Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist who founded the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility along with writer Jon Jefferson spoke at Virginia Intermont College yesterday and gave a brief description of their upcoming novel. Here is how the Tri-Cities News (northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia area) reported the discussion:
This one is set in the French village of Avignon, which was home to two popes in the 14th century. The book’s renowned forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bill Brockton, and his assistant, Miranda, must figure out the significance of bones found buried in the papal palace walls. The bones appear to have some connection to the Shroud of Turin, Jefferson said, and, to get the science right, he and Bass ordered a full-scale photographic replica of the shroud.
“It jumps back and forth in time,” Jefferson said of the book. “It has interesting characters: a cardinal very fond of burning people at the stake, who becomes the Pope, the poet Petrarch, a German theologian who goes missing.”
He said it is important to get the science right, although with fiction, he can cheat a little bit and rig the ending.
Another Shroud of Turin novel? And what science would that be? Hold your breath.