Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman

Title: Murder 101
Author: Faye Kellerman
Year Published: 2014

Genre: Adult Mystery
Pages: 374
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (New York)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the back of the book): As a detective lieutenant with the LAPD, Peter Decker witnessed enough ugliness and chaos for a lifetime. Now he and his spirited wife, Rina Lazarus, are ready to enjoy the quiet beauty of upstate New York, where they can be closer to their four adult children, grandchildren, and their foster son, Gabe. But working for the Greenbury Police Department isn't as fulfilling as Decker hoped. While Rina has adapted beautifully to their new surroundings, Decker is underwhelmed and frustrated by his new partner, Tyler McAdams, a former Harvard student and young buck with a bad attitude. Just when he thinks he's made a mistake, Decker is called to an actual crime--a possible break in at the local cemetery.

The call seems like a false alarm until it's discovered that a mausoleum's stunning Tiffany panels have been replaced by forgeries. Soon the case escalates into murder: a co-ed at an exclusive consortium of liberal-arts colleges is brutally slaughtered. Poking into the hallowed halls of academia to find a killer, Decker and McAdams are drawn deep into a web of nasty secrets, cold-case crimes, international intrigue, and ruthless people who kill for sport. Suddenly Decker's job is anything but boring, and the case might be too much to handle for a sleepy town that hasn't seen a murder for nearly a quarter century. Decker will need to use every bit of his keen mind, his thirty years of experience as a homicide cop, and much-appreciated help from family and old friends to stop a callous killer and uncover a cabal so bizarre that it defies logic

Review: I am a mystery fan in general and a Faye Kellerman fan specifically so I was excited to see another of her books had come out when I was at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon this weekend. And, of course, I read it right away (thank goodness for dance conventions, where I get in a decent amount of reading time).
  • I really like the personalities of the characters in Kellerman's mysteries. While Peter Decker is the main character and problem solver, his wife, orthodox Rina Lazarus, is always included in all details of the crimes and often comes up with the solutions. He is street smart, experienced, and a good person who allows the information to sink in while he solves the crimes. She is poised, smart, thoughtful, and keeps it all together when everything around her seems to fall apart in chaos. The cast of secondary characters, their children, Decker's past partners Marge and Oliver are in every book as well and I like the dimension they add.
  • You'd think mysteries would get old. There's a murder, there's bad guys, usually some shooting, and it's solved. Not so! I mean, yes, but that's not all. Kellerman does a great job of bringing in interesting cultural stuff in her books and this time was no exception. I learned about art theft, cemetery theft, Russian iconography and more.

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