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A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  5,516 ratings  ·  168 reviews
LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis summons his friend, psychologist-sleuth Alex Delaware, to a trendy gallery where a promising young artist has been brutally garroted on the night of her first major showing. The details of the murder scene immediately suggest to Alex not an impulsive crime of passion, but the meticulous and taunting modus operandi of a serial killer.

Paperback, 413 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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The Manufactured Identity by Heath SommerThe Human Obsession by Heath SommerThe Grand Delusion by Heath SommerDeception by Jonathan KellermanEvidence by Jonathan Kellerman
Best Psychologist Novelists
11th out of 26 books — 25 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréSmilla's Sense of Snow by Peter HøegSnow by Orhan PamukThe Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
Frosty Book Titles
72nd out of 176 books — 50 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeremy Bates
I'm sometimes asked who are some author's who have influenced my writing. I always had a stock answer: Stephen King, simply because he's the King and is one of the best writers of the last thirty years. And Scott Smith, because his A Simple Plan was one of the inspirations for White Lies (a regular person in a simple situation that snowballs out of control).

Now I will likely add Kellerman to that list, and largely because of his writing style. There might be better writers out there, but I haven
There is a lot to like about this novel for fans of Kellerman's Alex Delaware series. We see both Milo Sturgis and Petra Connor work the case. Also, we see Petra, who usually works solo, given a partner who has major quirks. Kellerman does a great job of shading in just enough of his backstory to keep the reader interested without disrupting the plot.

So why did I only give it three stars? It had to do with the tricky business of dropping clues. Most of the mystery writers that I enjoy give just
Emily Noel
This was not my first Jonathan Kellerman novel, but it just might be my last.

A Cold Heart features Alex Delaware, Milo Sturgis, Petra Connor, and new character Eric Stahl. A connection between two murder cases is noticed and brings the four of them together in this novel. Victim A is a young painter killed at her art gallery, while Victim B is a burned-out singer found murdered outside a bar.

While the summary on the back initially attracted me, I quickly lost interest in this novel. Although I
Alasandra Alawine
Someone is killing artist who are on the verge of making it. Alex, Milo, Petra, and her new partner Eric Stahl join forces to bring the killer down.
Barbara Villegas
I love Kellerman's books. Especially the characters in this series. Love Petra's new partner. He will give her a run for it.
A Cold Heart - Jonathan Kellerman A novel by Jonathan Kellerman is always a wonderful to relax and go on a adventure with Alex and Milo. A minorblues singerand quitar player, Baby Boy Lee is about to make a comeback. He is found murder in the alley where he was performing. He had song is signature song A Cold Heart. The Hollywood Division has the case and Petra Conners is in charge.Alex has moved on after the separation from Robin. Robin had servicedBaby Boy's guitars. Milo gets a case where a a ...more
I had never read anything by Jonathan Kellerman before, and decided to try this one upon finding it at a library book sale. I'm actually surprised that I even managed to make it all the way to the end (though it did take me a very long time). The most irritating thing to me was the way the voice constantly switched between first and third person. I don't think I've seen anyone write that way before, and for good reason- it was jarring and grating and made no sense to me.

I will say that, of cour
Needing a book to read by the pool at Harrison Hot Springs I relied on an old favorite author. It was nice to have a familiar main character, but it was not Jonathan Kellerman's best. The main thing is that it could get a little wet at the pool since I had to actually read it in the pool because outside it was so cold.
Dec 18, 2014 Quinn added it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Jonathan Kellerman has been a favorite author of mine for a long time. He writes in series (this is an Alex Delaware novel) but you don't have to read them in series. In this novel, artists are being murdered in a variety of cites, and Alex (the psychologist) and Milo (the detective) solve the crime.

Of course, it's not that easy. There are several suspects, multiple motives, and even when you know who the killer is, it's exciting to see the story resolve.

On a side note, which also makes for goo
Ralph McEwen
This books offers a look at the long and tedious efforts involved while searching for clues. Not a lot of action, yet an interesting tale of linking small clues. There is a closer look at repeating characters interactions and emotional connections.
#17 in the Alex Delaware series. Alex' romantic relationship with Robin Castagna has apparently be ended by Robin. Alex continues his long standing professional friendship with gay LAPD cop Milo Sturgis. Good durable series by a member of the mystery writing Kellerman clan.

Alex Delaware is called by Milo Sturgis to help with the murder of a promising artist at the gallery exhibiting her show. The murder has similar characteristics to the murder of a blues guitarist being investigated by detectiv
Sharon Kallenberger Marzola
I haven't read an Alex Delaware novel in awhile. I'm happy I picked this up to continue the saga.

Alex and Milo hooked up to try and figure out who is killing artists making a comeback. At first the murders don't seem to be related but then Alex puts a couple clues together. What is behind the murders? Is someone jealous?

I like Petra's new partner Eric. He has a troubled past. It will be interesting to see how Kellerman develops this character in the future.

I'm still upset that Robin and Alex
Karen Hufman
This was an interesting Alex Delaware book- I don't know if he was introducing a new character or not: half of the book focused on Petra Connor and her new partner Eric Stahl. They catch the murder of a gifted jazz musician making starting to make his comeback. Alex gets up getting involved when it turns out that his former lover used to fix the musician's guitars. Meawhile, Milo starts looking into the murder of a artist who seems to be making her comeback. The murders are potentially related. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yvann S
“The witness remembers it like this:…”

The LAPD are perplexed when a middle-aged blues guitarist and a promising young artist with a druggy past are murdered in quick succession. Petra Conner, reserved detective with a recent break-up, and Alex Delaware, ex-police psychologist, are both intrigued by the cases and feel duty-bound to follow them up.

This had the potential to be a great thriller – two sort-of linked cases, both of which are pretty cold, with tenacious investigators, and all sorts of
Very average (tired?) 17th entry in Alex Delaware series...

We read every Kellerman (even his wife Faye!) novel that comes out, but didn't notice at first that this was another police-helper, psychologist Alex Delaware story. Indeed, detective Petra Conner returns (from "Billy Straight") with a new and quite mysterious partner, and we presumed the unfolding murder plot would be a second entry in that series. Lo and behold, a couple of chapters later, Milo Sturgish (Delaware's buddy) catches a mu
aPriL eVoLvEs
I liked it. It's a splendid mystery genre plot, and guaranteed to spice up sitting on any beach! For those of us reading along in order, it continues shooting nails into his relationship with Robin and brings Petra back into the series with a new partner, a zombie-like man.

I couldn't connect except on an entertainment level because I kept catching a whiff of an older, Perry Mason style plot, plus the victims were never alive, both figuratively and literally. The victims are all artists and acto
This is a formulaic mystery with the main character, Alex, being a psychologist criminal profiler, on the rebound from his guitar repairing live-in lover, and getting it on with a new girlfriend, a psychologist, who carries a small silver gun because she has been raped. A has-been, on-the-rise-again blues musician is knifed in an alley. Over time the keen psychologist puts this murder together with an on-the-rise painter who is stabbed after her opening, and strangled with a wire, which turns ou ...more
Sep 06, 2009 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction fans.
A few years ago, I got tired of Dr. Alex Delaware to say nothing of author, Jonathan Kellerman and his increasingly weird plots. I must say, though, with this novel, they are both back.

The story covers the pursuit of a serial killer who appears to be murdering people because he or she is jealous of their rising success. A series of supposedly unrelated killings are eventually identified as being the probable work of one person.

Kellerman uses an interesting approach by following three people as
This book was somewhat atypical for Kellerman as he introduced two new characters. Both were LAPD detectives by the names of Petra, a female and her partner Stahl, a male newcomer to the department.Petra was assigned to the first murder,a musician trying to make a comeback by the name of Baby Boy.He was stabbed and strangled outside the venue where he was playing.Then came Julia,an artist also trying to manage a comeback but was strangled in the women's restroom adjoining her small gallery.Milo ...more
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Narrator: John Rubinstein
Publisher: Random House Audio, 2003
Length: 11 hours and 57 min.

Publisher's Summary
"I've got a weird one, so naturally I thought of you," says Milo Sturgis, summoning his friend Alex to the trendy gallery where a promising young artist has been brutally garroted on the night of her first major showing. What makes it "a weird one" is the lack of any obvious motive, and the luridly careful staging of the murder scene - which immediately suggests t
I simply enjoy the Alex-Milo detective stories. Part of that is due to the fact the crimes take place in Southern CA, a place I'm familiar with which lends authenticity to the locals. Kellerman is a master writer, providing enough clues to keep you interested and keep you guessing. In this story, multiple murders occur in several states and it's up to the dynamic duo to determine if they're related or not. The victims appear to be creative types (musicians, writers, dancers) that were on their w ...more
A novel by Jonathan Kellerman is always a wonderful to relax and go on a adventure with Alex and Milo. A minor blues singer and quitar player, Baby Boy Lee is about to make a comeback. He is found murder in the alley where he was performing. He had song is signature song A Cold Heart. The Hollywood Division has the case and Petra Conners is in charge.
Alex has moved on after the separation from Robin. Robin had serviced Baby Boy's guitars. Milo gets a case where a artist is about to become famous
As always, the plot is quite intriguing, as is the killer's motive.

The little extra in this one was the variation in points of view between Petra, Milo, Eric and Alex, which was a refreshing novelty, Alex's private life events and the turning points in the investigation.

I have had the feeling that one of the strengths of this book series, besides its interesting characters and its intriguing plots, was the "realism" of the investigation, which is often well-thought in its progress. As a matter
Antonia Jackson
Milo, Alex, Petra and newbies the ex serviceman Eric and new love Allison are together again in Hollywood with a couple of cold cases that could link with a fresh murder. An easy to read novel with a couple of twists and zany characters. Always that reference to a possible movie.. The ending was not padded out thank you.
Dalton Lynne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It is rare for me to have trouble getting through a book. Rarer still when I have read multiple books by the same author already. This book was slow to start, and easy to figure out. I knew who the perpetrator was 100 pages before anything interesting happened. Definitely not Kellerman's best work.
Frederick Masterman
It's another Alex Delaware story, the psychologist who is advisor to the police on yet another series of terrible slayings. Since this is the 17th of the Alex Delaware books, the author has settled into a pattern of familiar characters doing familiar things --which is not a negative,but like a pair of old slippers where you know what's coming and enjoy every bit of it. A good read for a newcomer, and a teaser for the newcomer to go back and find the fascinating series of adventures of this truly ...more
I like all Milo Sturgis/Alex Delaware stories! A young artist is strangled in an art gallery on the night of her first major showing. LAPD Milo Sturgis calls on his pal, pyschologist, Alex Delaware for advice on the murder. Delaware decides that the murder is not a crime of passion, but a serial killing. The murders of a bluesman, an abstract painter, a punk diva, and a concert pianist follow. They all have the same connection; they were all making a comeback after a slow start. The bluesman's d ...more
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Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.

Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the t
More about Jonathan Kellerman...

Other Books in the Series

Alex Delaware (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1)
  • Blood Test (Alex Delaware, #2)
  • Over the Edge (Alex Delaware, #3)
  • Silent Partner (Alex Delaware, #4)
  • Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)
  • Private Eyes (Alex Delaware, #6)
  • Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware, #7)
  • Bad Love (Alex Delaware, #8)
  • Self-Defense (Alex Delaware, #9)
  • The Web (Alex Delaware, #10)
When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1) Deception (Alex Delaware, #25) Victims (Alex Delaware, #27) Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5) Silent Partner (Alex Delaware, #4)

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