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Updated: Sep 10, 2021

by Jonathan Kellerman

Interesting Story and Intriguing Writing



Milo Sturgis is a temperamental LAPD homicide detective with a near-perfect solve rate. He often teams up with his best friend and psychologist Alex Delaware. Milo calls Alex in on the cases that are unusual. He needs him now…it’s a decades old cold case, that has been worked by other dectiectives numerous times before. But now Ellie Barker, the wealthy and influential young daughter of the deceased woman, the mother she never knew, wants the case reopened and money talks.

Thirty-six years ago. a woman was found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on a treacherous part of Mulholland Drive. The woman’s name is Dorthy Swoboda. There is no physical evidence, no witnesses, and no apparent motive. And now the case file is missing. As Delaware and Sturgis begin digging to many coincidences occur as they fight the traffic from one end of LA to the other. Its becoming apparent someone doesn’t want this case solved.


Serpentine is the thirty-sixth novel in the Alex Delaware mystery series. The case is reopened by Ellie’s chance encounter at a fundraising dinner with someone who knew someone in the police department. The story is interesting and quite involved.

Alex’s character was delightful and charming, while Milo vacillated between grumpy and generous. The writing is intriguing, but the traffic and food descriptions were overly done. The female characters left a little to be desired, several being portrayed as overly emotional and needy. The were a large number of characters and if you are not a frequent reader of the series you may want to keep a list.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Ballantine Books

Published February 4, 2021

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