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(Alex Delaware #36)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,613 ratings  ·  383 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis search for answers to a brutal, decades-old crime in this electrifying psychological thriller from the master of suspense.

LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a master detective. He has a near-perfect solve rate and he's written his own rule book. Some of those successes--the toughest one
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Ballantine Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Alyssa I believe it's from the Yiddish expression "gay vays" (‘go know.’) My feeling is that is similar to "Go figure." (Sadly, I haven't heard Yiddish since…moreI believe it's from the Yiddish expression "gay vays" (‘go know.’) My feeling is that is similar to "Go figure." (Sadly, I haven't heard Yiddish since I left the East Coast in 1988...) Any Yiddish speakers out there to back me up or correct me?(less)
Meredith Whitford Just finished Serpentine and can't think of any link to WWTBB! There may have been some passing reference, as there often is, to a previous case but n…moreJust finished Serpentine and can't think of any link to WWTBB! There may have been some passing reference, as there often is, to a previous case but nothing that struck me.(less)

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Start your review of Serpentine (Alex Delaware, #36)
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I've read all thirty-six 'Alex Delaware' novels, and I've enjoyed them all.

Unlike some long-time series (::ahem:: I'm looking at you Patricia Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta), this one hasn't devolved into crap. In fact, it's pretty much the same now as when it first started.

Admittedly, some things are becoming a bit repetitive...Alex walking to Robin's studio to check in twenty-four times during the book, their way too lovey-dovey relationship, and the eternal restaurant scenes where Alex moder
Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman brings murder and disappearances to the 36th book in the Alex Delaware series. It’s a combination of mystery and suspense in a police procedural. The books are also very cerebral in nature.

Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware team up again when Milo is given a 36-year old unsolved cold case, for which the original file is missing. Dorothy Swoboda was found in a burned out car and the coroner’s report showed she had als
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

In this 36th book in the 'Alex Delaware' series, the psychologist helps his friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, investigate a cold case. The book can be read as a standalone.


Thirty-nine year old Ellie Barker is thriving and wealthy, having recently sold off her exercise wear company for gazillions.

Ellie feels a lack in her life, however, because her mother, Dorothy Swoboda, was murdered in Los Angeles 36 years ago, and the crime was never solved. The homicide was investigated by a ser
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it

Full review now posted 2/2/21

Serpentine is the 36th Alex Delaware novel by Jonathan Kellerman which follows Psychologist Alex Delaware as he helps out his friend, LAPD homicide Lt. Milo Sturgis. A millionaire’s mother was murdered 36 years ago, and she is looking for answers. The case is beyond cold. With no suspects, witnesses or DNA, they run with little evidence they can find. If anybody can close this case, it’s these two brilliant minds.

Once again, this author pulls you into the story with

A thirty-six-year-old cold case had landed on Lieutenant Milo Sturgis’ desk, a case that had been opened many times in the duration. Now the daughter of the woman killed, Ellie Barker, wanted to know why her mother abandoned her, why she’d been killed, and who did it. Hiring Milo, who was in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Homicide squad, felt right. His solve rate was astronomical, Ellie wanted answers and as she was three when it went down, she didn’t remember anything. Her father rea
Adrian Dooley
Although book 36, this is my first read of Kellerman and indeed his Delaware series.

Detective Milo Sturgis again looks for the assistance of his friend and psychologist Alex Delaware when he has a cold case forced onto him from above.

A very wealthy woman wants to know what happened to her estranged mother who was seemingly murdered over three decades ago. With no choice Milo and Alex go to visit her and so unfolds their research into looking into what little clues there are to try and solve a
It’s been quite some time since I’ve read an Alex Delaware mystery, but by the end of the first chapter it was like I’d slipped right back into Alex and Milo land. These two friends and crime fighters are at it again when Milo is asked to look into a thirty-six-year-old cold-case murder. The case quickly becomes a covulated mix of suspects and witnesses that the team manage to dig up from all those years ago. Someone isn’t happy with their investigation though, and strange things begin to occur. ...more
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
Serpentine - Jonathan Kellerman

I suppose the title is apt as the plot is very twisty! If you haven’t read any books in this series you may find the rapid fire banter between the two main characters a bit jarring. I knew what to expect, having read a lot of this series over the years, then I got sidetracked and just forgot about it. It’s good to see that things are still going swimmingly for our intrepid investigators police detective Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and psychologist Dr Alex Delaware.

Mick Dubois
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At a rich people’s do, Andrea Bauer hears 2 women talk about a 36-year old unsolved murder and decides to pull some strings. Ellie Barker’s mother was shot and burned in ‘her’ car. She employed several PI’s but never got an answer to what had happened. Now Milo is put on the case with the help of his friend psychologist Alex Delaware. At first reluctant, they dive into the case and find out that there were already 3 detectives who investigated this over the years, but none of them had any succes ...more
"Serpentine," the thirty-sixth book in Kellerman's Alex Delaware series, continues to pair psychologist Delaware with buddy Detective Milo Sturgis. Don't expect Mad Max Thunderdome action here, but an intricate exploration of a cold case and the dogged investigative work it'll take to solve it. Because here they get the coldest of all cold cases. A thirty-six year old Case which wasn't originally even classified as a homicide. A case where the crime scene location can only be estimated and all t ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent thriller full of twists and surprising humor.

Above all, I like the tone in which this book is written. This sarcastic, ironic humor adds some really unique vibe. I like this type of humor very much, and I think it gives some lightness and brightness to the story. Makes it quick and easy to read.

I also like when a story, as here, starts right away on the first pages of a book. Needless to say, it's a very good story. As for the fact that Milo and Alex are solving a case from
Linda Strong
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Detective Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware team up again when Milo is assigned to look into a cold case ...

The powers that be have ordered Milo to investigate the death of a woman who's wanting to know what happened to the mother she never knew. Thirty-five years ago a woman was found in a torched car with a bullet in her head. The case was never solved.

The more Milo and Alex dig, the more questions they have. Over the years several detectives have been given the file, but wi
The Magical World of Reading
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that I am not a fan of this type of book. Usually, I want to relax with some love drama with an easy theme that will not burden me, nor will it push me out of my comfort zone. But from time to time, especially when my children have a sleepover somewhere, I want to pick up a book that will keep me on the edge of the chair and nail me from the beginning to the end. This book is just like that. Well plotted and beautifully written, it grabbed my attention and held it right through to t ...more
Vanessa Menezes
Ellie Barker is a self-made millionaire by the age of forty, and is obsessed with reopening the coldest of cases: the decades-old death of the mother she never knew. She hires LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis to help.

Twenty-five years ago, Ellie's mother was found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on infamously treacherous Mulholland Drive. No physical evidence, no witnesses, no apparent motive. And a slew of detectives have already worked the job and faile
Kathi Defranc
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good old cop Milo Sturgis calls on his buddy, Dr. Alex Delaware, after receiving a freezing cold case from 36 years ago! A daughter, who has money, wants to find out just what happened to her Mom, and words to the right people get the case pulled and delivered to a very angry Homicide Lieutenant!! He can't understand why He needs to take it, but after a bit of research realizes that not much was ever done. So he is off to grab Alex's assistance and start investigating all involved who either wor ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting Story and Intriguing writing


Milo Sturgis is a temperamental LAPD homicide detective with a near-perfect solve rate. He often teams up with his best friend and psychologist Alex Delaware. Milo calls Alex in on the cases that are unusual. He needs him now…it’s a decades old cold case, that has been worked by other dectiectives numerous times before. But now Ellie Barker, the wealthy and influential young daughter of the deceased woman, the mother she never knew, wants the case r
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Serpentine truly lives up to its title on many levels. The action initially moves slowly then twists and turns, sometimes torturously, uncovering various types of evil as Detective Milo Sturgis attempts to solve a cold case.

As the novel begins, Milo has been tasked with investigating the apparent death/murder of a woman some 35 years earlier. He is to do this without any supporting staff per the Police Chief. And he is to meet with the woman’s daughter, who was only three at the time of her moth
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Serpentine (Ballantine Books 2021) is the thirty-sixth in Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series and another excellent story starring Dr Alex Delaware, psychologist, and Detective Milo Sturgiss of the LAPD. Together they are clever, analytical, and inspired to solve crimes. This crime is a thirty-nine-year-old cold case that many detectives have tried and failed to solve. It starts as a simple missing person and ends up with multiple murders. I can’t say much more without spoiling the plot bu ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Psychologist and police consultant Alex Delaware and LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis have been friends for so long they can finish each other's sentences. I've been trailing them around for just as long, enjoying their interaction as they solve sometimes complicated murder cases, that I probably could finish them as well. And this - the 36th book in the Delaware series - doesn't disappoint.

This time, though, it's a cold case that falls - make that is shoved - into the lieutenant's lap. Why
Donna Davis
This is the 36th entry into the Alex Delaware series, and it’s still going strong. Lucky me, I read it free. My thanks go to Net Galley and Random House Ballantine for the review copy. It will be available to the public February 2, 2021.

Milo Sturgis, the only gay detective in Los Angeles, has been ordered to take up a very cold case. Money talks, and big money talks loudest. A massively wealthy young woman wants to know what really happened to her mother, and who her biological father was. Elli
Although this is book 36# in this series, and I had never read even one of the other books, I had no problems reading this book and understanding what was going on.

This is not to say that I didn't have issues, but they weren't serious issues. For one, there were just too many descriptions-what they were eating, drinking, wearing, how much food was being consumed, and when. It finally just got on my nerves. I've seen female authors do this time and again, but this is the first time I've seen a ma
Brenda Feinen
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-netgalley
What a ride! Read in one day.
Alex, a psychologist, and Milo, a homicide lieutenant, often team up to solve crimes.
Ellie's mother was murdered in her early twenties, when Ellie was three. Ellie knows nothing about her mother - over thirty-five years later, she mentions her mother's death to a politician - and now it's assigned to Milo.
Together Milo and Alex delve deep into 1980s Los Angeles - a shady night club, a man who collected blondes, and a daughter simply wondering who she is.
Mystereity Reviews
I was so excited to get this as a "Read Now" on Netgalley that I sat down last night and read every last page. I've been a fan of Alex and Milo for almost 30 years and each book just gets better and better.

This one starts with a cold case, a case so cold, it's frozen shut. Thanks to his stellar solve rate and some politics, Milo is put on the case to help a wealthy young woman find out how her mother ended up dead in a burning car pushed off a cliff. But with next to nothing in the archives, no
Barbara Schultz
This is Alex Delaware #36. I have read less than a 1/3 of the novels in this series. I usually like Alex although there were a few that were only okay. I went into this is so so expectations!

Awww this was an unexpected treat. Certainly one of my favorite Kellerman reads!

This story starts with our old friend Milo Sturgis asking for assistance from Alex Delaware (as we know) is a psychologist and police consultant.
Milo has a near perfect rate of solving cases so isn’t happy about having thi
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
368 pages

4 and 1 / 2 stars

Milo and Alex have a very tough case in this, the latest, in the Alex/Milo series by Jonathan Kellerman. “Serpentine” is a perfect title for this book because the case is very twisty and surprises abound.

Milo gets roped into investigating a cold case. Thirty years earlier, a woman's body was found in a crashed and incinerated car with a bullet in her. Her name is Dorothy Svoboda. She left behind a common law husband and a daughter. The daughter is now very wealthy and
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis work together on a cold case from thirty-six years ago. The pressure is on from higher up to for Milo to close this case that several homicide detectives before him couldn’t solve. They continue to run into dead ends while investigating this decades old case, but their questions have someone in the present very nervous so they realize they may be closer to the truth than they thought.

Serpentine is another winner in the Alex Delaware se
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serpentine is Book 36 in the Alex Delaware series from Jonathan Kellerman.

"Milo gets a cold case and calls Alex to help. A wealthy woman wants to know the story of her mother and thinks it is linked to a decades-old murder. A woman was found in a burned out car with a bullet hole in her head. No witnesses, no evidence and no answers from any of the detectives that worked it before. And the more they uncover - the more it seems like there's still danger..."

This is the first cold-case that Milo ha
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Kellerman back on form!!! The last 2 weren’t that great.

Love the snappy banter between Alex & Milo. Moves the story along at speed.

Milo has been given or I should say actually he has been pressured by higher-ups into taking on a 36 year old cold case.

This is not your run of the mill murder case. A cold case decades old is not likely to be solved.
Unless – of course – you get Milo and Alex.

Lots of possibilities. Lots of names, couldn’t always keep track, but didn’t matter in the end.

Great plot
Elaine Tomasso
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House Publishers UK, Cornerstone for an advance copy of Serpentine, the thirty sixth novel to feature psychologist Dr Alex Delaware and Lieutenant Milo Sturgis of LAPD.

Milo is not happy at being coerced into investigating a thirty six year old murder at the behest of the victim’s rich daughter and co-opts Alex to help. Ellie Barker’s mother, Dorothy Swoboda, was found shot in a vehicle that went off the road on Mulholland Drive and burst into flames. Th
Jerry B
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
We’ve read this entire now 36-book set featuring psychologist doc Alex Delaware as informal sidekick to LAPD Homicide (Lt.) Detective Milo Sturgis. We had somewhat soured on the series given Delaware’s questionable role in many of the tales as little more than a hobbyist busybody – but we developed a new outlook when the character essentially admitted his relationship to his cop pal, and now rarely bills for his services, therefore requiring no approval or budget on Milo’s part. This latest, “Se ...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

Other books in the series

Alex Delaware (1 - 10 of 36 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)

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