I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
I am coming to terms with the fact that Book Tempe and Show Tempe are two different people with the same name and profession. Kathy Reichs even says so on her webpage, where she notes that she felt she had to make them distinct from one another so she wouldn't need to worry about show continuity affecting book continuity (and presumably vice versa). She also thinks of Show Tempe as being at an earlier stage of her development, since she is about ten years younger than her "book" counterpart. I don't really see it that way, because I don't want Show Tempe to morph into Book Tempe. Though admittedly, I am warming up a bit to Book Tempe.
In any event, the plot-driving event of Speaking in Bones is that Tempe receives an impromptu visit from an eccentric woman named Hazel "Lucky" Strike, who belongs to an online community of people who call themselves "websleuths." As Lucky explains, "Websleuths are amateurs competing online to solve cold cases." In her visit to Tempe, Lucky plays five minutes of a disturbing audio recording from a keychain recorder that Lucky claims to have found near the site where an unidentified skeletal torso had been found. The torso was one that Tempe had entered into the national database and stored in her Charlotte, NC lab's evidence room. The recording seems to feature three voices: one a scared young woman, and the other two frightening, abusive men. The young woman appears to be experiencing physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the men.
Lucky contends that the torso probably belongs to a girl who disappeared three and a half years earlier, at age 18: Cora Teague. The problem is that her parents have never filed a missing-person report. They insist she ran off with a boyfriend, of her own volition. The Teagues also belong to a reclusive, extreme church, a sect that splintered from Catholicism.
As can be expected, the investigation that ensues takes many twists and turns, with plenty of "this is not what it seems" moments. Tempe twice does something I really dislike in books like this: puts herself in a dangerous situation without any back-up. Sure, I know she has to survive for the 19th book in the series, but that makes the trope feel even more manipulative. And she even tells us in her narration that it was a stupid thing to do. So don't do it!
Still, I did enjoy the unfolding and resolution of the mystery. I'd call it a solid procedural with a witty narrator. (Though I wish Reichs wouldn't have Tempe eating so much meat! I kind of feel she's thumbing her nose at Emily Deschanel, the vegan actress who plays the vegetarian Show Tempe and/or fans who like the fact that Show Tempe is a vegetarian.)
Updated to add a small mini-rant: I was reading Goodreads community reviews on this book and couldn't help noticing how very many reviewers noted that Netgalley had provided them with a free ARC. Hey! I'm on Netgalley, too, and I do not for the life of me recall being offered this book. Yes, I'm sure it would have been one of their "request this" titles, which I've taken to avoiding unless I know I really, really want to read something--because my TBR pile has frankly gotten way too big even with "read now" titles. BUT: I would have remembered seeing this one show up in my inbox. I would have requested it! What the heck, Netgalley?!?!?!