Monday, April 09, 2012


Dr. Bill Brockton—the bone detective who runs the macabre postmortem research facility known as the Body Farm—ventures far from Tennessee in The Inquisitor’s Key, the ambitious seventh novel by NYT bestselling author “Jefferson Bass.” Fans of the Body Farm novels already know that even the author is a fiction: “Jefferson Bass” is a pen name for writer Jon Jefferson and forensic anthropologist William Bass (on whom the series’ protagonist, Dr. Brockton, is largely modeled, with a splash of Jefferson’s recklessness thrown in). In The Inquisitor’s Key—which stands on its own, requiring no prior knowledge of the series—Brockton gets an urgent summons to Avignon, France, the walled medieval city where a series of French popes held court during the 14th century. There he gets caught up in what could be the case of the millennium: determining whether an ancient, scarred skeleton unearthed beneath the Palace of the Popes really is that of Jesus Christ, as an inscription seems to claim.

Inspired by the splendor and history of Avignon—during the 1300s, the papal court there far outshone the court of the King of France—The Inquisitor’s Key features dual narratives set seven centuries apart. The result is a rich narrative tapestry that interweaves medieval mystery and modern murder. Along the way, it raises troubling questions about mixing religion and power, drawing parallels between a medieval Inquisitor-turned-pope and a power-hungry contemporary televangelist who seeks to gain control of government, education, business, and the media. Fans of “Bones,” The Da Vinci Code, and Girl with a Pearl Earring will be enthralled by The Inquisitor’s Key.

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Jon Jefferson (left) and Dr. Bill Bass at the gate of the Body Farm. Photo by Erik Bledsoe.

If you'd like to win your own copy of The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass, send an email to, with "Inquisitor's Key" as the subject. Make sure to include your name and mailing address in the US only. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age. One entry per email address, please. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone. All entries, including names, email addresses, and mailing addresses, will be purged after winner is notified. This contest is only going to run for two weeks so get your entry in by April 23, 2012. Good luck!

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