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Double Homicide    by Faye Kellerman & Jonathan Kellerman order for
Double Homicide
by Faye Kellerman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Double Homicide offers a double dose of murder written by married mystery authors Faye and Jonathan Kellerman. One novella (my favorite of the duo) is set in Boston, and the other further south in Santa Fe, both just before the Christmas holidays.

Head to Boston first for a basketball mystery In the Land of Giants. It features black policewoman Dorothy Breton, who is also the mother of two teenagers. Marcus is an A student and a talented ballplayer; Dorothy finds a Smith & Wesson in Spencer's backpack. But her handling of that parenting challenge is simply background to the main event, the shooting of the star player on Marcus' Boston Ferris team, the arrogant Julius Van Beest. I liked Dorothy's affectionate relationship with her partner McCain and the way they support and complement each other. The partners watch the Boston Ferris team win the game, after which the players head to Finale's to celebrate. There's a shooting and Julius dies. Dorothy and McCain horn in on the investigation and eventually come to a most surprising, clever, and rather sad, resolution to the question of what killed the team hero.

In Santa Fe, the police partners are Darrel Two Moons and Steve Katz. The victim in the Still Life case is super-rich art dealer Lawrence Leonard Olafson, who preferred 'for serious company' the young men he hired as groundskeepers. Darrel and Steve catch the case, and what follows is a run of the mill police procedural. A missing log points to stolen paintings, all by the same talented artist, and all featuring two small children in the nude. Though this one also has a surprising ending, it didn't quite work for me, and seemed much too abrupt. But again, I enjoyed the development of the police officers' characters and their partnership.

Fans of either Kellerman will enjoy the pair of mysteries in Double Homicide, which, though by no means the authors' best work, still showcase their skills at characterization and at developing unusual plots.

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