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(Blue Rose Trilogy #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,702 ratings  ·  161 reviews
MYSTERY. Tom Pasmore, ten years old, survives a near fatal accident. During his long recovery, he becomes obsessed with an unsolved murder and finds he has clues to solving it that he shouldn’t. Lamont von Heilitz has spent his life solving mysteries, until he wanted to know nothing more of the terror of life and the horror of death. When a new murder disrupts their world ...more
Trade Paperback, 548 pages
Published January 2010 by Anchor Books/Random House (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,702 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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mark monday
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
Straub followed up his grim and intense post-Vietnam War psychological thriller Koko with something that is nearly the opposite... a big 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 the ...more
Bri | bribooks
After reading a string of bad books, Peter Straub’s 1990 thriller, Mystery — the second in his acclaimed Blue Rose trilogy — was quite the refresher. Taking place in two different eras (the ‘60s and the ‘20s) And two perfectly evocative locations (a Caribbean island and an island near Wisconsin), this is a murder mystery/coming of age tale unlike any I have read before. This is Peter Straub, after all.

At the center of the action is Tom Passmore, a boy who is struck by a car and almost killed at
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Nov 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Xenacoelomorpha

Torturous and banal. At 545 pages, 540 pages too long. The murder mysteries were so uninteresting I kept closing the book and reaching for Spinoza. The blurbs and section headings tease us that the protagonist Tom dies twice....spoiler....not true! He escapes death twice, but I guess that doesn't draw in enough potboiler fans, who need some life after death. The setting of Mill Walk, an island in the Caribbean that seems to be an American protectorate, colony, or insular area, was unappealing in
This book is the middle story of a trilogy it has very little to do with the first book of the series only a book written by a Timothy Underhill which takes place on the Island the hero of our story is born and lives during his youth. This novel falls into the genre of crime fiction and is a lot of fun to read.

As a young man Tom Pasmore nearly dies in an accident in some unsavory part of town/Island. He wounds are so intense that he is out of school more than a year and as he becomes more mobile
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Straub is an amazing author, and although his favorite novel of mine is Julia, Mystery has become a favorite of mine as well. It's not really scary, but incredibly eerie, gripping and intense, as vivid as real-life. It's well-written and the characters are complex; I highly recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries, thrillers or horror works.
Benoit Lelièvre
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This didn't age very well, yet it's not Peter Straub's fault.

The complex and ambitious mystery rooted in a strong sense of place genre has been hijacked and perfected by Stig Larsson and his Merry Gang of Scandinavian scrawlers upon the turn of the century but I guess its origins can be traced back to Straub's Blue Rose Trilogy.

What holds this novel together is the characters. Lamont Von Heilitz, for example: an old, wealthy man turned amateur sleuth out of a vague sense of guilt and search for
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-shelf
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,
Troy Blackford
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great journey, but for reasons that are hard for me to articulate. I enjoyed the setting, and the size of the book and the story made it very engrossing. However, as a story, it wasn't the most coherent or surprising of tales. The lead, while likable and interesting while the story is unfurling, sort of blows away once you are done like dust. There is little inherent 'mystery' once you realize that yes, the big bad family that pulls all the strings throughout the novel is bad, ...more
Andrew Thomas
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't want to finish this book, which is about the highest praise I know.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery thriller!
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jim C
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of a trilogy but it is a stand alone. There is very little connection with the first novel. In this one, we follow the exploits of Tom Passmore as he investigates two different murders that happened years apart from each other.

Three stars are a little too harsh for a rating but this novel wasn't four stars for me. We all know authors have their strengths for certain aspects of writing. The strength of Peter Straub is his mastery of the slow burn. It seems like the reader
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Fish
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hall-of-fame
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
Rajeev Singh
The first book from Peter Straub that I've finished, and quite a hefty tome, so definitely an achievement for me. My bitter experience with Shadowland and The Talisman and the very-first-page boredom with The Hellfire Club had deflated some of the intrigue that the blurbs from the Blue Rose Trilogy inspired, so I was wary at first as I began to read Mystery on my Kindle. The first chapter simply drew me in, the prose had a certain surrealistic quality that melted away all the previous baggage ...more
Kris Van Laer
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Peter Straub after reading The Talisman that Stephen King wrote with him ( still one of the best books ever for me) and as a young teenager I read Koko which I liked a lot. I re-read Koko and although it lost some of its magic it was still a good thriller.
This book is much better, here you can really find the style that you often also find in Kings book: a small community where things aren't what they seem to be, a likeable main character, murder, betrayal and also weaved into the
This novel was good, but not great, to me--2.5 to 3 stars overall. It started out very strong--great characters and events that moved along nicely and absorbed my attention completely. But about halfway in, things started to move slowly and I felt my interest slackening. It wasn't that the story wasn't good; it just started plodding along, then the last part of the story was kind of wrapped up quickly and with a big bow. For this series, I prefer The Throat and Koko over this one. But that's ...more
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize this was a part 2, but it wasn't necessary to follow this story. I will be reading the first, because I'm sure it will make this second story thicker.... but I don't feel there are any blanks I need filed in. It was a true mystery until the very end.
Ben Loory
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just a pure pleasure to read
Val Penny
My friend Sharon passed this book on to me when she had finished it. She highly recommended Mystery. I had not read anything by Peter Straub before, so I took the book on holiday with me to read while I was away at The Clube Humbria, Algarve, Portugal. The hotel is reviewed at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.wor... . I have discovered that the author, Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA on 2 March, 1943. The author earned an honors B.A. in English at the University of ...more
Charles Harwood
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ok-thrillers
Mystery is a convoluted tale, set on a Caribbean island of Mill Walk. The central character, Tom suffers a devastating car accident where he almost gets killed. After breaking everything in his body, he spends months in a wheelchair, growing obsessed with crimes on the island. His grandfather, Glen is a potent force, as is the corrupt and greedy Redwing family. With the police force in their pockets, Toms’ sleuthing does not go down well.

Glen sends Tom off to Eagle Lake along with the Redwings
David Roberts
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reviewing the thriller Mystery by Peter Straub which is a very good novel which I bought from a car boot sale. Straub is more famous for his fantasy novels than his thrillers and did do a couple of books with Stephen King, one horror and one fantasy presumably to perfect their art. His fantasy novels are very good in having peril and suspense which are prevalent in thrillers. This novel is set on what I think is a fictional island in the Caribbean called Mill Walk which is the playground of ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sleuthy-thriller
Solid Tale of Amateur Sleuth at Odds with Corruption on a Caribbean Island

Mystery is a solid and well-crafted plot, if a little convoluted, but is worth sticking with for the climaxes and twists. Tom is a young sleuth who takes an interest in the crimes committed on a small Caribbean Island of Mill Walk.

This is partly due to suffering a horrific traffic accident as a young boy and Tom has little to do but to read and research during convalescence. Tom’s ‘pastime’ is frowned upon by his
David B
Tom Pasmore, an unusually introspective and intelligent teenager, teams up with the aged, eccentric private detective Lamont von Heilitz to investigate a pair of murders in the mid-60s. Peter Straub develops a compelling mystery with interesting characters and then fails to make it pay off in the end. Tom's near death experience turns out to have no bearing on later events and the resolution of the mystery is pretty much what you would expect; any time you have arrogant, powerful rich characters ...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

Other books in the series

Blue Rose Trilogy (3 books)
  • Koko
  • The Throat
“Nothing is whole, not for too damned long. The world is half night.” 4 likes
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