Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, who works at the Jeffersonian Institution and writes novels on the side, has an incredible ability to read clues left behind in a victim's bones. Consequently, law enforcement calls her in to assist with murder investigations when the remains are so badly decomposed, burned or destroyed that the standard identification methods are useless. Brennan's equally-brilliant colleagues at the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal Lab include Angela Montenegro, who's created a unique way to render an original crime scene in a three-dimensional computer image; Brennan's assistant, Zack Addy, a young prodigy whose genius IQ actually gets in the way of his finishing the several doctorates he's started; "the bug guy," Dr. Jack Hodgins, who's an expert on insects (conspiracy is his hobby); and Brennan's boss, lab director Dr. Daniel Goodman. Brennan often finds herself teamed with Special Agent Seeley Booth, a former Army sniper who mistrusts science and scientists when it comes to solving crimes. Brennan and Booth clash professionally and personally, but so far the chemistry between them has only played out in a fictionalized account in Brennan's latest mystery novel.