Murder 101 is the latest entry in Faye Kellerman's long running Decker/Lazurus series. In fact it's number twenty two.
Kellerman has aged her characters over the course of the series. Peter Decker has recently retired from the LAPD. He and his wife Rena Lazurus have moved to quiet Greenbury, NY to be closer to their grown children. Peter has taken a job with the Greenbury PD. But truthfully he's a bit bored - there's not a lot of crime in the town. A possible art forgery in a cemetery crypt seems pretty exciting. But when a body is found, Decker is back in his element. He has a new partner as well - a young man named Ryan, with no experience, and a bad attitude.
I always enjoy the mystery in Kellerman's books and the path Decker takes to solve the cases. This one was good, but I did find the international connection to be a bit of stretch.
But, the strength of this series is the characters. Rina and Peter are such engaging characters. I've enjoyed watching their relationship grow from their first meeting to this comfortable older stage. Their joy in each other, their love of their family, their faith and their convictions are wonderfully depicted.
The title is a nod to Decker's attempts to teach young Ryan the basics of a investigation (and a little bit about life as well. Rina plays a larger role in Murder 101 - she's actually part of the investigation this time round.
I like that path that Kellerman has chosen to take for Peter and Rina. I wonder if there will be further cases in Greenbury? And, as much as I enjoy the family aspect of this series (daughter Cindy has had her own book and I'm growing tired of foster son Gabe's issues), it is Peter and Rina I prefer to follow.
With such a long running series, there are bound to be some books that are stronger than others. I thought this latest entry was a really good read. Read an excerpt of Murder 101. You can keep up with Faye Kellerman on Facebook.