Review: Recently retired LAPD Detective Lieutenant Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus have left Los Angeles and moved to Greenbury, a small town in upstate New York, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Decker has gone to work for the town's police department, but unlike the utter chaos of murders, drive-by shootings, robberies, and the like in LA, life is quite dull and tedious here. An exciting day could be rescuing a cat from a tree. His partner, Tyler McAdams, is a Harvard graduate taking time off before starting law school. But now it seems a real crime has been committed in their town, in Murder 101, the 22nd mystery in this series by Faye Kellerman.
There has been a theft in the local cemetery. One of the mausoleums was fitted with four priceless Taffany panels, but now the four that are present prove to be fake. Separately, a young woman, a student of fine arts at a local college, has been brutally murdered. Their investigation reveals that she had made the fake Tiffany panels and somehow replaced the originals with her forgeries. But she had to have had help. Soon thereafter, a young man is found violently stabbed to death. Decker and McAdams continue to interview staff at nearby colleges and museums, all in an effort to learn who would have an interest in acquiring the original Tiffany panels. But even with expert help, it seems this case is beyond the scope of what Decker, even with his thirty years of experience, can handle.
Murder 101 is an exciting mystery, set largely in an appealing small town, but with side trips to Boston and New York City. And while Decker is a well-known character to readers, it is Tyler McAdams that tends to steal the show here, with a wicked attitude that livens up the storyline. He comes from a wealthy family, and postponing law school to work as a policeman just riles his father. Rina plays a smaller role, but adds a bit a humor to this sometimes dark tale. A terrific example of how a change in venue and the addition of a new character can refresh a long-running series, this crime novel is highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Murder 101.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Murder 101 for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Murder 101: Upstate New York; Boston; New York City
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Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman — A Decker/Lazarus Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 2014
List Price: $26.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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