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Introduction of the ebook: The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights

Đánh giá : 3.56 /5 (sao)

Here the backdrop of contemporary California becomes fertile ground for Kellerman’s riveting tales of murder, mystery, and family ties most sinister and deadly…. Among the first-rate short mysteries in this collection, the brand-new “Garden of Eden” and “Open House” feature the famous sleuthing duo Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. “Bull’s-Eye” introduced Cindy Decker to th Here the backdrop of contemporary California becomes fertile ground for Kellerman’s riveting tales of murder, mystery, and family ties most sinister and deadly…. Among the first-rate short mysteries in this collection, the brand-new “Garden of Eden” and “Open House” feature the famous sleuthing duo Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. “Bull’s-Eye” introduced Cindy Decker to the crime-fiction world, and “Mr. Barton’s Head Case” appears here for the very first time in English. In addition, two rare personal essays allow readers glimpses into Kellerman’s private life, revealing her true grit in “Small Miracles” and childhood memories of working in her father’s deli in the exquisite “Summer of My Womanhood.” Compiled at last in one volume, the seventeen pieces in this book feature new introductions by the author and contribute to a unique, compelling portrait of one of America’s top masters of suspense. A must-have collection for all mystery fans, The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights showcases how ordinary everyday experiences can be the genesis of extraordinary tales that unveil the darkest sins and secrets of the human heart. …more

Review ebook The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights

I have long viewed mysteries as the palette cleansers that I read in between denser reads. With the winter doldrums upon me, I notice that I have been reading more mysteries and action novels than usual in order to perk up my mood. One of my go to mystery writers is best selling author Faye Kellerman. Her Decker and Lazarus series is a comfort read to me so much so that I have finished the series and am impatiently waiting for Kellerman’s next installment. As I browsed through Kellerman’s list o I have long viewed mysteries as the palette cleansers that I read in between denser reads. With the winter doldrums upon me, I notice that I have been reading more mysteries and action novels than usual in order to perk up my mood. One of my go to mystery writers is best selling author Faye Kellerman. Her Decker and Lazarus series is a comfort read to me so much so that I have finished the series and am impatiently waiting for Kellerman’s next installment. As I browsed through Kellerman’s list of published books, I noticed a book of mystery short stories featuring Decker and Lazarus as well as other original material. I decided to select this collection to help me through yet another dreary winter day.

Kellerman starts her collection with three stories featuring her sleuthing bread and butter Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus as well as a story that first introduces Cindy Decker as a police officer. In The Garden of Eden, Rina befriends an older woman named Cecily Eden who shares her hobby of horticulture. When Ms. Eden dies of an apparent heart attack on a day when Rina was supposed to visit her, she notices something amiss in Ms. Eden’s bedroom and encourages her husband Lieutenant Decker to investigate. In Open House, a body is discovered in a home being shown to prospective buyers and Decker and his team of detectives are called on the case. As with Kellerman’s full length novels featuring the sleuthing duo, Rina features prominently in solving the cases. Because each story averages twenty five pages in length, Kellerman announces whodunit relatively quickly, albeit with many twists toward the end to keep her readers alert. This is the case with Bull’s-eye, which reveals Cindy in police academy. Her universally disliked instructor is tragically murdered at a shooting range, and Cindy finds something off in the circumstances. Reluctantly enlisting her father’s help in solving the case, Decker and Decker team up, setting the stage for cases featuring Cindy later in the series. As I enjoy Cindy as a character as she has developed, I especially enjoyed this story with her as the lead protagonist.

The second set of stories are stand alone work by Kellerman. I found Bonding to be creepy and chilling, and Kellerman admits that this is a departure from her usual work. Discards introduces PI Andrea Darling to the Malibu crime scene, and I grew to like her personality, and read through this story slowly with my knowledge that Kellerman does not revisit her in later work. In this piece, Kellerman weaves dual story lines of the death of Malibu Mike, a beloved homeless man who is a Malibu institution, and the disappearance of Martina Cruz, a reliable caretaker for octogenarian Deidre Pollack. As Kellerman’s bread and butter stories generally feature Decker as her lead cop and sleuth, it was refreshing to see how Kellerman developed a female investigator’s sleuthing skills. As with her more prominent series, she did not disappoint here.

The last five stories in the collection speak of Kellerman’s family life and how being an orthodox Jew has influenced her writing. I have noted many times that had the Deckers been actual people, I would have loved to invited them to my home for a holiday or Sabbath meal. Sharing a similar lifestyle, the series speaks to me on a personal level. In Holy Water, Kellerman discusses a rabbi’s ethical dilemma as a kosher certifier and how he can appease competing business interests without revealing any corporate secrets. The story takes place on Purim, and, as with the biblical holiday, a small miracle occurs releasing the rabbi from the predicament he finds himself in. I especially enjoyed Luck of the Draw, which Kellerman wrote with her two daughters when they were teenagers, and Small Miracles that showed the length that Kellerman would go to protect both her mother and children. She finishes the collection with a personal essay, The Summer of My Womanhood, which talks of her summer working in her father’s deli and bakery when she turned eleven. I thought that this piece was touching and encouraging that Kellerman could branch out from her usual genre, perhaps opening the door for a memoir or essay collection in the future.

While not as much of a comfort read as a full length novel featuring Decker and Lazarus, I enjoyed the stories in The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights. Full of twists that made whodunit more intriguing as well as personal stories away from Kellerman’s usual genre, this story collection was an enjoyable way to spend an otherwise gloomy January day. Kellerman says that she will have a full length novel featuring the Decker family ready later this year. I am eagerly awaiting its publication, but, in the meantime, I am more willing than before to read Kellerman’s stand alone work as I see that she writes well developed, intriguing stories in more than one genre.

3.5 stars …more

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