‘Looking out at the water, my mind floats freer’: How author Aaron Elkins is inspired to write best-sellers

SEQUIM — A good work day for mystery novelist Aaron Elkins begins at the Sequim Transit Center.

Elkins, who’s lived on the Olympic Peninsula on and off for 25 years, turns 73 this month.

He and his wife, Charlotte, make their home at SunLand, the subdivision built around a golf course.

Elkins could spend his days golfing; he really doesn’t have to work, but he’s got this thing about forensic anthropology, skeletons and their secrets.

About two dozen novels ago, Elkins created Gideon Oliver, the “skeleton detective” who gallivants around the globe, solving mysteries involving strange, very old bones.

Elkins’ latest, Uneasy Relations (Berkley Prime Crime, $23.95), opens at the Olympic Bagel Co. in Port Angeles, where our man Oliver is having a chives-cheese-egg bagel and reading the Peninsula Daily News.

He’s discussing a disturbing article with his wife Julie, an Olympic National Park ranger.

From there, the novelist whisks his reader off to the Rock of Gibraltar, where a bunch of Paleolithic anthropologists are huddled over Gibraltar Woman — a skeleton of a female human — and Gibraltar Boy, the Neanderthal baby skeleton found clutched to the woman’s breast.

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