Bones (Kellerman novel)

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First edition cover
AuthorJonathan Kellerman
CountryUnited States
SeriesAlex Delaware novels
GenreCrime novel
Publication date

Bones is a mystery novel by the American author Jonathan Kellerman.

Plot introduction[edit]


  • Alex Delaware, Ph.D. (psychologist): Literary character created by Jonathan Kellerman. Alex Delaware is a detective who plays roles in the Kellerman series that began with When the Bough Breaks published in 1985. Alex Delaware appears in 23 of Kellerman's popular murder mysteries. Kellerman sets the series in Los Angeles. Alex Delaware is a forensic psychologist; although Kellerman writes a back story in which Alex Delaware practiced as a child psychologist. A friend, Milo Sturgis, is a gay LAPD detective. Alex Delaware helps Milo in his investigations, and the detective who eventually reaches the rank of lieutenant appears in each book in the series. As the series progresses, Delaware's relationship with Robin Castagna evolves, despite a long separation, during which various other romantic interests are introduced. Delaware follows along, thinking aloud, as the rest of the cast scurries about interviewing witnesses and suspects, confronting bigwigs and attorneys, and trying to desperately to locate the elusive Mr. Huck.
  • Selena Bass: It was on a dark and murky night, that a shy and lovely piano teacher's body is dropped on an isolated marsh-bank in the heart of Los Angeles. Selena Bass was the first woman found dead in the marsh. Selena has ties to Simon, Simone and Kelvin Vander. On the surface she is a talented piano teacher for the young prodigy Kelvin Vander. However, once Milo, Moses and Delaware begin their investigation they find her complete cost of living is being paid by the wealthy Vanders. The three detectives soon find she is being paid by Simon Vander for kinky sexual favors. She also ran away from home when she was 18. She had not talked to her mother in years but she did keep in touch with one of her brothers, but he did not say anything to her mother. Selena was in a hard place in her life but she soon found a job working for Simon Vander. She was going to meet with her mother after years of not talking to her. But she was found dead on the banks of the marsh.
  • Milo Sturgis is one of three main homicide detective in Bones. He conducts most of the interviews, and throughout the book is portrayed as one of the leaders in homicides. His keen insight during interviews and ability to put the puzzle pieces together serves him well. He also smokes a lot during this book and brags about his ability to blow smoke rings.
  • Moses Reed is the young and new homicide detective who throughout the book raises many good points about the murder, and his ability to speculate about how things happen helps Milo and Delaware to the next step in their investigation. Even though Reed has a good ability to speculate about the murder, this imagination sometimes goes too far, but luckily for him, he is the rookie and has Milo and Delaware to help guide him.
  • Silford Duboff is the Save the Marsh founder who is overseeing Chance Brandt's punishment after he was caught cheating on a test. Duboff is introduced, in Chance's words, as "wearing his Save The Marsh T-shirt, geeky shorts ... plastic sandals ... stupid gray beard".
  • Bob Hernandez - Early in the book, a down-on-his-luck landscaper named Bob Hernandez contributes a key puzzle piece, a small exotic wooden box purchased unseen at auction that contains bleached bones from three female victims. It was Hernandez who bought the box at an auction when he was trying to make some extra money, when he was out of work. (Guy who found the box with the bones.)
  • Simon Vander - After Milo and Moses, and Delaware's investigation finds the bones which Hernandez gave to them after discovering they belonged to the left and of three female victims. The bones then reveal the identities of the three women found in the marsh. Once the bones of Selena Bass are identified, the investigation lead them straight to a secluded estate, millionaire Simon Vander, Simone Vander and Kevin Vander, but also Travis Huck.
  • Travis Huck is Simon Vander's property manager. Huck is introduced as "a man in a navy-blue shirt, pale jeans, and a large gray knit cap squinted in our direction. The shirt was baggy and "untucked", tails flapping like breakers. The jeans puddle over white sneakers. The cap was pulled down over the tops of his ears. He walked toward us in an unsteady gait - uneven shoulders, a foot that turned outward every other step, on the verge of stumble. ... He ... offered an iron-streaked view of long, gaunt face, hollow cheeks, deep-set brown eyes. A three-day stubble, mostly black, some gray, coated his face. ... His mouth was skewed to the left, as if set in perpetual regret. This made him an obvious suspect. He was also in a relationship with Simone Vander's daughter Simon Vander for two months. Once Travis Huck finds him self has a prime suspect he disappears.
  • Simone Vander is Simon's daughter and half-brother to Kelvin Vander. She enjoys wodd things like cutting herself and also likes to taste her own blood; the rush she feels when she cuts herself is the main reason for doing so. She also vomits for the sole reason she likes to. Simone Vander, on top of cutting herself and tasting her own blood, keeps an alarming number of guns and pretends to kill herself by placing guns in her mouth. She also has some sickness which forces her to cough up blood. She also was the person who shaved Travis Huck's head. Vander's anorexic daughter Simone hires private help, in the form of Det. Reed's half-brother Aaron Fox.
  • Kelvin Vander is Simone's half-brother; piano prodigy Kelvin Vander was the star pupil of Selena Bass.
  • Chance Brandt is manning telephones at the marshes because he was caught cheating on a school test and as punishment he has to do community service. He receives the call from the unknown person who calls about something "very dead" in the marsh.
  • Aaron Fox - Reed's half-brother.