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Mystery (Blue Rose Trilogy #2)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  2,053 ratings  ·  86 reviews
After a tragic accident which he barely survives, Tom Pasmore develops an obsession with death--an obsession which leads him to investigate two murders--one in the past and one in the present. And during his investigation, Pasmore learns more than anyone needs--or deserves--to know!
Paperback, 728 pages
Published (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
Straub followed up his grim and intense post-Vietnam War psychological thriller Koko with something that is nearly the opposite... a big and plummy murder mystery set in two past eras, detailing the life of a poor little rich boy as he goes about solving mysteries and falling in love. however - lest you think this is a warm and nostalgic character study a la Stephen King - let me assure you that the Straub who wrote this one is still the Straub who prefers to write from the head rather than from...more
Ten year old Tom Passmore is hit by a car and nearly dies. During hospitalization Tom becomes interested in reading, and he digs his way through many novels, but he becomes fascinated with one kind: mysteries. Tom develops a passion for detective work, and in the cozy island of Millwalk not everyone looks at the young boy's budding hobby with appreciation...

Although technically this is the second volume of a trilogy (the first being Koko) Mystery stands on its own. It has all trademarks of Strau...more
Hard to rate this book, found myself between 3 and 4 stars and went with higher. Well-written tale of family secrets, corruption and murder but not your typical mystery, which should be expected from Straub. Interesting characters keep the plot moving but the ending seemed sort of a letdown. Still, an enjoyable read which I would recommend to Straub fans willing to read something from him other than horror.
I read this book four times in the last 12 years. The only other book I read this many times was "Keys to the Street" by Ruth Rendell. Some books have everything in them. Magical prose, a page turning story, psychology, geography, engagement of all of the senses, relationship politics, art, history, and musical rhythm.
The best Holmes pastiche I’ve read—and yes, I know the character’s name isn’t Holmes, and he’s not English, and it’s half a century too late for a pastiche…but still.
Mystery is the second of the Blue Rose series (originally Trilogy, but Straub wrote another book a few years back that is called a Blue Rose book and also contains some of the characters from the others). Of all of the books I think this is my favorite, although its reviews at the time were not as good as those for Koko.

Mystery's main character is Tom Pasmore, a young boy who lives in the affluent section of a fictional island in the Caribbean settled by the Redwing family. When seven Tom sees a...more
Apr 04, 2013 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone
When I began reading this I realized that I would say that it probably wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own – without Goodreads that is. And I still have that superficial opinion, but wait - it gets better! I must confess that in sitting down to write this review I looked at my “To Read” shelf to try and figure out who might have been the catalyst for my adding it back in 2009 and the winner is, author Laurie King.

Mystery is a longish book of great story-telling. Primarily set on a...more
I had read this book a VERY long time ago. So long ago that I couldn't remember much about it except that it was a really good novel. So, when this book came in as a part of a "lot" I got from Ebay, I decided to keep it and re-read it at some point. I came across it a few weeks ago, and felt excited about reading it again.
Peter Straub is an author that is at times an aquired taste. I have read a great many of his books and enjoyed most of them, but his writing style can be tedious at times. But,...more
The second book in the Blue Rose trilogy, but if you happen to read it by itself it's no big deal. The book stands alone perfectly well and you won't even notice how it ties into the first book, Koko, until about 3/4ths of the way thru. And even then the tie in is minor.

The book is a tense thriller and sort of a horror novel. There is only a slight illusion to anything supernatural, but like Koko the horror in this series comes from the depths humanity will sink too.

I'd actually give this book a...more
Veronica Lindsey
This one was better than some other books he's done.
I never get tired of re-reading this one.
T. Edwin Perry
I originally read this book about 20 years ago and, with nothing else available on my bookshelf and no cash to go buy something else, I re-read it. There are things in this book that I really, really liked. The fictional island of Mill Walk, for example, gives the story the freedom to move and flow, and gives the author the ability to paint the picture without having to risk offending someone who actually lives there. That said, it's a period piece set in the mid-60's, so it can be a little dist...more
This was the first Peter Straub book that I have read that was not co-written with Stephen King, having previously read Talisman and Black House. Though somewhat disjointed, this is a great read, and Straub shows creativity in creating characters, weaving many different layers of story-line and plot upon one another, and paying homage to famous crime caper and mystery authors of the past.

Mystery takes place on a fictitious Caribbean island and Wisconsin lakeside resort, populated by the same se...more
My first time reading a Peter Straub novel.
Interesting setting in a fictional Virgin island. Young boy with mind of his own observes and processes his experiences and follows his curiosity like a hound follows scents. Curiosity kills the cat, as they say... and pretty much he uncovers deep machinations that warrant murder to keep them buried. Depraved evil and greed for power and money is at the root of it all, isn't it always?

I found the description of the island socio-economic culture very int...more
Of course I loved this book. It is very rare that I don't love a Peter Straub book to be honest. Despite loving his work, I have not necessarily read his most famous works and the Blue Rose series is a big gap in my Peter Straub love. I got my hands on Koko and flew through that and then found this for my nook. I have the 3rd book, The Throat waiting for me now.
As with all of Straub's books, it opens somewhat slowly and builds until you are "falling downhill" as I always say. Stephen King has...more
Michael Fish
For me, 'Mystery' is THAT novel which is handed to you at just the right time in your life, where you not only fall in love with it, but fall in love with reading all together.

The story follows Tom Pasmore, an awkward young man, who becomes a bookworm while recovering from an accident. His reading leads him to become fascinated with murders and the complicated past of his island town, Mill Walk. (incidentally Straub was born in Milwaukee & was gravely injured as a boy). Pasmore forms a bond...more
Yet another one that it has been a bit since I read it, and I'm not going to write much of a review. I haven't read Straub in years and this book reminded me that, although I think he is a good author, he's not great. After I bought the book, I realized it was published back in 1990 and I wondered if it would be, ummm, relevent (sp) today or dated. It's one that can easily be read over 20 years since it was published, since it is written about long past decades. One of the reasons I didn't rate...more
May 25, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: crime, thriller
So I've discovered that I love the way that Peter Straub writes. There's something great about the way he describes everyday things, but makes them sound special and interesting. All of his characters, no matter how strange their background, are believable as people, and even when his heroes - or heroines - do something stupid or unlikeable, you're still rooting for them to succeed.

Mystery is, as the title suggests, a mystery story. It's a sort of roundabout murder mystery, with the murder in qu...more
Along with Raymond Chandler's _The Long Goodbye_ (which obviously had an influence on Straub's noir novels), this is one of my favorite mystery novels to reread and, since I am focusing on mysteries this year, I had a perfect excuse to do so. Two things which I love about this novel: 1. I think it points to one of the aspects of mysteries which make them so popular to all sorts of people, namely, our preoccupation with the eternal questions of who am I? what do I believe in? what are my thoughts...more
This is the first detective/crime novel I've ever read.. well I didn't count The Curious Incident of Dog in the Nighttime, for the reason you'd know if you've read the book.

I didn't know I'll like it - in fact I'm kinda hooked! Really thought I'd give up halfway through the novel. I guess I'll be reading more of this kind. Good thing the first didn't disappoint.

I was really rooting for a much more happy ending, though. Poor Lamont. Poor Tom. Well, at least the 'poetic justice' was done.

Note: too...more
Mackenzie Brown
Tom Pasmore survives a tragic accident but develops an obsession with death which leads him to investigate two murders. One is a murder from the past and the other the present. During his investigation, Pasmore learns more about a shadowy figure who lives on the island with him. The two become companions and the more he learns about the man, the more he questions the behaviour of his power hungry grandfather and the mystery that has been kept from him until now.
A stunning novel, superbly written...more
S.L. Dixon
A very well-written and smooth story of the perfect side of town and the perfect people and their perfect lies. A fun story and I really enjoyed that it didn't end in a perfect balance of rainbows and unicorns like so, so many mysteries tend to.
Martin Reaves
Mystery is a delightfully slow read, and yet compelling. Only Peter Straub could pull that off. Straub's writing always has a hallucinatory quality and Mystery is no different. This first novel in the Blue Rose Trilogy (see also Koko and The Throat) is a pure mystery, filled with shady characters, dark conspiracies, and ill-fated love. There are some slow sections, but they are slow not because they are boring but due to Straub's ability to create a surreal moment and stretch it for all its wort...more
I was a little surprised by this one. I wasn't sure at the beginning if I would like it, it seemed a little all over the place, but after a little while I just got caught up in it. I found the writing to be very visually descriptive. Imagine dying twice, and then finding out you are someone other than who you always believed you were. Of course mix that in with murder, money and secrets, add a fictional Carribean island with vacations to exclusive lake retreats and you have a recipe for a great...more
Jul 17, 2007 Cloudhidden rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone
This book is one of Straub's finest pieces. Though it is dense, it is well worth the read. A cool thing about many of Straub's books is the fact that he uses a lot of the same characters. A minor side character in one book, becomes the main character in another. The same is true with locations, symbols and themes.

Famed musician Nick Cave was such a fan of Straub's books he wrote an album, Murder Ballads, using many of the characters within his lyrics.

If you have not read any of Straub's books, I...more
I've only read Straub's 'Ghost Story' which I enjoyed. 'Mystery' starts off a little confusing and is fairly slow and uninvolving for a few hundred pages, but it gets much better by the mid-point and stays fairly gripping to the end, well gripping may be too strong a word. I also personally find his descriptions of environments a little hard to picture which throws me off sometimes, but I love the way he captures different personalities in just a few words. This is a solid little mystery but it'...more
I'm reserving this space for a better review, but I will say this much: Peter Straub's novel about a young Tom Pasmore's travels into the dark side of life and death on a small island of Mill Walk is one of my favorite novels of all time. Part of the unofficial "Blue Rose" trilogy along with Koko and The Throat, I find more and more layers in this book every time I re-read it. While not always brought up as an exemplar of Straub's work, I do know from speaking with the author himself it's his fa...more
Everything you want in a book. Highly recommended. It's book 2 of the Blue Rose trilogy but works as a stand alone novel.
Dennis Fischetti
This is my first book by Straub. He has great command of writing craft, interesting characters and settings, but the pace dragged a bit. I often found myself impatient to get on with the story having already pictured what he continued to describe And, not fair to Straub, but I'd heard he wrote horror, so I was anticipating more spine tingling than he probably intended to write into this particular book. I'll probably read the rest of the three book series, but they won't be at the top of my 'To...more
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Peter Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 2 March, 1943, the first of three sons of a salesman and a nurse. The salesman wanted him to become an athlete, the nurse thought he would do well as either a doctor or a Lutheran minister, but all he wanted to do was to learn to read.

When kindergarten turned out to be a stupefyingly banal disappointment devoted to cutting animal shapes out of heavy...more
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