Murder 101 (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #22) by Faye Kellerman 3 Stars

I have to admit, I love a good Faye or Jonathan Kellerman book. I’ve followed Peter and Rina Decker since the beginning of the series and loved every minute of it. Unfortunately this one just didn’t do it for me.

Actually that’s not true, I was into it right up until the last third of the book. And then it all fell apart.

In this book, Peter has retired from the LAPD and taken a job with a small town police department in upstate NY so they can be closer to their kids who have all moved out to the East Coast.

He takes on a new partner, a spoiled rich kid who went to Harvard and only got on the force because his dad called in a favor with the Mayor. The only good thing is the repartee between them and I wouldn’t mind seeing the kid show up in future books.

Despite his attitude, Peter manages to mentor him and get him to come down off his high horse. But in the middle of ho hum, Greenbury, NY, Decker gets called in to investigate some stolen artwork, which ends up being a bigger deal than they thought, and part of a bigger investigation of stolen Russian artwork. Then, as usual, people start being murdered.

Faye had to do an incredible amount of research for this one, especially on Russian artwork, government deals between countries related to priceless artwork, and all the intricacies regarding well known works of art in general and I give her kudos for all of that work. Sadly, it all went completely over my head. Way too many details that just didn’t make sense to me.

I was also left feeling like they didn’t really resolve anything and that the people responsible were never really brought to justice. There was a lot of alluding to who it was, and that it was “handled” by the Russian government, but there was no real closure for me because it all happened off the page.

I even went back and re-read the last part of the book and I still didn’t really understand what the resolution was and who the true killer was. Peter did a lot of speculating, but nothing was confirmed, at least not outright.

Rina also gets more involved in this one, and despite her fun, snappy comebacks to the men on the case, she ends up having way more say in the investigation than seems realistically plausible, for someone not on the police force. Not to mention she verbally takes on the Russian government…. really?

I will definitely read another Kellerman book (Faye or Jonathan) but let’s hope the next one is way less complicated and has a better resolution.

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