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The Mercedes Coffin (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #17)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman (Decker and Lazarus series) is another great read about LA crimes and how Decker and his fellow detectives (with some insight from Rena) solve the crimes.

Peter Decker gets a nudge from his boss to solve a cold case involving the execution style killing of a much loved school counselor, Dr. Ben who was stuffed in the trunk of a Mercedes. Meanwhile a former geek student that Dr. Ben encouraged while in high school has mad...
Peter Decker gets a nudge from his boss to solve a cold case involving the execution style killing of a much loved school counselor, Dr. Ben who was stuffed in the trunk of a Mercedes. Meanwhile a former geek student that Dr. Ben encouraged while in high school has made it big. After reading about a similar slaying, she decides to see if the original case could be related and solved. She will give the financially strapped LAPD a 7 figure financial incentive to solve Dr. Ben's case, Decker who has enough to do, assigns most of the work to associates, Scott and Marge. Who had motive to kill this great guy who seemingly had not an enemy in the world is a real challenge for the detectives. He does get some help from his daughter Cindy who is also in police work. This, like all of Faye Kellerman's books is a tight, page turning read. If you like crime stories, you're going to love Faye Kellerman. She has written some twenty plus books, many of the Decker Lazarus series, and I recommend that you start with her first the Ritual Bath and read all of them.

posted by Nose_In_A_Book_Grandma on March 13, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

so confusing

This was my first time reading a book by this author. I'm going to read
another book by this author even though this book was very diffucult to follow. I like the concept , however there were so many characters i kept finding myself going backwards in the book to keep ...
This was my first time reading a book by this author. I'm going to read
another book by this author even though this book was very diffucult to follow. I like the concept , however there were so many characters i kept finding myself going backwards in the book to keep it all together. the plot was creative but way too complicated. I am a fan of book series and repeat characters, im sure other books in this series will be great as Idid enjoy the main cast of characters.

posted by tj3720 on August 12, 2009

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman (Decker and Lazarus series) is another great read about LA crimes and how Decker and his fellow detectives (with some insight from Rena) solve the crimes.

    Peter Decker gets a nudge from his boss to solve a cold case involving the execution style killing of a much loved school counselor, Dr. Ben who was stuffed in the trunk of a Mercedes. Meanwhile a former geek student that Dr. Ben encouraged while in high school has made it big. After reading about a similar slaying, she decides to see if the original case could be related and solved. She will give the financially strapped LAPD a 7 figure financial incentive to solve Dr. Ben's case, Decker who has enough to do, assigns most of the work to associates, Scott and Marge. Who had motive to kill this great guy who seemingly had not an enemy in the world is a real challenge for the detectives. He does get some help from his daughter Cindy who is also in police work. This, like all of Faye Kellerman's books is a tight, page turning read. If you like crime stories, you're going to love Faye Kellerman. She has written some twenty plus books, many of the Decker Lazarus series, and I recommend that you start with her first the Ritual Bath and read all of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2009

    anticlimactic

    This the first Faye Kellerman book I have read and I was very disappointed. The begining of the plot was very interesting. However, there are so many characters introduced that it is hard to keep track of them. Much of the book is devoted to the detectives discussing different motives and scenarios. Soon all of the conversation starts to sound the same. I pushed through hoping the end would justify the initial time spent. It turns out the ending was the worst part. It seemed as though the author got bored and just decided to wrap it up with out tying in many of the details. In fact, I would say that the ending was just plain lazy.
    Many people have written that Faye Kellerman is a great writer even though this wasn't her best work. I'll probably give her another chance but it will be awhile before I can shake the "time wasted" feeling that this book gave me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    so confusing

    This was my first time reading a book by this author. I'm going to read
    another book by this author even though this book was very diffucult to follow. I like the concept , however there were so many characters i kept finding myself going backwards in the book to keep it all together. the plot was creative but way too complicated. I am a fan of book series and repeat characters, im sure other books in this series will be great as Idid enjoy the main cast of characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    READ ME

    Billionaire Genoa Greeves believes that the LAPD should solve the fifteen year old excution style murder of her favorite teacher Bennett Little-especialy now that Hollywood music producer Primo Ekerling has been slain in an eerily similar manner:shot and stuffed in the trunk of his Mercedes-Benz


    Lieutenant Peter Decker resents having to commit valuable manpower to a cold case simply because a rich women says "jump!" But when a primary investigator in the Little case, now retired, suspiciously commits sucide hours after he and Decker talk, the dective realizes something evil's connecting the dots in two murders separated by a decade and a half. Wife Rina Lazarus offers a cool, rational outlook, as always, despite her growing concern for her husbands welfare- as past and present collide with a vengence, catapulting Decker ever closer to the edge of an infinate dark abyss

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Faye Kellerman is my favorite author

    Each book is a entity unto itself--no two are alike. I love that!!! I will be purchasing more of her books.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great entry in the series

    The Decker/Lazarus mysteries never disappoint. Kellerman keeps the plot moving forward at a fast pace. I was disappointed that this book, as did the previous, left out many details of Decker's family life. Rina is spending too much time in the kitchen and not enough helping her husband! Look out for an appearance of a villian who continues to haunt the Deckers - - I am looking forward to seeing if he resurfaces in a future adventure. Fans of the series won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    A good read

    I liked the book a lot. It is a thoughtful mystery and the characters are very good.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    What happended here???

    I was so looking forward to this book and what a disapointment!! The cast of characters could not have been more confusing. The entire plot had to be explained by Peter Decker at the end as none of us really had a handle on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2008

    BORING!!!!!!!!!!

    Not one of her best efforts. Was disappointed there was not more action. Finished it but only because I had nothing else to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    I never tire of this series - A must read

    In The Mercedes Coffin Ms. Kellerman gives us her 17th installment in the lives and times of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. The story is a very inventive and thrilling who done it with all of our favorite cast of characters from her previous novels. There are many twists and turns and two deaths to solve one current and one from 15 years ago. Those of you who love this series like I do will like catching up with our old friends, and those of you who haven't read the series never fear this book stands on it's own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    Welcome back, Pete and Rina

    I opened The Mercedes Coffin, read the first couple of pages, and sighed happily. It was like sitting down with a good friend you haven't seen in a while, or slipping on an old, comfortable shoe. Not that the story wasn't exciting it was - very much so. But, it felt so GOOD to be reading about the Deckers again. Teacher Ben Little was killed, stuffed in the trunk of his Mercedes, and the car was abandoned in a park. His murder was never solved. When Primo Ekerling is killed the same way, fifteen years later, one of Little's students wonders if there isn't a connection. Now a billionaire, the student offers to donate lots of cash to the LAPD if they will solve both murders. The case goes to Decker. What can I say about Kellerman that hasn't already been said in many other reviews? She's a wonderful writer, easily conveying the emotions of her characters with her words. You feel Decker's concern, Rina's fear and exasperation as Decker risks his life yet again. You get a realistic view of the time it takes to solve many crimes and the tedious legwork that goes into getting that solution. In fact, this last is one of the things that really impressed me about this book. So many police procedurals have cases solved so quickly, it's a little unrealistic. Kellerman makes a point of letting us know that weeks and months are passing before we reach the final, heart-pounding scene. This book is a must read for those who have followed Peter and Rina all these years. It is also a good story for those who haven't met the Deckers yet. All in all, it's a good read for anyone who appreciates a good police procedural.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    I am so glad...

    I am so glad that I have finally finished this book. It was monotonous to the nth degree. Kellerman took ten characters and then used some mathmatical formula to come up with the maximum number of possibilities for two murders fifteen years apart. She then spends page upon page reciting these possibilities, not even in an entertaining manner. I will seriously have to be desperate to read anything else by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008

    This is an engaging police procedural

    Wealthy computer guru Genoa Greeves reads in the paper that someone murdered music producer Primo Ekerling. The description is what shakes Genoa. Someone executed Ekerling with three bullets to the head before leaving him in the trunk of his car. Fifteen years ago when Genoa was a high school geek her favorite teacher, Dr. Ben Little was murdered in the same manner his case was never solved but the influential Genoa feels strongly she can ¿bribe¿ LAPD with opening he cold case with a seven digit ¿donation¿.---------------- That type of money is taken seriously so the brass assigns Lieutenant Peter Decker to investigate the homicide of the history teacher as well as the current homicide to see if there is a link. After a review of the official police file, Decker and his associates, police detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, arrange to interview the cops on the older case. However, to their shock one detective still on the force commits suicide. They struggle to solve either murder, especially the one fifteen years old as memories have faded.------------------ This is an engaging police procedural as the investigation into the two similar murders is fun to follow especially the nebulous older case. The scenes in which Decker spends with his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina and their children are fun to follow as they bring him needed respites from the difficult cases though those interludes do not go as deep into her beliefs and their efforts to find common ground as earlier tales did. Still the whodunit is well written and exciting to follow team Decker investigate.------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    A former high school geek, Genoa Greeves who is now a Silicon Valley multi-billionaire, opens the paper one day to read of a murder in LA that reminds her of a murder that occurred 15 years before. The previous murder had resulted in the death of the only person in all her high school years who was ever kind or encouraging to her, Dr. Ben Little. 'Dr. Ben's' murder had never been solved and Genoa feels that she is now in the position to encourage the police to pursue this cold case with even greater diligence. Enter our main character, Lt. Peter Decker, along with his usual staff, Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver to attempt to solve this case and earn the big financial windfall for the department that Genoa promises. Along the way, they discover links to the recent case that had piqued Genoa's interest, a long list of suspects and some fuzzy associations between the past and present. As a frequent reader of Faye Kellerman's, I find myself annoyed lately by the author/publishers insistence on calling her novels 'A Decker and Lazarus Novel'. In past novels, both characters were pretty much equally involved in the cases, and while I understand that this wasn't a very realistic portrayal of a police officer and his family, it did make for better reading. I have always enjoyed Rina Lazarus Decker's role in this series. I thought I had learned a lot about orthodox Judaism, which having grown up in a tiny Montana town, I knew nothing about. Rina's role in The Ritual Bath as well as other early novels, endeared her to me as a strong minded, intelligent and pretty fearless woman. However, recently she sort of became the cookie baker, picnic maker and gardener. I understand the point the author makes, and as a stay at home wife and mom, I appreciate the importance this role has in the dynamic of her family. Her loving support is priceless to her husband and it enables him the personal stability to really pursue the bad guys with such passion. However, it doesn't really make her a very compelling literary character. It's sort of like reading about me. Yep, I'm important, but darn, I'm mundane and I'd make a pretty boring literary character. The book is overall an average effort. The plot is interesting, the cast of characters perhaps a bit too long, but since a 15 year old case is being solved, that's probably pretty realistic. Lots of fuzzy connections, and too many 'maybe's' remained at the end. Although the case is concluded, it isn't really concluded in a substantially satisfying manner. With all the tentative conclusions, the ending of the book felt timid and bland.

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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