|Crime novelist Kathy Reichs is proof that real life can be just as compelling as fiction. When not writing, Reichs works as a forensic anthropologist--a profession she shares with her series protagonist, Temperance Brennan--and she has been called upon to exhume a mass grave in Guatemala, testify at the U.N. Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda, and identify remains found at the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, among other assignments. A native of Chicago, Reichs (pronounced RAKES) earned a doctoral degree in physical anthropology from Northwestern University in 1975 and subsequently embarked on a teaching career. On occasion, police detectives would bring skeletal remains to her university office to get her advice. "I found that very compelling," she told one interviewer. "I liked the idea of the relevance of it--that you could actually impact someone's life. . . . [In academia] if you're wrong, you're not going to send anybody to jail or you're not going to misidentify a missing person." Deciding to change her career focus, she was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1986 and began consulting in the office of North Carolina's chief medical examiner. Later that decade she took on a similar role at the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine in Quebec. Her first Temperance Brennan novel, DEJA DEAD, was published in 1997 and won an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. Reichs has since published several more novels featuring the coolly competent Brennan, each of which has appeared on the major bestseller lists. In 2005 a television series, BONES, based on the books and produced by Reichs, premiered on the Fox network. Reichs, who has also written for young adults, acknowledges that her books and TV show provide escapist entertainment. She believes, however, that they serve a greater purpose as well. "Hopefully, [they] make the public aware of how powerful a tool science can be," she has said. "[Perhaps I] will inspire young people, especially young women, to go into science, or to become homicide detectives."