Crime & Beyond Wiki

What a large group and lively discussion we had this month at Crime & Beyond. We met to discuss Crime Scene by Jesse Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman. This was the first book in a new series by the father/son team. As many of you know, Jonathan Kellerman writes the much loved series featuring psychologist Alex Delaware (who makes a cameo in Crime Scene).

In the book, Clay Edison is the San Francisco Deputy Coroner and is sent to investigate what looks to be a death by natural causes. Rennert, a retired professor has fallen down the stairs to his death—but the kink is that his daughter, Tatiana, thinks he was murdered. This is all that former athlete turned corpse whisperer needs to hear and he is off and running, delving into the death and Rennert’s background. He uncovers another murder, a failed psychological experiment, and Tatiana herself.

So...full disclosure, I recommended this book and I really enjoyed it. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and an 8.5 in club, but I think I’m rounding that up to a 9. I was highly entertained and loved Clay, but many of my club-mates did not. Here’s what everyone else thought:

The book received three 9s, one 8, one .5, four 7s, one 6.5, five 6s, two 5.5s, three 5s, two 4s, and two 3s. Now for the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

The Good: some of us loved Clay. For me he was a cross between Dexter, Myron Bolitar, and Archie Goodwin. The book was an enjoyable and entertaining read from a different perspective to the cop novels we so often discuss. We liked the story of Julien, Rennert and Julien’s sister; Clay’s relationship with his professor and Amy; and the cameo by Alex Delaware. Allie liked the cold case angle and Pat liked how the ending wrapped up, with Clay getting closer to his parents and on his way to visit his brother with his new squeeze, Amy.

The Bad: The ending was abrupt for some. It was an unusual use of time, we figured that at least a year passed as the novel progressed. The Vignette type stories were loosely threaded together and Clay’s investigation skills were weak. (But considering that we don’t think he was supposed to be investigating, that may not be too much of a shocker.) Raj thought there were too many characters and Gail and Jennifer thought the writing was bad.

The Indifferent: some said it wasn’t as good as other books by Jonathan Kellerman.

The verdict: most won’t be reading book two in the series, but Pat, Deborah, Sharon Long and I will be on the wait list for it at the library.

As always, I find that we really learn some great life lessons from our books. I don’t think any club member has stuck to the same routine of travel to and from work since I See You, and if they have, they’re looking over their shoulder every few minutes. We learned a very important lesson in Crime Scene, and that is:

If you’re going to day drink, stay on the first floor.

Amy won the crossword challenge and went home with an autographed copy of Mystery Most Geographical, the 2018 Malice Domestic Anthology.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to RSVP for the June 9th Book Swap Tea & Mimosa Party. It’s from 10-2 at my new house in Denver. If you are planning to come, remember you will need to bring one of the best books you’ve read this past year. If that needs to be ordered or purchased, you still have a few weeks to get that done.

Next month we will meet on June 25th to discuss Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz, the 3rd book in the Evan Smoak Orphan X series. I will be leading the discussion, but the snack bringing is open if anyone wants to sign up. Otherwise, I’ll make some chocolate chip cookies (unless the book provides inspiration). Not sure what you all thought about the Red Velvet Cake cookies from last night. I found the cake mix in my pantry and saw the recipe on the side and it fit all of my requirements—those requirements were simply that I could make them with ingredients I had on hand without a trip to the store.

Please note that we will be taking applications and interviewing for a new club curmudgeon. Since Dave is leaving us to move to the Carolinas, we will have to replace him and this will be no easy task. The job will come with a personalized dinosaur rocking chair and books-to-read list, which will include anything written by Lisa Jackson or Ruth Ware and containing nymphomaniacs. Applications will be accepted until June 30 and a panel will be created for the interviewing process. Tammy has agreed to accept the temporary detail as acting curmudgeon with the stipulation that she never has to throw her Kindle across the room after reading a bad book. Thank you Tammy and good luck team; I know these shoes are big but if we work together maybe we can fill them. Good luck in North Carolina Dave! Enjoy your new puppy, your new ride (golf cart) and being closer to your kids and grandkids. Drop us an email when you can and let us know you’ve kept your day drinking to the first (and I think only) floor so we know you’re safe.

Harlan Cobens Safe

P.S. I believe it was Allie who has started a new Netflix series created by Harlan Coben. It’s called Safe (starring TV's Dexter, Michael C. Hall! -ed.) and so far she recommends it.

See you on June 25th, if not sooner.