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A Safe Place for Dying (Dek Ekstrom Mystery #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  29 reviews
An extortion letter arrives at Crystal Waters, one of Chicago's wealthiest gated communities. It makes no specific threats, gives no instructions, demands only that $50,000 be gotten ready---chump change for an enclave where the cheapest house is worth three million. It's easy to see it as harmless---a note from a nut.
Then a mansion explodes. The homeowners panic, and want
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Minotaur Books
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A SAFE PLACE FOR DYING (Unlicensed Invest-Chicago-Cont) – G+
Frederickson, Jack – 1st book
Thomas Donne Books, 2006- Amer Hardcover

Chicago investigator Vlodek "Dek" Elstrom lost his marriage and his business even though his name was cleared. Now he is living in a dilapidated garret, with no castle, built by his grandfather and is in a constant battle to keep that. His wealthy ex-wife, Amanda, lives within a secured community having inherited the house and some incredibly valuable art. A blackmaile
Debi Van Zandt
I set this one aside. Could be the timing is wrong for me on this one, but I simply lost interest and don't care how the plot turns out. I read almost 8 chapters, but it was just plain boring to me. But I've got a LOT going on right now, so perhaps I'm just distracted.
Jan 25, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
#1 Dek Elstrom mystery

From inside front cover:

"An extortion letter arrives at Crystal Waters, one of Chicago's wealthiest gated communities. It makes no specific threats, gives no instructions, demands only that $50,000 be gotten ready -- chump change for an enclave where the cheapest house is worth $3 million. It's easy to see it as harmless -- a note from a nut.

Then a mansion explodes."

The homeowners hire Dek Elstrom to investigate. He's the former husband of one of the residents ... down on h
Down on his luck Dek Elstrom is being given a chance to redeem himself by doing a little PI work for the folks who run the exclusive Crystal Waters gated community, of which he was recently a resident. After an extortion letter and explosion, it doesn't seem that Crystal Waters is that safe after all. And even though his ex-wife, Amanda, is safely off in France, her (their former) home is sitting there unoccupied, with many works of fine art that she has alwyas said she would save before calling ...more
This book is set in Chicago, so that was a good start. The main character is a washed up kind-of-detective-but-not-really who lives in an abandoned tower on municipal property whose investigation keeps getting interrupted by this slimy bureaucrat who is trying to find a reason to evict him. I really liked the character because he was so real - he did not have a gun, he did not have mad martial arts skills, he didn't always have a smooth one-liner for the bad guys.

The mystery is unique - ransom n
I liked this book. It took me a long time to read, but I enjoyed it even if I felt as if it took me a while to get into it.
Harlequin Books
Miniseries: A Dek Elstrom Mystery
I enjoyed the writer's style and thought it was great that he didn't have to use any gruesome scenes or bad language to engage the reader. The main character has a funny sense of humor and feels real. I was able to figure out the "bad" guy about half way through, but that didn't ruin the experience for me. It was still enjoyable.
Was pleasantly surprised with this book!! Went to pick up a different mystery at the recommendation of a friend and it was not available. Since I was in the mood for a mystery, pulled this one from the shelf. Well written and definitely suspenseful right up until the end!! Great ending for a well written story--8 out of 10 for me!!
Harry Lane
Read Fredrickson's "Dead Caller from Chicago" a couple of weeks ago, and liked it well enough to get this one. It has the same major characters, the same blend of wry, offbeat humor. The plot is a little more straightforward, but the whodunit is artfully inexact until the very end. Fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable.
Dav'ne (Davney)
Interesting plot but I did figure out the bad guy mid-book...there was a twist at the end, but still I hate it when I figure out the murderer or whatever. Dek Elstrom is an interesting guy...perhaps Jack has another mystery in him with Dek. I think he can write better than he did...too predictable.
One of the best mysteries I have ever read. The writing is just fantastic- brilliantly concise. Fredrickson manages to show in just one sentence describing a character's action more than can ever be revealed in a multiple page whiny inner monologue. Complex characters, complex plot. Just plain loved it.
Differing from my usual genre, this mystery wasn't a face paced read, but enjoyable and intelligent. Vlodek Elstrom is just short of homeless, and takes a P.I. job for the money. There are twists and turns, and a subtle, dry humor that makes a nice package.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was very slow in some parts, very pleasant in others, funny at times, but I was not entirely captured by it. I think I'll read some more from Fredrickson to see if it is one of those writers that conquer you slowly...
I don't really read mystery novels, but it was recommended so I went for it. Not bad, not great, just OK in my opinion. I couldn't bring myself to really like the main character - I thought he was kinda annoying.
This book was slow and predictable. I had figured out the culprit after the first few chapters, but it just plodded on. The last few chapters were exciting, but it was way too late!
Snappy writing with some interesting turns of phrase. Took a little long to get to the point, I thought. But I enjoyed it enough to read the next in the series.
This is a pretty good book if you like mysteries, but I didn't think it was as good as say a Mary Higgins Clark.
This was an okay mystery but I figured out the culprit and motive fairly quickly. Fortunately it was a quick read.
Likeable main character- boring story. Took me forever to get through and ended up skimming to the end.
Some reviews have compared this author and the books with Carl Hiaasen. Sorry, no way!
Mickey Hoffman
This is a humorous mystery, but one I didn't find very interesting.
This was a good mystery novel. An easy, summer read.
just Ok... but still a fun read. Thriller.
Apr 02, 2007 kiira marked it as to-read
Famous Librarian Nancy Pearl recommends this
ok. nothing to write home about.
May 16, 2013 Candy marked it as to-read
Looks like a series Kurt might like.
Solid Chicago mystery.
Arren Q
Jun 09, 2010 Arren Q rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Arren by: Auburn BookGroup
Shelves: book-group-2011
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Jack Fredrickson’s first Dek Elstrom mystery, A Safe Place for Dying, was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His short fiction has appeared in the acclaimed Chicago Blues and in Michael Connelly’s Burden of the Badge anthologies. He lives with his wife, Susan, west of Chicago, where he is crafting the next Dek Elstrom novel.

* Dek Ekstrom Mystery
More about Jack Fredrickson...

Other Books in the Series

Dek Ekstrom Mystery (5 books)
  • Honestly Dearest, You're Dead
  • Hunting Sweetie Rose: A Mystery
  • The Dead Caller from Chicago: A Mystery
  • The Confessors' Club: A Dek Elstrom Pi Mystery Set in Chicago
Honestly Dearest, You're Dead Hunting Sweetie Rose: A Mystery The Dead Caller from Chicago: A Mystery Silence the Dead The Confessors' Club: A Dek Elstrom Pi Mystery Set in Chicago

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