I've been following this evolving drama, which came to a stunning conclusion in the last few days, via the History Blog all along. If you want some deep background and many well-prepared visuals, do visit this endlessly fascinating blog!
The nutshell is that location of the skeleton, skull shape, wound evidence, body type (including the scoliosis that caused Richard to be dubbed "crookback"), and most telling of all, mitochondrial DNA extracted from a tooth and matched with living descendents all add up to a definitive conclusion: that these indeed are the remains of Richard III—the last Plantagenet king of England (The photo above shows a facial reconstruction done from the skull.)
But Josephine Tey begged to differ in her classic 1952 mystery novel The Daughter of Time. In a column called Second Reading, Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley recommends the book highly, as do I:
Its protagonist -- unless one considers that to be Richard himself -- is Alan Grant, the Scotland Yard inspector around whom many of Tey's novels revolve. The suspense does indeed mount, as the cliche goes, with a fair number of unexpected twists along the way; Tey was good at that. But "The Daughter of Time" deserves to be read as a work of literate (even literary) fiction, not just as a detective story. As such, it stands up surpassingly well.Here is Jane Austen's take on the matter, in her youthful History of England of 1791:
The Character of this Prince has been in general very severely treated by Historians, but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man. It has indeed been confidently asserted that he killed his two Nephews & his Wife, but it has also been declared that he did not kill his two Nephews, which I am inclined to beleive true; & if this is the case, it may also be affirmed that he did not kill his Wife, for if Perkin Warbeck was really the Duke of York, why might not Lambert Simnel be the Widow of Richard. Whether innocent or guilty, he did not reign long in peace, for Henry Tudor E. of Richmond as great a villain as ever lived, made a great fuss about getting the Crown & having killed the King at the battle of Bosworth, he succeeded to it.