Chris's Reviews > Mystery

Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman
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Sep 03, 2012

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Read from November 03 to 05, 2014


Alex Delaware and his partner, Robin Castagna, are having a melancholy evening at one of their favorite places, the bar at the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is slated to be demolished and this is the last night there will be service at the bar. Most of the furniture is gone, the lightbulbs have been removed from all but a few of the wall lights, and the only member of the staff on duty is the long-time bartender who knows just how his regular customers like their drinks.

Alex and Robin aren’t the only patrons that evening. There is a very glamorous woman sitting at a table nearby. She is dressed completely in white, including the scarf around her head. On her feet are backless silver shoes. She is smoking, using an ivory cigarette holder, channeling Audrey Hepburn in Robin’s opinion. When they leave, they notice that the burly man who had been outside is no longer there. They had decided that he was the bodyguard of the woman in white but she is still in the bar. The duo had supplied a few moments of interesting observation to distract Alex and Robin from the depressing reality that some things, like the bar, continue past their prime.

A few days later, Milo Sturgis, a lieutenant with the homicide division of the Los Angeles police, arrives, as he frequently does, just as the coffee is ready. Milo had been called out at 4:00 am when the body of a young woman was found in the mountains. There appeared to be two killers involved because two weapons were used. Both guns were aimed at her face. There is no identification. Milo shows Alex a picture of the victim. Alex knows that the clothing could only belong to the woman he and Robin had seen at the bar.

When the police realize that the man who was presumed to be a bodyguard has also disappeared, there seems no reason not to assume that the murder of the woman and the disappearance of the man are connected. The man is Steven Muhrman and his mother says she saw him with a woman who looked like the victim, a woman whose name was Mystery.

An anonymous tip is called into the police, pointing them in the direction of an on-line service in which “daddies” are matched up with “sweeties”. Mystery was matched with a billionaire daddy who pre-deceased her, removing one suspect in the murder of the young woman who still has no name.

Alex is also contacted by a former patient who had inhabited the shadow world until she gave birth to a son. Now the boy is six, and she is dying. She pulls Alex back into his real profession, child psychologist.Told almost exclusively from the point of view of Alex Delaware, this story begins with a night out at a hotel/nightclub on its last night before the wrecking ball demolishes it. For old time sake, Alex and his wife Robin go to the nightclub and find that none of the bar tenders or waiters they know are there, just temporary staff. Nothing is the same. Also, a stunning girl in white with a diamond studded watch awaits a date that doesn't arrive while they are there. They speculate about who she is and who her apparent body guard outside the door is. They never dreamed that when they woke up, the girl would be dead and friend and detective Milo Sturgis would involve Alex in the case.


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11/05/2014 marked as: currently-reading
11/15/2014 marked as: read

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message 1: by Lewis (new) - added it

Lewis Weinstein Thanks for your thoughtful observations. I have been a fan of Kellerman's for years ... LEW

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