I’ve been reading books by the dynamic duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child for years. In 2019 they started a new series, Nora Kelly Novels. The first book, Old Bones was published a couple of years ago and the newest book, The Scorpion’s Tail, was recently added to the library collection. These books are filled with thrills and adventure with the best kind of characters (in my opinion), strong female leads. Nora Kelly is an archaeologist and Corrie Swanson is a green FBI agent hungry to prove herself. In the first book Corrie is investigating a suspicious death that is related to some recent grave robberies. Nora is busy trying to find a rumored lost treasure that a member of the Donner party hid away (yes, the cannibalistic Donner party). The two of them are thrown together and they don’t really hit it off, but the book does have a satisfying end. Especially when Agent Pendergast shows up to help solve the last bit of mystery.
Before reading this book, I would read a few books in the Agent Pendergast series to really get a sense of the genius that is Pendergast. In the book Still Life with Crows, Agent Pendergast discovers Corrie as he is investigating a series of gruesome murders. I recommend this book to really understand Corrie and appreciate her character. Nora Kelly makes an appearance in several books by Child and Preston. All of them come highly recommended. Among them are Thunderhead and Book of the Dead.
The end of Old Bones has a bit of narrative between Corrie, Nora, and Pedergast. Nora and Corrie make plain to Pendergast how they feel about one another and Pendergast predicts that their partnership, despite their differences, would be most excellent in solving future cases. Thus, the promise is made that another story will be written by the authors that will indeed further this partnership!
That promise is fulfilled with The Scorpion’s Tail. This book was fun in so many ways. This time Corrie purposefully seeks out Nora and convinces her to abandon a dig she is in the middle of to help her solve a very old and mysterious death in an abandoned city in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. In the usual style that is Preston and Child, the story meanders in unexpected ways. There are two parts that are the most entertaining to me. One is when Nora and Corrie both find two clues separately that when put together point to something the book keeps hinting at. The second is when Pendergast makes an appearance again at the end of the book. Again, he solves the last bit of mystery. This one is tied to that abandoned grave that was discovered in the middle of nowhere New Mexico.
I’ve read almost all the books that these authors have written together. I recommend all of them. Start with The Relic and lose yourself in great story telling for a good long while. There are several that they have published alone that I haven’t read…yet.
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