Dr. Temperance Brennan, a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institution and writes novels as a sideline, has an uncanny ability to read clues left behind in a victim's bones. Law enforcement calls upon her to assist with murder investigations when the standard methods of identifying a body are useless. Brennan often finds herself partnered with special investigator Seely Booth of the FBI's Homicide Investigation Unit. Booth, a former Army sniper who mistrusts science and scientists, believes the key to solving crimes lies in discovering the truth from good old-fashioned detective work.
Brennan's equally brilliant colleagues at the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal Lab include earthy and bawdy Angela Montenegro, who's created a unique way to render an original crime scene in a 3-D computer image; Brennan's assistant, Zack Addy, a young prodigy whose genius IQ actually gets in the way of finishing any of the several doctorates he's begun; "the bug guy" Dr. Jack Hodgins, who's an expert on insects, spores and minerals, but conspiracy is his hobby; and Brennan's boss, the imposing lab director Dr. Daniel Goodman.
"We hope my readers will realize that it's another manifestation of Tempe, and that they are in on this inside joke" says the real Reichs