Home > Book, Book Review, Mystery, Reviews > Book Review – Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman

Book Review – Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman

Book Description:

Few know the city of Los Angeles the way #1 bestselling author and acclaimed suspense master Jonathan Kellerman does. His thrilling novels of psychological drama and criminal detection make the capital of dreams a living, breathing character in all its glamour and infamy. That storied history of fame, seduction, scandal, and murder looms large in Mystery, as Alex Delaware finds himself drawn into a twisting, shadowy whodunit that’s pure L.A. noir—and vintage Kellerman.

The closing of their favorite romantic rendezvous, the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills, is a sad occasion for longtime patrons Alex Delaware and Robin Castagna. And gathering one last time with their fellow faithful habitués for cocktails in the gracious old venue makes for a bittersweet evening. But even more poignant is a striking young woman—alone and enigmatic among the revelers—waiting in vain in elegant attire and dark glasses that do nothing to conceal her melancholy. Alex can’t help wondering what her story is, and whether she’s connected to the silent, black-suited bodyguard lingering outside the hotel.

Two days later, Alex has even more to contemplate when police detective Milo Sturgis comes seeking his psychologist comrade’s insights about a grisly homicide. To Alex’s shock, the brutalized victim is the same beautiful woman whose lonely hours sipping champagne at the Fauborg may have been her last.

But with a mutilated body and no DNA match, she remains as mysterious in death as she seemed in life. And even when a tipster’s sordid revelation finally cracks the case open, the dark secrets that spill out could make Alex and Milo’s best efforts to close this horrific crime not just impossible but fatal.

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I’ve kinda lost count, but I think that Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman is the 26th novel in the series. I still haven’t made good in my goal of reading ALL the books in the series that I’ve missed, but I’ll get there 🙂 At any rate, I’ve read enough of the books that the characters of Dr Alex Delaware and Lt Milo Sturgis might as well be old friends of mine, and even though Mr Kellerman’s most recent efforts haven’t been as good as the first books he wrote, he’s still reliable as clockwork in putting out an enjoyable not-too-demanding mystery which also stars one of my fave fictional characters ever (the openly gay detective Milo). In short, Mr Kellerman is one of those authors whose books I check out automatically when a new one comes out (without even bothering to read the book description).

I’m happy to report that Mystery is so much better than the last book Deception (totally spoiled by a WTF?! ending). The latest case involves the investigation into the violent death (by multiple gunshot wounds to the face!) of a young Jane Doe – who Alex Delaware just happened to recognize as the mysterious & beautiful young lady in a bar that he and his significant other Robin had visited the night before. Alex and Milo trace the girl to an online social networking service that specializes in hooking up May-December ‘romances’ (aka ‘sugar daddies’ & their ‘sweeties’), and from there to several strong suspects that range from a bodyguard/pimp to the super-rich family of the victim’s ex-sugar daddy. Dr Delaware plays a more active role this time around with his wizardly internet search skills uncovering secrets in quick succession (and his girl Robin even joins in the amateur sleuthing at one point), but Lt Milo is still given room to be his awesome self (one of my favorite scenes is when Milo beats a snooty non-cooperative lawyer at his own game). I’m still holding out hope that Jonathan Kellerman will one day write a book that’s titled XXX: A Milo Sturgis Novel 😉

I’ve mentioned before that I miss seeing Alex in his child psychologist role (since his detective skills have taken center stage in the most recent books), so it was nice to see a subplot where Alex takes on the care of a dying ex-Hollywood Madam’s young boy. Very poignant interlude (even though it’s kinda out of left field and I really didn’t see how it connected to the main plot).

The book starts out slow, but everything does build up to a pretty worthy (if very surprising) guilty party (except I still don’t understand how Alex was able to connect all those disparate dots to figure out the murderer AND I really don’t get why the police force allowed Alex to be at center-stage in the end. Last I knew, he was still a civilian and not the LAPD’s go-to guy to secure confessions). I thought the mystery was tricky enough (without being too clever) with enough red herrings and twist & turns to make an Alex Delaware series fan (like me!) happy. Like I said, by now the characters are like old friends – and I like the familiarity and comfort in their easy rapport – so my good-ish review should be taken in that light. For someone new to the series looking for more thrills, I can understand if the book’s plot would appear formulaic and even boring. The best books from the series are still the ones written as psychological thrillers in the late 80s IMO.

Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($12.99), Hardcover ($14.73), Paperback Large Print ($15.96) and Audible Audio Edition Unabridged ($26.95).

It is also available as an eBook at B&N , Kobobooks and Sony ebookstore for $12.99.

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