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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 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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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 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.

30 review for Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    James Thane

    It's a bittersweet evening for Alex Delaware and his Main Squeeze, Robin. For a long time one of their favorite romantic hangs has been at the bar in the aging Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. But the place is closing and on the the bar's last night, Alex and Robin go in for a farewell drink. The occasion is beyond sad and their attention is drawn to an apparent bodyguard outside the hotel and to an attractive young woman who is the only other patron inside the bar. She's dressed in white, wearin It's a bittersweet evening for Alex Delaware and his Main Squeeze, Robin. For a long time one of their favorite romantic hangs has been at the bar in the aging Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. But the place is closing and on the the bar's last night, Alex and Robin go in for a farewell drink. The occasion is beyond sad and their attention is drawn to an apparent bodyguard outside the hotel and to an attractive young woman who is the only other patron inside the bar. She's dressed in white, wearing an expensive diamond watch, and is apparently waiting for someone who never shows. Two days later, Alex is working at home when his pal, Lt. Milo Sturgis drops in. As usual, Milo cleans out the refrigerator and he shows Alex photos from his latest homicide. In an amazing coincidence, which is somewhat typical of this series, it turns out that the murder victim is none other than the young woman that Alex had seen in the bar. Although there is absolutely no reason for a consulting psychologist to be involved in this case, Alex naturally tags along with Milo as he investigates the crime. There are some fairly seedy and kinky characters involved; some of them wealthy, others not. Simply identifying the victim becomes a major challenge. Milo ultimately gets an anonymous tip that leads them to a website where wealthy Sugar Daddies attempt to make arrangements with Sweet Young Things. The victim was registered with the site and had made a connection with a very wealthy patron. Alex and Milo will formulate and discard several scenarios that might have led to the crime before hitting upon the solution. It's still fun to watch them work, but after twenty-six books, the series has settled into a pattern that can be a bit frustrating for readers who have been along for the entire ride. As an example, Milo's rude eating habits are really getting tiresome. Certainly, there ought to be a way of defining the character without having him clean out every refrigerator in sight and spilling half of his meals all over himself. But the hardest thing to come to grips with here is Delaware's role in a lot of these cases. In the earlier books, which were much better than many of the later ones, Alex served the department as a consulting psychologist, most often dealing with the children who were involved in the homicide cases. In these instances, he had a legitimate reason for being involved. In a lot of the later books, though, he simply tags along as Milo investigates his cases. As in this instance, there's no legitimate reason for Alex to be anywhere near this case, and certainly no real homicide investigator would allow a civilian to play the role that Alex does. During the course of this book, Alex will deal with a situation in which a child needs his help, but it has little or nothing to do with the investigation and the reader is left to wonder why Milo doesn't simply attend to his own business. That isn't to say that this is a bad book. It is entertaining, but for those who yearn for the more compelling and sophisticated cases of Delaware's early career, it's still something of a disappointment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gray

    It's still an okay read for most murder mysteries. It's just disappointing for an author of his calibre and experience. I expect fussy detail from Kellerman, but the descriptions of people and places went on ad nauseum. It was over the top, mind numbingly boring. Who cares about a minor character's yellow toenails? Especially after a microscopic focus on every other part of his anatomy, when we'll never see him again? Every single detail of every single character we encountered in this book was It's still an okay read for most murder mysteries. It's just disappointing for an author of his calibre and experience. I expect fussy detail from Kellerman, but the descriptions of people and places went on ad nauseum. It was over the top, mind numbingly boring. Who cares about a minor character's yellow toenails? Especially after a microscopic focus on every other part of his anatomy, when we'll never see him again? Every single detail of every single character we encountered in this book was itemized, massaged, drawn out and described in minute detail. I listened to this book on CD and found my mind wandering many times. Descriptions started to feel like nothing more than filler. Where was the plot? It was wedged, inserted, slipped, filed paper-thin between THE DESCRIPTION! As if that wasn't enough, the snarky, forced humor felt hackneyed and weirdly homongenous, as if each character (with the exception of the superior and oh-so-restrained Dr Delaware) were all morphing into one another, and at the same time vying for attention and one-upmanship. I thought Jonathan Kellerman was too consumate a professional to stoop to phoning it in, but apparently I was wrong. I won't give up on him just yet; I've always enjoyed Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis, but if the next one is as flimsy and arrogant I will not hesitate to relegate him to the ranks of the former favourites, along with James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Audet

    Kellerman is always good for a thrill ride. In this, the 26th installment of his awesome Alex Delaware Series, our hero is after a killer who seems to have a taste for beautiful young women. A shrink himself, Mr. K gives unique insight to the mind of both the good guys, most notably Delaware who is a shrink himself, and more uniquely, the bad guys. Characteristic of a top 10 writer in this field, thriller fiction, Kellerman's sentence composition, dialogue and arcing work so well it's almost too Kellerman is always good for a thrill ride. In this, the 26th installment of his awesome Alex Delaware Series, our hero is after a killer who seems to have a taste for beautiful young women. A shrink himself, Mr. K gives unique insight to the mind of both the good guys, most notably Delaware who is a shrink himself, and more uniquely, the bad guys. Characteristic of a top 10 writer in this field, thriller fiction, Kellerman's sentence composition, dialogue and arcing work so well it's almost too simple. Simple in the sense that, like say, Patterson, you read along and stay in the action, in 1st person, forgetting that you are a mere mortal reader and feeling and thinking more like our hero. This is the sign of a craftsman. Mr. K is a master of narration, description and dialogue and the oh-so-smooth blending of the elements that make up a good story. Where he gets his ideas God only knows - but the ideas work. I'm at chapter 18 and the pace is quickening, having myself just recovered from a low-key beginning to this book and suddenly blind-sided by the twisted murder of a beautiful young woman. A woman sitting by herself in an upscale and soon-to-close landmark eatery that Delaware and his lovely wife dined at themselves, Delaware and wife notice her but think nothing of it. Then she turns up dead by mutilation and the case falls to Delaware and his partner, a cop, Milo Sturgis. A very twisted tale unfolds, a tale that could only have happen in LA. You'll find out why as you get sucked into this book from page 1. Get ready for a twisty ending as the pace picks up. Our guy Alex stays on the case and you won't believe what happens. I highly recommend this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Robin and Alex attend a gathering for Marcel Jabotinsky. Robin and Alex head to the bar for some drinks. While waiting for their drinks a woman dressed in white and sunglasses is sitting at the bar. Robin and Alex think nothing of the woman until Alex is called on his friend, Milo to help with a murder investigation. The victim…the woman in the white dress. I have not read many of Mr. Kellerman’s Alex Delaware’s books. However you don’t have to read the prior novels as this book reads Robin and Alex attend a gathering for Marcel Jabotinsky. Robin and Alex head to the bar for some drinks. While waiting for their drinks a woman dressed in white and sunglasses is sitting at the bar. Robin and Alex think nothing of the woman until Alex is called on his friend, Milo to help with a murder investigation. The victim…the woman in the white dress. I have not read many of Mr. Kellerman’s Alex Delaware’s books. However you don’t have to read the prior novels as this book reads as a stand alone novel. Having said this, I did not really care where in their relationship Alex and Robin were at. Like for example do I really care that Robin kicked Alex in the leg but not hard enough to hurt him as that is not the relationship they have. What does this have to do with the murder? Nothing. I had to give up on this book after chapter 12 and this is only because the chapters are short that I got this far. I was hoping this book would get better and this is another reason why I did not give up until I had made it about a dozen chapters in. There were too many details given about nothing. First there was Robin and Alex going for a drink and then Robin crying for the murdered woman and then Alex sees a friend about his problems, then the clichés. For these reasons, I could not make myself read anymore of this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    I am a bit of a novice with Alex Delaware so I am not sure if he and his girlfriend Robin have aged chronologically as the series has moved along. Mystery is the twenty-sixth book and would make them in their late fifties if the years have passed as expected. A bar they frequent in an old hotel is closing and they turn out to bid it farewell on its last night. The normal staff has already retired evidently and they are served by a young man from a temp agency who is poorly suited for the job in w I am a bit of a novice with Alex Delaware so I am not sure if he and his girlfriend Robin have aged chronologically as the series has moved along. Mystery is the twenty-sixth book and would make them in their late fifties if the years have passed as expected. A bar they frequent in an old hotel is closing and they turn out to bid it farewell on its last night. The normal staff has already retired evidently and they are served by a young man from a temp agency who is poorly suited for the job in what must have been once a classy establishment. My friend, Ariane, also from ages ago, would have termed the exchanges “a hoot” and I would have to agree. It was the beginning of setting a tone of faded glory and I wondered if Mr. Kellerman hadn’t perhaps faded as well in the decades since he began this series. I have books that I have started by Raymond Chandler, Cormac McCarthy, and James Jones sitting on my coffee table. It is a snow day. I was supposed to be driving to Michigan on this January day but snow in West Virginia has delayed my travel. I am bored but not ready for the challenge of a good author or work of real literature. Intrigued by the passage of years, I think that a current era Delaware might just be what the doctor ordered. We shall see. Mystery has some good, concise writing and some fun paragraphs to keep you entertained while you meander through the story. The sandwich was an architectural masterpiece of pastrami, ham, turkey, coleslaw, white and orange cheese, red and green peppers. But the woman’s aqua frock was spotless, as were her lips. Her eyes were soft, hazel, world-weary. The office was large, bright, unpretentious, set up with a photocopier, a small fridge, and an old gray PC that would’ve brought a sneer to the lips of the Agajanian sisters. Olga Koznikov looked like a woman who accepted herself at face value and that brought a certain serenity. Only longish nails, French-tipped and glossy as they clawed the sandwich, testified to tension and vanity. And don’t forget the interesting chit-chat between homicide detectives discussing related cases followed by an amazingly graphic description of a decomposed body. Shop talk for the reading voyeur. Some kind of carnivore had feasted on the neck, extruding blood vessels and muscle fibers and tendons. The white shirt was shredded, the black tie turned to bloody ribbon. Splintered ribs protruded from a massive exit wound. The rotted sponge of lung and the degraded rubber of heart littered the ravaged chest. Now, I am something of a neophyte with mysteries but this one does seem to be due an extra star for taking us into the thick of the battle. You might be a smart aleck and note, as some reviewers have, that our child psychologist and homicide cop seem to have little or no rationale to be actually working on this case together. But over two decades of sleuthing together does seem to have developed ties that bind and books that sell. Like the book jacket says, “#1 NY Times Bestselling Author” and whom are we to complain? The book has a Hollywood, double ending but Alex evidently has never managed to make it into a movie series for some reason. Mystery would require some editing to avoid some of the soft porn aspects but Kellerman must be making enough from the books that he is not pouting about missing the movies. But with the proliferation of cable it seems like only a matter of time until there will be a made for TV series of Dr. Delaware. The wrap up of this story made my head spin and stitching in the child psychologist aspect was forced but this book was mostly enjoyable to read. It falls just short of rating four stars but is better than many three star efforts due to the cleverness of the dialogue. Alex and Milo are a fine pair with a wink to a stocky and svelte duo interplay.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate Roman

    A friend warned me this was "the worst Kellerman they'd ever read", which, after the disappointment of Evidence, concerned me some. However, Deception had a number of redeeming features, so I soldiered bravely on, and despite my friend's dire warnings, I am pleased to say I found Mystery not too bad. It lacks the sparkle and brilliance of the early Alex years, I admit that, and it has the ever-present Robin -- present, but barely drawn, this time, I found her. Which is interesting, as A friend warned me this was "the worst Kellerman they'd ever read", which, after the disappointment of Evidence, concerned me some. However, Deception had a number of redeeming features, so I soldiered bravely on, and despite my friend's dire warnings, I am pleased to say I found Mystery not too bad. It lacks the sparkle and brilliance of the early Alex years, I admit that, and it has the ever-present Robin -- present, but barely drawn, this time, I found her. Which is interesting, as she always annoys me, but I felt he had a puppet-Robin in the book this time. As usual, Alex is far more concerned with running about with Milo than with his nuptial concerns, not hidden by Robin's "girl detective" (his words, not mine) number. However, plotwise and writing-wise, it's a very readable Kellerman, it kept me engaged (up til nearly 2am in fact, although, I admit, that's mainly because it was due back at the library) and I did like that on this occasion, there were three plausible solutions fitted up before the slightly predictable ending. In short, if you're a Delaware fan, it's a nice visit with the boys: if not, skip it and pick one of the early ones to meet-and-greet Kellerman's Dynamic Duo. I keep getting the feeling K's tiring of them; it's a great shame, because I feel like they still have stories to tell us. Stories that Kellerman is missing!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Em*bedded-in-books*

    Was a mediocre attempt compared with many other Alex Delaware novels. Alex and Robin watch a beautiful and gracious lady with British accent being stood up at a restaurant. They also encounter a body guard/ thug with a gun outside waiting. The very next day, Sergeant Milo Sturgis shows them pics of the very same girl dead and sprawled out with guns shot wounds. They set out to ID her and seek out her killer (s). And they encounter many strange persons and hidden secrets on the way. The Was a mediocre attempt compared with many other Alex Delaware novels. Alex and Robin watch a beautiful and gracious lady with British accent being stood up at a restaurant. They also encounter a body guard/ thug with a gun outside waiting. The very next day, Sergeant Milo Sturgis shows them pics of the very same girl dead and sprawled out with guns shot wounds. They set out to ID her and seek out her killer (s). And they encounter many strange persons and hidden secrets on the way. The initial half was quite captivating, but the story soon slid into boredom and mayhem. Overall, a readable book, but nothing to gawp about.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Moira

    So I was boarding a plane last week and saw that someone had placed this book on top of a trash can right outside the door to the plane. What a brilliant idea--to leave a book for a fellow traveler. And since I like to read Alex Delaware stories and didn't remember reading this one, I took it. It was especially good--replete with old Hollywood references, twins and a twist I didn't see coming. But perhaps my enjoyment was enhanced by getting it the way I did. So if you see a book by the entrance So I was boarding a plane last week and saw that someone had placed this book on top of a trash can right outside the door to the plane. What a brilliant idea--to leave a book for a fellow traveler. And since I like to read Alex Delaware stories and didn't remember reading this one, I took it. It was especially good--replete with old Hollywood references, twins and a twist I didn't see coming. But perhaps my enjoyment was enhanced by getting it the way I did. So if you see a book by the entrance to a plane some day, it might just be from me!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Richards

    One of the worst Kellerman books. One to be avoided, really.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    THIS SUMMARY/REVIEW WAS COPIED FROM OTHER SOURCES AND IS USED ONLY AS A REMINDER OF WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT FOR MY PERSONAL INTEREST. ANY PERSONAL NOTATIONS ARE FOR MY RECOLLECTION ONLY Alex Delaware and his partner, Robin Castagna, are having a melancholy evening at one of their favorite places, the bar at the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is slated to be demolished and this is the last night there will be service at the bar. Most of the furniture is gone, the light THIS SUMMARY/REVIEW WAS COPIED FROM OTHER SOURCES AND IS USED ONLY AS A REMINDER OF WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT FOR MY PERSONAL INTEREST. ANY PERSONAL NOTATIONS ARE FOR MY RECOLLECTION ONLY Alex Delaware and his partner, Robin Castagna, are having a melancholy evening at one of their favorite places, the bar at the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is slated to be demolished and this is the last night there will be service at the bar. Most of the furniture is gone, the lightbulbs have been removed from all but a few of the wall lights, and the only member of the staff on duty is the long-time bartender who knows just how his regular customers like their drinks. Alex and Robin aren’t the only patrons that evening. There is a very glamorous woman sitting at a table nearby. She is dressed completely in white, including the scarf around her head. On her feet are backless silver shoes. She is smoking, using an ivory cigarette holder, channeling Audrey Hepburn in Robin’s opinion. When they leave, they notice that the burly man who had been outside is no longer there. They had decided that he was the bodyguard of the woman in white but she is still in the bar. The duo had supplied a few moments of interesting observation to distract Alex and Robin from the depressing reality that some things, like the bar, continue past their prime. A few days later, Milo Sturgis, a lieutenant with the homicide division of the Los Angeles police, arrives, as he frequently does, just as the coffee is ready. Milo had been called out at 4:00 am when the body of a young woman was found in the mountains. There appeared to be two killers involved because two weapons were used. Both guns were aimed at her face. There is no identification. Milo shows Alex a picture of the victim. Alex knows that the clothing could only belong to the woman he and Robin had seen at the bar. When the police realize that the man who was presumed to be a bodyguard has also disappeared, there seems no reason not to assume that the murder of the woman and the disappearance of the man are connected. The man is Steven Muhrman and his mother says she saw him with a woman who looked like the victim, a woman whose name was Mystery. An anonymous tip is called into the police, pointing them in the direction of an on-line service in which “daddies” are matched up with “sweeties”. Mystery was matched with a billionaire daddy who pre-deceased her, removing one suspect in the murder of the young woman who still has no name. Alex is also contacted by a former patient who had inhabited the shadow world until she gave birth to a son. Now the boy is six, and she is dying. She pulls Alex back into his real profession, child psychologist.Told almost exclusively from the point of view of Alex Delaware, this story begins with a night out at a hotel/nightclub on its last night before the wrecking ball demolishes it. For old time sake, Alex and his wife Robin go to the nightclub and find that none of the bar tenders or waiters they know are there, just temporary staff. Nothing is the same. Also, a stunning girl in white with a diamond studded watch awaits a date that doesn't arrive while they are there. They speculate about who she is and who her apparent body guard outside the door is. They never dreamed that when they woke up, the girl would be dead and friend and detective Milo Sturgis would involve Alex in the case. ********************

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary Chrapliwy

    I admit, I've never read a Jonathan Kellerman novel before, so I didn't have a huge interest in reading this book. Unlike some other authors, whose characters I already know and will slog through dull first pages for, I didn't have that with Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. I lacked that past history and interest, When the book didn't grab me right away, I put it down... repeatedly. If you have already read any part of this series, you'll have the patience required to get to the meat of I admit, I've never read a Jonathan Kellerman novel before, so I didn't have a huge interest in reading this book. Unlike some other authors, whose characters I already know and will slog through dull first pages for, I didn't have that with Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. I lacked that past history and interest, When the book didn't grab me right away, I put it down... repeatedly. If you have already read any part of this series, you'll have the patience required to get to the meat of the story, where the reward of an excellent mystery awaits. Told almost exclusively from the point of view of Alex Delaware, this story begins with a night out at a hotel/nightclub on its last night before the wrecking ball demolishes it. For old time sake, Alex and his wife Robin go to the nightclub and find that none of the bar tenders or waiters they know are there, just temporary staff. Nothing is the same. Also, a stunning girl in white with a diamond studded watch awaits a date that doesn't arrive while they are there. They speculate about who she is and who her apparent body guard outside the door is. They never dreamed that when they woke up, the girl would be dead and friend and detective Milo Sturgis would involve Alex in the case. The early part of this book did drag a bit and the main characters did seem a bit pompous in the beginning, but overall, this ended up being a really good mystery story. I never guessed who done it. Kellerman keeps you guessing until you turn the last page. When I finished the book, I read the preview to the next one and now I'm looking forward to reading more Kellerman.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Jonathan Kellerman's latest Alex Delaware novel, "Mystery," plumbs the depths of internet dating, identity theft and even the so-called "CSI effect." Delaware and his wife, Robin, first see a mysterious woman in white while they are dining out at Fauborg, a soon-to-be-torn-down restaurant. Within 48 hours, she is found murdered. Through various circumstances, Delaware and his intrepid detective friend Milo Sturgis learn that the woman is a member of an internet dating site, SukRose. H Jonathan Kellerman's latest Alex Delaware novel, "Mystery," plumbs the depths of internet dating, identity theft and even the so-called "CSI effect." Delaware and his wife, Robin, first see a mysterious woman in white while they are dining out at Fauborg, a soon-to-be-torn-down restaurant. Within 48 hours, she is found murdered. Through various circumstances, Delaware and his intrepid detective friend Milo Sturgis learn that the woman is a member of an internet dating site, SukRose. Her handle? "Mystery." Sturgis and Delaware plunge into the world of cybercrime from several perspectives: behind the scenes looks at dating sites, identity theft and more. The structure of the book is not just that of an outstanding whodunnit (which it is -- the twist at the end surprised me so much that I had to go back to the moment where it was actually revealed in a roundabout way and re-read). It is also a look at life on the so-called Information Highway and perhaps even a cautionary tale about being careful to whom you reveal yourself. Highly recommended. (Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nette

    As usual: a fun, twisty plot, but ridiculous dialogue straight out of a bad 1950s movie. A few examples: the ex-madame explains why she's got lung cancer: "Cleaned-and-sobered-up for seven years but kept dating Tommy Tobacco." The detective is impressed by the price of some property: "Twenty-four million bazoongas!" The psychologist describes the victim: "The whole Pygmalion bit, down to the accent. Talk about My Spare Lady." If Big Boy Kellerman doesn't break this habit, it's gonna be curtains As usual: a fun, twisty plot, but ridiculous dialogue straight out of a bad 1950s movie. A few examples: the ex-madame explains why she's got lung cancer: "Cleaned-and-sobered-up for seven years but kept dating Tommy Tobacco." The detective is impressed by the price of some property: "Twenty-four million bazoongas!" The psychologist describes the victim: "The whole Pygmalion bit, down to the accent. Talk about My Spare Lady." If Big Boy Kellerman doesn't break this habit, it's gonna be curtains for me and him! Curtains, I tells ya!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Alex Delaware and his partner, Robin Castagna, are having a melancholy evening at one of their favorite places, the bar at the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is slated to be demolished and this is the last night there will be service at the bar. Most of the furniture is gone, the lightbulbs have been removed from all but a few of the wall lights, and the only member of the staff on duty is the long-time bartender who knows just how his regular customers like their drinks. A Alex Delaware and his partner, Robin Castagna, are having a melancholy evening at one of their favorite places, the bar at the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is slated to be demolished and this is the last night there will be service at the bar. Most of the furniture is gone, the lightbulbs have been removed from all but a few of the wall lights, and the only member of the staff on duty is the long-time bartender who knows just how his regular customers like their drinks. Alex and Robin aren’t the only patrons that evening. There is a very glamorous woman sitting at a table nearby. She is dressed completely in white, including the scarf around her head. On her feet are backless silver shoes. She is smoking, using an ivory cigarette holder, channeling Audrey Hepburn in Robin’s opinion. When they leave, they notice that the burly man who had been outside is no longer there. They had decided that he was the bodyguard of the woman in white but she is still in the bar. The duo had supplied a few moments of interesting observation to distract Alex and Robin from the depressing reality that some things, like the bar, continue past their prime. A few days later, Milo Sturgis, a lieutenant with the homicide division of the Los Angeles police, arrives, as he frequently does, just as the coffee is ready. Milo had been called out at 4:00 am when the body of a young woman was found in the mountains. There appeared to be two killers involved because two weapons were used. Both guns were aimed at her face. There is no identification. Milo shows Alex a picture of the victim. Alex knows that the clothing could only belong to the woman he and Robin had seen at the bar. When the police realize that the man who was presumed to be a bodyguard has also disappeared, there seems no reason not to assume that the murder of the woman and the disappearance of the man are connected. The man is Steven Muhrman and his mother says she saw him with a woman who looked like the victim, a woman whose name was Mystery. An anonymous tip is called into the police, pointing them in the direction of an on-line service in which “daddies” are matched up with “sweeties”. Mystery was matched with a billionaire daddy who pre-deceased her, removing one suspect in the murder of the young woman who still has no name. Alex is also contacted by a former patient who had inhabited the shadow world until she gave birth to a son. Now the boy is six, and she is dying. She pulls Alex back into his real profession, child psychologist. Are the Kellerman books formulaic? Absolutely. Does that detract from the stories? No, the formula serves the story. Alex always gets pulled into a case that has been handed over to Milo because of the impossibility of its successful resolution. Alex and Milo always solve the puzzle. No one seems to notice that in the real world, someone like Alex wouldn’t be participating in interviews in such a way that people assume he is also a detective. Kellerman has established that Alex made a sizeable fortune in real estate; it must have provided Alex with a very soft nest because he seems not to have to charge people for the work he does. A child psychologist in his pre-mystery writing days, Kellerman knows dysfunctional families and he peoples his books with characters whose level of dysfunction would be crippling in the real world. MYSTERY is Kellerman’s twenty-sixth Alex Delaware mystery. I have read all of them, some more than once. They are books that I read from cover to cover in one session. Kellerman writes what many people want to read. Any descriptions of psychopathy or violence are in service to the story. He doesn’t dwell on the dark side; he just lets readers peek into lives they wouldn’t want from a safe distance

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    In Mystery, Milo Sturgis, a police detective, asks Alex Delaware, forensic psychologist, for his thoughts on a brutal homicide. The body has been mutilated and with no DNA match or ID on the body, her identity is a mystery. Stranger still, Alex has seen this striking young woman before. Two nights previous, she caught his attention at the Fauboug Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she had been sitting all alone obviously waiting for someone. As they try to determine her identity and solve this crime, Alex an In Mystery, Milo Sturgis, a police detective, asks Alex Delaware, forensic psychologist, for his thoughts on a brutal homicide. The body has been mutilated and with no DNA match or ID on the body, her identity is a mystery. Stranger still, Alex has seen this striking young woman before. Two nights previous, she caught his attention at the Fauboug Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she had been sitting all alone obviously waiting for someone. As they try to determine her identity and solve this crime, Alex and Milo stumble upon some sleazy information about the victim and the world in which she lives. I mostly enjoyed this book. It kept me entertained and I really wanted to see this mystery through to the end. The storyline was a bit complex, though, so it was a little hard to follow at times. It was complicated even further by the fact that the victim had many aliases, which made it difficult for the police to determine her real identity. Part of the story dragged as it seemed to take an extraordinary amount of time to get to the truth. I found myself hoping for a speedier conclusion. However, I realize that this is probably more like real police work than other books I've read. I can appreciate that. Kellerman has written many books, but this is the first one of his that I've read. Alex Delaware was likeable enough. He's featured in a number of books going back all the way to 1985, so he definitely has some appeal. I really like Detective Sturgis and liked that he was portrayed as a police detective, who just happened to be gay and not the other way around. The fact that he was gay was a mundane tidbit, as it should be, in my opinion. I also really liked Gretchen and the part she played in the story. While I enjoyed the book, it wasn't my favourite. I've read other reviews by fans who've said that this isn't the best one in the series. Perhaps I started with the wrong one. Therefore, I'm not going to write off Kellerman just yet. I have a few more of his books on my to-be-read shelf and I'm going to give one of those a try. For more information about this book, please visit the Random House website. For more information about the author, please visit Jonathan Kellerman's website. I'd like to thank those nice people at Random House for this review copy. Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman, Ballantine Books (Random House), ©2011. ISBN 9780345505699(Hardcover), 320p. This review can also be found on my blog, Daisy's Book Journal.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steven Belanger

    I've read every Kellerman, even his nonfiction stuff, like Savage Spawn, and I have to say that his Alex Delaware series now is suffering from the series disease--nothing new to say; no new ways to say it. I figured out the ending in advance here, as I have with many of his lately, unless the denouement purposely came out of left field. Every now and then a series writer will strike gold with a late addition to his series, as Robert Parker did with his second April Kyle book, but Mystery is not I've read every Kellerman, even his nonfiction stuff, like Savage Spawn, and I have to say that his Alex Delaware series now is suffering from the series disease--nothing new to say; no new ways to say it. I figured out the ending in advance here, as I have with many of his lately, unless the denouement purposely came out of left field. Every now and then a series writer will strike gold with a late addition to his series, as Robert Parker did with his second April Kyle book, but Mystery is not one of those for Kellerman. In fact, it hits home more as a depressing look at the bimbos who have to sell themselves in every way possible in L.A., and those who mind it (the victim) and those who don't (the two women at the end). The victim, it was said, was beautiful, radiant and gorgeous, sexy even when sad, but then she got her face blown off, literally, and later we learn that she did everything it's possible to do with a body. And one woman, at the very end, is elated when she tells her friend that she spent time with BOTH of their Sugar Daddies, and the other woman is aghast that she was not invited. It's a Mystery why I read these anymore, but I'll read the next one, and the one after that. At least it's a quick read, as I read the whole thing in one night, maybe 3 to 3 1/2 hours. But that just shows you how predictable the writing was, as well. It's sounding more and more pugnacious and judgmental, too, but I suppose they always were. Still waiting for the gold nugget late in this series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz Pruski

    What a depressing way to end my book year! "Mystery" by Jonathan Kellerman is the 115th book I read and reviewed in 2013. My "brain off" mini-marathon of Kellerman's works included "Twisted" (quite good, three stars), disappointing "Deception" (two stars), and outright weak "Mystery". No mystery about my star rating. A luxury hotel in Beverly Hills goes out of business. Good Doctor Delaware and Robin go there for cocktails on the closing night. They are intrigued by one of the restaur What a depressing way to end my book year! "Mystery" by Jonathan Kellerman is the 115th book I read and reviewed in 2013. My "brain off" mini-marathon of Kellerman's works included "Twisted" (quite good, three stars), disappointing "Deception" (two stars), and outright weak "Mystery". No mystery about my star rating. A luxury hotel in Beverly Hills goes out of business. Good Doctor Delaware and Robin go there for cocktails on the closing night. They are intrigued by one of the restaurant's guests - a beautiful, elegant, and mysterious woman. The next day, the woman is found murdered. The Fabulously Brilliant Doctor and his sidekick, Lt. Sturgis, solve the case, which involves Hollywood madams, sex for sale in a luxury escort agency, family secrets, and a very rare physiological phenomenon. In addition to the implausible plot of tabloid type, the novel is quite un-Kellerman in the low quality of writing. The two climactic chapters that provide the denouement read like a bad parody of a bad novel. I had to force myself to finish reading. The novel has as much in common with decent mystery as the Kardashians with real people. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be Kellerman-free for the whole year. One and a half stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Alex Delaware and his girlfriend Robin go to a bar for drinks and notice what looks like a bodyguard outside the bar and a beautiful blonde inside. Soon afterwards the blonde is found dead with her face shot off and Alex - a psychologist - helps homicide detective Milo Sturgis investigate. Turns out the blonde had been the honey of a rich married sugar daddy. The blonde's bodyguard, the sugar daddy's family, and the agency that pairs sugar daddies and young hotties are all investigated and a lot Alex Delaware and his girlfriend Robin go to a bar for drinks and notice what looks like a bodyguard outside the bar and a beautiful blonde inside. Soon afterwards the blonde is found dead with her face shot off and Alex - a psychologist - helps homicide detective Milo Sturgis investigate. Turns out the blonde had been the honey of a rich married sugar daddy. The blonde's bodyguard, the sugar daddy's family, and the agency that pairs sugar daddies and young hotties are all investigated and a lot of unpleasant, arrogant people are interviewed. Meanwhile Alex is also counseling a terminally ill former prostitute and her young son. Jonathan Kellerman's villains are usually interesting sociopaths/psychopaths but that's not quite the case in this story. The murderer is finally revealed in a long rather boring scene towards the end and the revelation of the culprit is not particularly believable or satisfying. I don't think the side plot with the sick woman and her son added much to the story either. Not one of Jonathan Kellerman's best books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Matthews-Calloway

    This book is a 4. Really loving the Alex Delaware series! I especially like the fact that I don't have to read them in order. Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say (and the time to type it), here's the breakdown of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be This book is a 4. Really loving the Alex Delaware series! I especially like the fact that I don't have to read them in order. Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say (and the time to type it), here's the breakdown of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It has earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  20. 4 out of 5

    michelle

    So, as expected this book wasn't great. It was readable, yes, but I found myself getting more and more irritated by Delaware's underlying snark. Perhaps it is that of Kellerman showing through? I was quickly over the portrayal of anyone who is willing to sleep with other people for money as being vacuous, manipulative and flat-out stupid. The obvious arrogance of Delaware got to me more in this as well. He is The Greatest Doctor Ever and all others should be grateful for his opinion of them. Urg So, as expected this book wasn't great. It was readable, yes, but I found myself getting more and more irritated by Delaware's underlying snark. Perhaps it is that of Kellerman showing through? I was quickly over the portrayal of anyone who is willing to sleep with other people for money as being vacuous, manipulative and flat-out stupid. The obvious arrogance of Delaware got to me more in this as well. He is The Greatest Doctor Ever and all others should be grateful for his opinion of them. Urg. The ending felt hurried, slapped on at the last minute. The storyline with the former madam and her son was unnecessary, and the characters involved in the online companion site were overblown. Will I read future books in the series? Probably. Out of pure habit. What can I say, he's yet to reach the Cornwell level of unreadability.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    In this entry into the Kellerman "Alex Delaware" series, the book starts with Alex and Robin going out for an evening to a bar in an old hotel that is being demolished but holds memories for them. While there, they are people watching and note a beautiful young girl sitting in a booth, obviously waiting on someone. They had also noted a man outside who looked like a protector type, earbud and all. As fate would have it this people watching leads to Alex' involvement with his friend and police li In this entry into the Kellerman "Alex Delaware" series, the book starts with Alex and Robin going out for an evening to a bar in an old hotel that is being demolished but holds memories for them. While there, they are people watching and note a beautiful young girl sitting in a booth, obviously waiting on someone. They had also noted a man outside who looked like a protector type, earbud and all. As fate would have it this people watching leads to Alex' involvement with his friend and police lieutenant, Milo Sturgis. Alex also begins counseling a young boy whose mother is dying of cancer. These two plots converge loosely. I am giving the book three stars because of how the crimes were solved. Because this involves the denouement, I am not going to go into detail but I was left hanging. Alex' involvement toward the end defied my belief.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    Jonathan Kellerman writes books with interesting plots, often hinging on the darker workings of the human mind and human interactions. This is a typical Alex Delaware mystery and well done as always. Kellerman keeps a little bit of a cool distance from his characters, even after all these years. I wish he would give us more depth, especially with Milo who is a fascinating character with a lot of quirks and contradictions, and a life with inherent conflicts. In a couple of books, Kellerman had gi Jonathan Kellerman writes books with interesting plots, often hinging on the darker workings of the human mind and human interactions. This is a typical Alex Delaware mystery and well done as always. Kellerman keeps a little bit of a cool distance from his characters, even after all these years. I wish he would give us more depth, especially with Milo who is a fascinating character with a lot of quirks and contradictions, and a life with inherent conflicts. In a couple of books, Kellerman had given Milo brief third-person walk-ons but here we see him only through his limited interactions with Alex. And even Alex seems to always stop one sentence short of his deeper feelings. I like these books, and I've read them all and will read the next one. But if he ever writes a book centered on the enigmatic Milo, I would run to get it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I wish Kellerman would get out a map of Kansas and realize that there are towns in Kansas besides Lawrence. Several times, he has given characters a one-line, thrown out background in Lawrence. It seems lazy on his part...like he's taking a cheap shortcut in characterization. I'm not quite sure why I would expect more...it's just slightly annoying. Other than that, this was a pretty typical mystery solved by Alex and Milo...they don't really change, which is pretty comfortable and eas I wish Kellerman would get out a map of Kansas and realize that there are towns in Kansas besides Lawrence. Several times, he has given characters a one-line, thrown out background in Lawrence. It seems lazy on his part...like he's taking a cheap shortcut in characterization. I'm not quite sure why I would expect more...it's just slightly annoying. Other than that, this was a pretty typical mystery solved by Alex and Milo...they don't really change, which is pretty comfortable and easy to read. I'm kind of glad that I'm almost caught up with the series, because they're getting a little bit boring. I'd like to see more of Petra.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This book was indeed a mystery to me-I remember practically nothing about it. The plot is thin, it revolves around a young woman found dead, that as coincidence would have it, Alex and Robin observed while they were out for drinks the night before. That's the only connection tying Alex to the mystery of who she is when Milo asks for his "expertise" in helping solve the case. At the end, there is a woman who loves guns, but everything in the middle has vanished from my mind. Get your own case Ale This book was indeed a mystery to me-I remember practically nothing about it. The plot is thin, it revolves around a young woman found dead, that as coincidence would have it, Alex and Robin observed while they were out for drinks the night before. That's the only connection tying Alex to the mystery of who she is when Milo asks for his "expertise" in helping solve the case. At the end, there is a woman who loves guns, but everything in the middle has vanished from my mind. Get your own case Alex!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natashya KitchenPuppies

    This was the first Jonathan Kellerman book I have read, although he has tons. He is a bestselling author, many times over, and a Doctor of Psychology. His education and background give a fascinating and exciting edge to his style of mystery writing. This particular book is a buddy crime solving murder mystery. Alex Delaware (psychologist) and Milo (cop) pursue a the baffling murder of a mysterious young lady, rife with intrigue and old fashioned Hollywood seduction and trickery.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    If you like Alex, Milo, and Robin you will like this story. Kellerman is pretty run of the mill as far as his plots but it is the banter between the two main characters that makes these books so much fun to read. They are like old friends that come for a visit once a year and you reconnect with them. Don't get me wrong. Kellerman is a tallented writer and delivers a good read but there is not much that is too unique from one book to the next. Only rarely does one of his characters amaze you.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I have to say that this was really OK but not much more. I enjoyed it as a quick read but I miss the characterizations that I have in my other favorite mystery series. The plot was intricate to the point of seeming over-thought. Perhaps it was my mood as I have been enjoying Kellerman's novels for a long time now, or maybe it's time for me to move on to books I enjoy more. Not sure if this is a 2.5 or a 3.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    While the series has grown long in the tooth, I'm glad (after a long hiatus) to have picked back up on the Delaware novels. While in no way as engrossing as his earlier novels, Mystery still manages some gusto every now and then. The best part of the book is the woman dying of lung cancer who used to run a prostitution business. Some touching moments whenever she appeared on the page.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Buongiovanni

    I loved the characters. They were very likable, and at sometimes the story would lose me as there was SO much detail, I enjoyed it. No pause in action, and I think Kellerman has a lot more to offer. I'll definitely be getting some more of the Alex Delaware series!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    As Faye Kellerman becomes horribly unreadable, Jonathan improves. Or so it seems. This was a page-turner. Alex and Milo seek the killer of a semi-prostitute code-named Mystery. The chase takes the detectives into a lot of interesting LA real estate, and the solution looks back to old Hollywood.

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