted history of the painting—and save herself in the process.

Old Bones (The Gideon Oliver Mysteries) (Volume 4)

Aaron Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 7.7

Buy

An Edgar Award–winning mystery featuring the forensic anthropologist hailed as “a likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth”—from the author of Switcheroo (Chicago Tribune).

“With the roar of thunder and the speed of a galloping horse comes the tide to Mont St. Michel,” goes the old nursery song. So when the aged patriarch of the du Rocher family falls victim to the perilous tide, even the old man’s family accepts the verdict of accidental drowning.

But too quickly, this “accident” is followed by a bizarre discovery in the ancient du Rocher chateau: a human skeleton, wrapped in butcher paper, beneath the old stone flooring. Professor Gideon Oliver, lecturing on forensic anthropology at nearby St. Malo, is asked to examine the bones. He quickly demonstrates why he is known as the “Skeleton Detective,” providing the police with forensic details that lead them to conclude that these are the remains of a Nazi officer believed to have been murdered in the area during the Occupation. Or are they? Gideon himself has his doubts. Then, when another of the current du Rochers dies—this time via cyanide poisoning—his doubts solidify into a single certainty: Someone wants old secrets to stay buried . . . and is perfectly willing to eradicate the meddlesome American to make that happen.

Voted one of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century, and featuring “a thrilling final scene,” Old Bones will captivate fans of Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen as well as readers of Aaron Elkins’s popular Alix London series (Publishers Weekly).

Twenty Blue Devils (Gideon Oliver Mysteries)

Aaron J. Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 2.8

Buy
As they arrive in Tahiti to exhume a body buried on a coffee plantation, anthropologist Gideon Oliver and FBI agent John Lau become suspicious when they discover that their services are no longer needed

Dying on the Vine (A Gideon Oliver Mystery)

Aaron Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 5.86

Buy
Edgar® Award–winning author Aaron Elkins’s creation—forensics professor Gideon Oliver—has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth.” Now the celebrated Skeleton Detective is visiting friends at a vineyard in Tuscany when murder leaves a bitter aftertaste…
 
When Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, are in Tuscany visiting the Cubbiddu family, the renowned Skeleton Detective is asked to reexamine the remains of a mysterious family tragedy. Pietro Cubbiddu, former patriarch of the Villa Antica wine empire, is thought to have killed his wife and then himself in the remote mountains of the Apennines. It does not take long for Gideon to deduce that, whatever happened, a murder-suicide it was not.
 
Soon Gideon finds himself in a morass of family antipathies, conflicts, and mistrust, to say nothing of the local authority’s resentment. And when yet another Cubbiddu relation meets an unlikely end, it becomes bone-chillingly clear that the killer is far from finished…

Murder in the Queen's Armes (A Gideon Oliver Mystery)

Aaron Elkins

Best price for this book: $ 6.99

Buy

Edgar® winner Aaron Elkins follows "skeleton detective" Gideon Oliver on his honeymoon, one that will prove none too sweet.