To solve a murder, it helps to be a paleontologist. You’ll have sharp eyes, a meticulous analytical mind, and a detailed knowledge not just of the dead, but of the most sincerely dead. That’s the premise of Mike Stone’s popular mystery series, featuring feisty Brazilian dinosaur expert Teresa Miranda. Teresa doesn’t look for trouble—it just seems to find her. Of course, being able to tell which tibia someone was bludgeoned to death with by the shape of the ectocnemial ridge impression might have something to do with it.
Horns of a Dilemma
HarperCollins, July 2000
When a Smithsonian paleontologist is found impaled by the bronze Triceratops on Constitution Avenue, and there’s an inexplicable population explosion in the flesh-eating-beetle tanks, Teresa realises she’s probably not going to be collecting much data on this visit. And that’s before a mysterious lurker in the sauropod collections tries to crush her slowly with rolling storage.
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in New Orleans was going so well, until the cladism-hating keynote speaker is discovered fed to the crabs in a bayou. Teresa has any number of testable hypotheses, but she has to resolve one troublesome node—which leads to cat-and-mouse through the French Quarter during Hurricane Forrest.
The Loveliest Bones
A small town in southern France seemed like a pleasant junket, but when the oldest known bird is exposed as a hoax, passions run high, and the lines between accident, suicide, and murder are as thin as the cracks on a Chinese composite forgery. But at least there’s lots of good cheese.
Teresa thought guiding an American expedition through the caves near her home town would be a vacation; the only unpleasantness would be explaining to her mother why she still wasn’t married. But when a ninth-year grad student is told to rewrite yet another chapter, mayhem ensues deep underground. Mayhem with vampire bats…
There’s a secret vault in the American Museum full of dinosaur skulls with bullet holes, fossilized sneakers, and Jurassic tableware. At least so Waylon Harris PhD (food science) claimed, before he was found terminally oxygenated in the “Pre-Flood Atmosphere” hyperbaric chamber of the Texas Creationism Museum. Did he know too much? Or not enough?
The Bone Collector
Herr Klaasman was an antiquarian bookseller and amateur fossil hunter. He’d been sitting on the most complete early amphibian skeleton known for twenty years, never publishing nor allowing anyone else to see the bones. When he was stabbed to death with a pair of very pointy measuring calipers, the problem wasn’t a lack of suspects…
Most of these are out of print and a bit hard to track down, but persevere!