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The Mercedes Coffin (Decker and Lazarus, No. 19) Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Kellerman's uneven 17th novel to feature LAPD Lt. Peter Decker and wife Rina Lazarus (after 2007's The Burnt House), Decker must solve a 15-year-old cold case—the murder of saintly Bennett Little, a high school history teacher whose bound body the police found, with three shots in the back of his head, in the trunk of Little's Mercedes. When unscrupulous music producer Primo Ekerling turns up dead in the trunk of his Mercedes, Genoa Greeves, a wealthy computer mogul with fond memories of Little as a teacher, offers the LAPD a seven-figure charitable donation to reopen the case. Early in the reinvestigation, Decker is brought up short when one of the original cops on the case eats his gun just before a scheduled appointment with the lieutenant. Finding a link between Little and Eckerling won't prove easy. Fans may enjoy the interplay among Decker, Rina and their children, but newcomers would be advised to start with an earlier entry in this popular crime series. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Part of the fun of reading Kellerman’s early Decker-Lazarus mysteries is the infusion of Jewish tradition in the mix. In recent years, however, series entries have given Rina Lazarus, Decker’s lively, clever wife, a decidedly minor role. Although that’s certainly the case here, Kellerman compensates somewhat by writing with her usual zest, and telling the story almost exclusively in dialogue, which not only quickens the pace but also allows readers an intimate glimpse of how the detectives patch together the clues. The body of a music producer stuffed into the trunk of a Mercedes left parked in a remote spot attracts the attention of a millionaire businesswoman, whose favorite teacher, Ben Little, was similarly killed 15 years before. Wondering if the murders are linked, she promises a big payoff to the LAPD if Little’s murder is solved. The pressure’s on Lieutenant Peter Decker, and, of course, everyone he talks to has something to hide—Little’s wife, the gangbanger turned basketball coach, a musician gone crazy, even the cop who investigated Little’s murder. Although Decker never ties up all the loose ends, he eventually answers enough of the questions to put bad guys behind bars, win over Miss Moneybags, please his boss—and satisfy his many fans. --Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Give your fans more of what they have come to expect next time, well thought out plots, plausible endings and more of the family -- we all love the Decker family.
There is also a great deal of pontificating and theorizing about potential who-done-it suspects and scenarios that don’t really amount to much more than padding.
Unfortunately, even the ending is mushy and inconclusive.
STILL – writing is hard work....so: ***.