Sunday, December 26, 2010

Evidence by Jonathan Kellerman

There's only one good thing about frigid, snowy weather and that's the extra time for reading. For some reason I'm out of my serious book/mystery/serious book/etc. reading habit for the time being so I've been breezing through fun mysteries. Evidence is the latest and though not really appropriate for Christmas, I sure did enjoy it.

I've read many Jonathan Kellerman mysteries in the Dr. Alex Delaware series, but not for many years. This is his 24th Delaware novel and I've read maybe half that number. I think the reason I stopped for a while was that Delaware is a child psychologist who is an LAPD consultant and some of the earlier books had such creepy villains and psycho children that I needed a break. Delaware is a great character but in this book he takes more of a narrator role.

Delaware rides along with his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis, a gay man whose partner is a doctor. Milo has of course had tough times being an openly gay man in law enforcement but his rock has always been Delaware. Delaware lives with Robin, a lovely woman who builds and repairs guitars. She is internationally known, sought out by the best guitarists, so her schedule rivals that of Delaware's. I don't know if they have married yet or not but they've been together forever.

This story is about sorely dysfunctional adults and ecoterrorism plus a royal family from a fictional island in Indonesia. There is a bald, cold as ice woman architect, a formerly wealthy bigot who is a real nut case, young people who use a type of explosive made partially of Jello to blow up McMansions, and other distinctive characters.

It amazes me that after so many books in this series Kellerman can still come up with such unique characters and maze-like stories. His books aren't great literature but they certainly are fun. Milo for instance is a quirky character who frequently shows up at his friends' house to "clean out their refrigerator." As Robin says when they want Milo to come over, "We've got steaks, let's feed him." Too bad he's currently on an Indian food kick. His partner is having a fit about his cholesterol.

If you also freaked out on Kellerman's wacko kids mysteries, it's safe to return. This one will have you saying, "Oh boy, the kind of people you find in California!" I apologize to California folks, but you know the reputation your state has better than anyone. I assure you there are nutty people in Pennsylvania too.

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