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Double Homicide: Boston / Sante Fe Hardcover – October 5, 2004

2.8 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Two short novels by a couple who've each gone it alone very successfully in their previous literary efforts make for a double treat for fans of both authors--Faye, whose mysteries feature a similarly uxorious couple in Rina and Peter Decker, and Jonathan, whose Alex Delaware novels starring a thoughtful child psychologist who's luckier in crime-busting than in love are even more popular. Not as satisfying as each author's full-length efforts, Double Homicide nonetheless offers a tasty side dish for their fans, and their protagonists venture beyond Los Angeles to tread new geographical territory, too. In Boston, a popular college athlete is slain in a busy nightclub, but what seems like an open-and-shut case turns out to hinge on forensic evidence that points to a very different conclusion. Detectives Michael McCain and Doris Breton unravel the mystery in Beantown, while two other new characters, Darryl Two Moons and his partner Steve Katz, discover that gallery owner Larry Olafson's brutal slaying has repercussions that resonate far beyond Santa Fe's trendy Canyon Road. Neither of these novellas makes the most of either author's gifts at character development, which lend themselves to a longer format, but that won't stop their dedicated readers from snapping them up and savoring them until the Deckers or Dr. Delaware turn up in their next adventures. --Jane Adams

From Booklist

It's a two-for-one bonanza--two mystery novellas from a husband and wife whose separate writing careers have earned each a huge following. These stories, set at opposite ends of the country, give barely a hint as to who wrote what, providing a little tantalizing "real-life" mystery to the puzzlers on the page. "Double Homicide: Boston," the strongest of the pair, is also the grittier of the two. A city college basketball star is shot at a nightclub following a nasty incident on the court. The prime suspect is a loudmouth on the opposing team, but as detectives McCain and Breton find out, the crime isn't as straightforward as it seems. The backdrop of "Double Homicide: Santa Fe" is a tad more refined--though murder, after all, is still murder. A cutthroat art dealer is found dead, and there are plenty of suspects in his address book--including the ex-wife of one of the investigating cops. In both stories, the cops' personal lives add welcome texture to the fairly routine if still wholly entertaining plots. A diversion for the Kellermans but sure to be of interest to their respective fans. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446532967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739447369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,525,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda Evans Joehlin on September 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan and Faye Kellerman are two of my favorite authors ... have been for many years. I was looking forward to this collaboration. I received an advanced copy and could barely get through it. The characters were cardboard cut-outs, the plots plodded along, the endings were let-downs. Hope the Kellermans stick to what they do best in the future - - collaborate at home and work separately.
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Format: Hardcover
We were so excited to learn that two of our favorite authors -- Faye and Jonathan Kellerman (husband and wife as well) -- had teamed up to write "a novel" entitled Double Homicide. We were all set for a sparkling Alex Delaware (on one murder) meeting Peter Decker (on the other), and the twain happily and merrily collaborating to nail the bad guys. Alas, we and the publishers and authors were not seeing eye to eye; instead, we got two rather short novellas, one set in Boston, the other in Santa Fe, in which respective murders we generally could have cared less about are more or less solved by two new detective pairs in each location. Santa Fe is about an obnoxious art dealer who gets bumped off; the ending is so placid that it defies belief. Boston is about a college basketball player that dies in a shooting at a nightclub after a vicious game. The actual cause of death creates what little mystery is on hand.

Admittedly, the physical packaging was clever, with the two stories upside down so that both book faces look like front covers. Some reviewers mistook the alternating author bylines to presume Faye wrote one story and Jon the other; rather, we suspect they drafted both and took turns writing chapters as the spirit moved. Unfortunately, neither of the stories do justice to the fine writing skills each displays in their longer novels. "Double" looks suspiciously like something due on contract for holiday sales fodder -- but if you must read it, wait for the paperback; and even that you might want to wait for a hand me down. We doubt we'll see any more of these joint efforts or these characters, and frankly, it's just as well if this is the best they can do. Now, what about Decker meets Delaware ?!?!
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Format: Hardcover
The Kellerman's should be ashamed to have their names on this non-book. What a waste of their considerable talents and your time and money. The Arizona double homicide was probably written while the author (Jonathan I'm guessing) was yukking his way through all the three stooges movies, or possibly the Bullwinkle episodes we all did our homework to in the 60's. And I'm being kind. There seems to be no beginning to the story, and no resolving circumstances at the end, and a lot of What!? What!? and ho-hum in between. We then, if we're still awake, flip over to the Boston double murder which was probably written by the distaff side, Faye. After the first few pages of this uber lightweight tome, I fell asleep.

It strikes me that this is one (or two) of those books written to pay for a.) a complete rehab of house and yards, b.) an extended vacation in the Bahamas, or c.) the family's dental work for the next millennium. Whatever the reason for its creation, it's all but turned me off the real, well written books by Jonathan. I am, hoping, tho, that with his next book, Twisted, he manages to redeem himself. Meanwhile, I'd like to hear a whole bunch of mea culpas from each of them.
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Format: Paperback
Since writing is a solitary activity, collaborations are a risky venture. What too often happens is a reverse synergy: the result is less than the sum of the parts. In Double Homicide, this rule holds up, as successful writers (and husband and wife) Jonathan and Faye Kellerman combine to write a pair of tepidly written novellas.

The first novella - In the Land of Giants - follows a pair of detectives in Boston who investigate the murder of a college basketball player. The second story - Still Life - has a pair of Santa Fe detectives looking into the murder of a art gallery owner. Neither story is anything beyond just routine: the characters are dull and there are no real plot twists and some story elements never really go anywhere.

If I had to guess, I'd say the first story was written more by Faye Kellerman and the second by Jonathan, and even if In the Land of Giants is slightly better than what follows, it is not good. Neither story is truly awful, but they only merit two stars, either individually or as a set. If this is an indication of what the Kellerman's can do when working together, it's just as well that they seem to be going back to solo writing. For fans of either writer, this is bound to be a disappointment and should be skipped.
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Format: Hardcover
This was another Christmas present and as such, I enjoyed reading the two novellas done by the Kellermans. The book is easily read in a day. I started with the homicide set in Santa Fe and was finding it interesting until the end arrived. And that is about the way it happened. Not much explanation - some questions left hanging. I liked the relationship of the two police officers and their characters were well drawn. It was almost as though this was intended to be a full blown novel, but the author(s) ran out of steam and decided to pull the plug in the way that they did.

The Boston homicide story was clearly the better of the two, yet I thought that it also could have been drawn into a larger story if the authors had chosen to do so.

So, if you are looking for a couple of plesant little stories about homicide and have a plane ride to take or some time to curl up by the fire, I would suggest you wait for the paperback. It should be right along.
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