Book Review: Murder 101 by: Faye Kellerman

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman's beloved Decker and Lazarus embark on a new life in upstate New York—and find themselves entangled in deception, intrigue, and murder in an elite, picturesque college town.

As a detective lieutenant with the LAPD, Peter Decker witnessed enough ugliness and chaos for a lifetime. Now he and his spirited wife, Rina Lazarus, are ready to enjoy the quiet beauty of upstate New York, where they can be closer to their four adult children, grandchildren, and their foster son, Gabe.

But working for the Greenbury Police Department isn't as fulfilling as Decker hoped. While Rina has adapted beautifully to their new surroundings, Decker is underwhelmed and frustrated by his new partner, Tyler McAdams, a former Harvard student and young buck with a bad attitude. Just when he thinks he's made a mistake, Decker is called to an actual crime—a possible break-in at the local cemetery.

The call seems like a false alarm until it's discovered that a mausoleum's stunning Tiffany panels have been replaced by forgeries. Soon the case escalates into murder: a co-ed at an exclusive consortium of liberal-arts colleges is brutally slaughtered. Poking into the hallowed halls of academia to find a killer, Decker and McAdams are drawn deep into a web of nasty secrets, cold-case crimes, international intrigue, and ruthless people who kill for sport.

Suddenly Decker's job is anything but boring, and the case might be too much to handle for a sleepy town that hasn't seen a murder for nearly a quarter century. Decker will need to use every bit of his keen mind, his thirty years of experience as a homicide cop, and much-appreciated help from family and old friends to stop a callous killer and uncover a cabal so bizarre that it defies logic.

Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus

Review: MURDER 101 is the twenty-second book in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series and the first Faye Kellerman book I’ve read. I didn’t feel lost because the characters were accessible and the story stood well on its own. Peter Decker has retired from the LAPD and moved to upstate New York to be closer to their family. Decker is now working for the Greenbury Police Department, whose biggest cases usually involve rowdy college students. When Decker and his new partner, McAdams, are called to the scene of a break-in at the local cemetery, they find out the priceless Tiffany panels in a mausoleum have been replaced by forgeries. As they dig deeper into the case, it turns deadly as a college co-ed is brutally murdered. The trail leads to more bodies as Decker and McAdams must quickly learn to work together to solve this complex case. MURDER 101 is what a well-written mystery should be, including the use of deductive reasoning, research, and old-fashioned pavement pounding. With all the focus on the art world, it appears to me Ms. Kellerman has done an excellent job of researching the subject matter. I was a little disappointed by the ending which seemed to be more amorphous than it seemed it should have been. As MURDER 101 is set, appropriately, many years after the first book in the series I may have to go back and start from the beginning. I feel, however, MURDER 101 is a solid mystery with interesting and likable characters.

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  1. Your reviews are great. Very in depth. I don't know how you find the time, but thanks!


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