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The Theory of Death (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #23)
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The Theory of Death

(Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #23)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,977 ratings  ·  492 reviews
Now living in upstate New York, former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is plunged into a bizarre web involving academia, underworld crime, and calculating killers in this next compulsive novel in New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman's beloved Decker and Lazarus series

Former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is relishing the quiet and slow pace of his new job with the G
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Start your review of The Theory of Death (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #23)
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Over the past two years my go to mystery series has been the Decker and Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman. With what looks to be a busy last two months of the year as I wrap up challenges and commitments, I felt the need for respite before forging ahead. Thus, I decided to revisit my old friends the Deckers in another installment of their fast paced police mystery drama.

Peter and Rina Decker have been living in quiet Greenbury, New York for almost two years. It has been a year since the town's l
May 28, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive, audio
Book 23 of the Decker/Lazarus series. Faye Kellerman continues to keep me glued to this series with her remarkable characters:

- the Jewish Orthodox wife of Detective Decker. I love seeing what she cooks up in each read. Her meals sound exquisite and I’d love to be a guest at their table.

Peter Decker - closing in on retirement fast (again.) He already retired once from the LAPD but quickly jumped back in after he and Rina moved to Upstate New York. I’m not sure he’ll ever be ready to truly
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge

Former LAPD detective Peter Decker and his wife Rina have moved to upstate New York where Decker now works for the small Greensbury Police Department.

As the book opens, Tyler McAdams - who briefly partnered with Decker at the Greensbury PD before starting Harvard Law School - asks to stay with the Deckers to study for finals.

Before McAdams can crack a book the body of Eli Wolf, a student from local Kneed Loft College, is found in the woods - and the Decker/McAdams partnership is (temporarily) b
Liz Barnsley
Way way back now, more years than I care to think about, I picked up a copy of a novel called “The Ritual Bath” and was introduced to Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. I’ve grown up with them pretty much, we are now on book 23 and despite that fact this series just keeps going strong and I have never once been disappointed. Definitely one of my favourite series, here is hoping that our couple have a good few more years in them.

Over the course of the 23 books and counting, we have seen Decker and La
Alicia Gard
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Again this was ok. The mystery was predictable and I was annoyed by the side plot of a college girl acting like a stalker to the new young male character - and it was presented as "cute"! Ugh. Not cute, not likeable. If Faye Kellerman is out of ideas for the series she should take a break - not introduce inane new characters. The move to the northeast from California is fine, I just wish she'd stop with the dumb supporting characters. I really don't want to see Mallon in the next book. ...more
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
My feelings about this, the 23rd book featuring former LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his wife, Rina, are somewhat mixed (my actual rating is 3.5 stars, but since that's not possible here, I gave it the benefit of rounding up to 4). I admit I haven't totally adjusted to their move from California to a far less hectic life in upstate New York, although they seem to be handling it fairly well at this point (the second book set in their new location). When I finished the previous book, Murder 101 ...more
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
I liked this one more than the last one. Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus are settling in to their new quiet life in a college town in upstate NY, when a young Ph'D math student is found dead and naked in the woods, an apparent suicide. Kellerman takes us into the competitive world of academia, and the applications of math in the larger world. Peter and Rina continue to minister to their newest stray person, McAdams, who asks if he can study for his Harvard Law finals there, only to be drawn back i ...more
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was kindly sent this book by the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This book started out well - it was reasonably easy to read and had my attention. The plot seemed decent, although I must admit my brain switched off during the boring paragraphs about eigenvalues and other equally tedious mathematical terms. I had hoped that attempting to get my head around the maths would pay off by the end but unfortunately I am left questioning whether it had any relev ...more
Nick Davies
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I had read a Faye Kellerman novel from the same series previously, albeit one written a good ten or fifteen years ago, so kinda knew what to expect. That previous experience had been mixed - I had liked some aspects, but in other senses it hadn't really been my kind of thing. I was keen to give the author another try, and was glad when I won a giveaway to get my own copy of this book.

Overall, as reasonable a read it was, and as much as I am able to understand how the author has plenty of admirer
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I must admit, I was a little dubious about reading a crime novel with a heavy dose of maths thrown in, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but perhaps I wasn’t expecting much. Granted, some of the technical material was skim read, and the repetition of it did become tedious, but the initial idea was interesting, especially the ideas about mapping.

I like the relationship between Decker and McAdams, but I was driven to distraction by Mallon. I couldn’t understand why they accepted her stalker
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I liked this more than some of the later books, probably because it's back to the roots: Decker investigating, with his new partner [unofficially] at his side and Rina backing him up. The mathematics was way out of my league, but carefully presented to be accessible to the average reader, and the plot development was outstanding! If you're a fan of these books, you won't be disappointed. ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another well-crafted exciting crime story from Faye Kellerman. Peter and Rina are getting older, but their capacities are for the most part undiminished. As she often does, Kellerman uses the opportunity to teach us something, this time about math in academia, which turns out to have a lethal side.
Debra Elsner
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Decker/Lazarus books. I loved the dialogue between Peter, Tyler and Rina. The math involved in the book was a bit too much, but the story was awesome. So much fun.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I have read all the Decker/Lazarus books, even before Decker was in the picture. At that time, Rena Lazaus was the main character. This books continues the thread the of the last ones: Rena has been reduced to almost a stereotype of a “housewife.” She cooks. She welcomes guests. She does the laundry. Her multi-faceted activities from the earlier books are barely mentioned. Rena, an Orthodox Jewish woman who helped solve crimes made the series unique. Sadly, that element is now gone.
On it’s own
Sherri F.
I'm a fan of this series since starting it earlier this year (started w/#19; then #1-9), but with the new release, I was impatient & jumped ahead. This installment had a different feel since Peter & Rina are not only older but moved & semi-retired in rural NY, rather than LA, and kids all grown & new co-workers. However, a there's a death of a genius math student from one of the local colleges and Decker is unsure if it's suicide or murder. Decker & his former colleague, back from Harvard on bre ...more
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received The Theory of Death by Faye Kellerman through Goodreads for an honest review. Thank you to Goodreads, Faye Kellerman, and William Morrow Books.

Where have I been? This is the 23rd book in this series. Peter Decker is a former LAPD lieutenant who has given up on the fast-paced life of police work in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Rina, have moved to a so-called quiet and uneventful life in Greenbury, New York where Decker is now the head of the Greenbury Police Department.

All is not well
Cynthia Boris
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Faye Kellerman's latest continues where the last novel left off with Decker and Rina settling into their new home in a small town on the East Coast. The move gives Kellerman a chance to change up the stories but I do miss many of the old characters from the original series.

As for this book, it wasn't one of my favorites. It starts out strong enough but a lot of the pages feel like filler the further in you go. Repeated explanations of the same mathematical theories, repeated visits to the same
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fall-src-2015
Five stars because it is always good to visit with Rina and Peter and the family. I do wish FK would write a more Rina-centered book. The mystery was somewhat predictable, although the very end had a satisfying conclusion to the red herring death.
Sep 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very nice mystery book, especially for fans of the Kellerman family of authors, as I certainly am.
The setting is cool, we are back in Western Mass "Five Colleges" town.
Tyler is making a comeback and has all the making of a recurring character, which would be great.
Enjoyed it lots.
Sep 30, 2015 added it
Murder in the math department at a small private college specializing in math and physics. I learned a lot about Fourier transforms, stocatic something or others and more math stuff. I was a math major for awhile in college, so I found all the math talk pretty interesting. The story is pretty good too. This is one of the more recent Pete Decker/Rina Lazarus books. Their kids are grown and they live in a small town in upstate NY. I like the setting.
Sheila Myers
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
Another great Decker/Lazarus book. I liked the idea that there were so many suspects and so many motives. I think those things kept the story interesting. As always, I enjoyed the parts of the story about Decker's life outside of work. ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
While investigating the apparent suicide of of graduate student, Decker is confronted by the murder of one of the student's professors. The background is a New England college and higher math. The story is full of plot turns. ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, adult-fiction
The book dragged things out a little too long and the stranger stalker relationship didn't make sense to me. Not the best entry in the series. ...more
Ken Smith
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel is, like, #23 in the Decker/Lazarus mystery series. By this time detective Peter Decker and former widow and Yeshiva teacher, Rina Lazarus, have sorted our their relationship. Now they are investigating a murder in a small upstate New York college. Both the victims and the suspects are mathematicians (students and faculty) and so there is a little math on the side. (Math AND mystery -- how good can it get??)

The book is a light fun read, relatively fast paced, good for recreational rea
Ken Schloman
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is very hard to write a long tem continuing series and the author definitely has succeeded with the 23rd novel in the Decker/ Lazarus series. Kellerman has aged the key characters as the series progressed and done so successfully. I like the fact that she has moved the series from LA to the small academic community in outstate NY as part of Decker's "semi-retirement. Kellerman, as in all of the series teaches by injecting concepts into her novels-- in this case higher math which fits nicely w ...more
I've read this series off and on over the years, but apparently I missed a few, because suddenly Decker and Lazarus have left southern California and are on the east coast with Decker supposedly in semi-retirement working at a small town police force. However, at the pace he worked these cases, it seems he needs to revisit the idea of what retirement is like. There is also a new (to me) character who seems to be a surrogate son to the couple and is currently in law school at Harvard, but had wor ...more
Alasandra Alawine
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Tyler)McAdams is back staying with the Deckers and soon makes himself useful when he accompanies Peter to a suspected suicide. Not long after they start trying to figure out why Eli would kill himself one of his teachers winds up dead in what appears to be a similar manner. Peter quickly determines that Belfort was murdered, now he and Tyler just have to figure out why. In between trying to solve the murder Tyler has to study for finals (law school) and he finds love in the most unlikely place.
Apr 23, 2021 rated it liked it
Picked this mystery up for an easy read at the beach and it filled the need.
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another gem in this series.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crimes of passion amongst the cold-blooded mathematicians of Academia. Are these the cold equations? A very nice whodunit to read.
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Bo'ness Library B...: * 2016 July Wednesday Book Group 2 5 Jun 28, 2016 06:29AM  

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Faye Kellerman was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. She earned a BA in mathematics and a doctorate in dentistry at UCLA., and conducted research in oral biology. Kellerman's groundbreaking first novel, THE RITUAL BATH, was published in 1986 to wide critical and commercial acclaim. The winner of the Macavity Award for the Best First Novel from the Mystery Readers ...more

Other books in the series

Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #1)
  • Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2)
  • Milk and Honey (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #3)
  • Day of Atonement (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #4)
  • False Prophet (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #5)
  • Grievous Sin (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #7)
  • Justice (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #8)
  • Prayers for the Dead (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #9)
  • Serpent's Tooth (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #10)

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