Jupiter's Bones (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #11)

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Overview

When Dr. Emil Euler Ganz (later known as guru Father Jupiter) is found dead, gossip and wild conjecture are the only clues available to LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker as he faces his most shocking case to date.
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Jupiter's Bones (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #11)

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Overview

When Dr. Emil Euler Ganz (later known as guru Father Jupiter) is found dead, gossip and wild conjecture are the only clues available to LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker as he faces his most shocking case to date.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult fascinates me. Being an unruly sort myself, I can't imagine convincing that many egos to go along with anything as final as suicide. Nonetheless, the event struck me then, as it strikes me now, as a wretchedly sad commentary on the spiritual torpor of our time.

Faye Kellerman apparently shares my fascination, for her latest novel is a spellbinder about a cult much like Heaven's Gate, led by the quixotic former scientist Dr. Emil Ganz, a.k.a. Father Jupiter.

Kellerman manages to make this a particularly southern California story, the background noisy and vibrant with the community reaction to the suspicious death of Father Jupiter. If such cults bloomed in New Hampshire, say, we'd have a different ambience here.

The death is an excuse for Kellerman (and her fictional sleuths Pete Decker and Rina Lazarus) to look inside the cult, which she does with great and earnest skill and not without a certain sympathy for what she finds there. A lesser writer would have turned the book into an attack or low comedy. But Kellerman isn't afraid of serious religious speculation, and her look at the cult is both challenging and disturbing. In fact, in places Jupiter's Bones reminds me of Nathanael West's chagrined pity whenever he dealt with the monstrously pathetic.

Did someone inside the cult hate Father Jupiter enough to kill him? Kellerman never forgets that this is a mystery novel and keeps her A plot moving straight ahead at all times. But, like a true novelist, she allows herself and her readers to ruminate on some of the sadder truthsofour time. An excellent novel.

—Ed Gorman

Ellery Queen
When cult leader Father Jupiter, formerly known as a major academic physicist, is reported dead at the Order of the Rings of God compound, the L.A.P.D.'s Lt. Peter Decker heads the investigation. Along with the expected tidbits on Orthodox Jewish life, Kellerman provides fascinating background on cult psychology, deprogramming, and theoretical physics along with superb character interplay.
Entertainment Weekly
A well-tangled web of intrigue and murder.
People
Mystery shrouded in skin-crawling suspense...It doesn't disappoint.
Houston Chronicle
A willy thriller...murder, mystery, action, and drama make this another winner for a popular author who neatly wraps the plot in very human emotions.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Fast-paced and well-plotted, a treasure for old fans and a treat for new readers...Faye Kellerman is in top form.
Jill M. Smith
Jupiter's Bones returns to the multifaceted and intriguing world of Peter and Rina Decker. What helps make Ms. Kellerman’s novels so special is the balance she finds between the investigative aspects of the plot and the continuing growth and development of well-loved characters.
Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her 11th Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery (Moon Music, etc.), Kellerman develops the theme of parent-child relationships along two fronts. Before Father Jupiter became the head of a religious cult called the Order of the Rings of God, he was a renowned astrophysicist named Dr. Emil Euler Ganz. Though Jupiter has long been out of touch with his family, when he dies mysteriously his estranged daughter, Europa, becomes a pivotal help to LAPD detective Decker's investigation. Jupiter's death looks like suicide--until the autopsy reveals small amounts of arsenic in his body. Then two of the four remaining cult leaders are killed, prompting the cops to suspect that a serial killer is lurking among the group's members. When the police and FBI try to storm the cult's compound, Brother Bob, Jupiter's old attendant, wires the buildings and threatens to blow up everyone, leaving Decker to figure out how to save the lives of the compound's 96 children. Meanwhile, because of the pressures of the case, Decker is failing to give his two teenage stepsons the attention they need to weather the upheavals of adolescence. He relies on the help of his wife, Rina, to understand the rules of the boys' Jewish orthodox upbringing, but there are aspects of their lives he must take the time to find out on his own. Kellerman writes spine-tingling suspense and defines her characters well, but the scenes in which experts lecture the cops on physics and cult psychology are overlong and sometimes superfluous. Although the Decker/Lazarus family relationship strengthens in this novel, this is not the strongest of the series. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When Emil Euler Ganz, a brilliant former astrophysicist turned cult leader, is found dead with an empty fifth of vodka under his bed, it looks like suicide. But LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker is suspicious and begins to ask questions about the man who disappeared 25 years ago only to turn up ten years later as Father Jupiter, the charismatic leader of the Order of the Rings of God. While trying to find out how Father Jupiter died and worrying about the safety of the children in the unstable cult, Decker must also deal with a crisis in his own family when he finds his stepson Jacob in bed with a girl from school. Jupiter's Bones is Kellerman's 13th book--the 11th in the best-selling series featuring Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus. Despite a rather awkward prose style, this is a page-turner. Recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/99.]--Jane La Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
People Magazine
Though this is Kellerman's 11th Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novel, it doesn't disappoint.
Jill M. Smith
Jupiter's Bones returns to the multifaceted and intriguing world of Peter and Rina Decker. What helps make Ms. Kellerman’s novels so special is the balance she finds between the investigative aspects of the plot and the continuing growth and development of well-loved characters.
Romantic Times
Kirkus Reviews
Once again, LAPD lieutenant Pete Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina Lazarus (Serpent's Tooth, 1997, etc.) find themselves needing unorthodox solutions to hard-pressing problems. Domestically, it's their younger son Jacob—brilliant, charming, and oh so bored— who's giving his parents heartburn. For instance: Decker arrives home unexpectedly to find Jacob there before him. It's midafternoon, and where Jacob, 16, should have been is at school. Instead, he's in bed. With Shayna, also 16, studying matters extra-curricular. What to do about restless Jacob? And what to do about the mysterious death of Dr. Emil Euler Ganz, a.k.a. Father Jupiter? Once a renowned astrophysicist, Ganz was, until his untimely passing, the leader of a notorious cult called the Order of the Rings of God. But is his passing the suicide it seemed at first, or did someone urge him into that "better world" he so often preached about? Did Guru Pluto, or Guru Nova, or Guru Bob—members of the Ring's inner circle—aspire, prematurely, to Ring-leadership? Decker has his work cut out for him, as he searches for answers while misunderstandings and tensions proliferate almost as fast as dead bodies mount up in the cult's compound. Finally, almost inevitably, there's a standoff as cult members (and their children) are besieged by the police and FBI—and here, as in Waco, despite Decker's best efforts, the end is both explosive and painful. Writing that borders on the slipshod in places, though the whole is greater than its parts. And, as usual, Decker, Rina, and their children will generate sufficient interest to keep series fans happy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380730827
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #11
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye  Kellerman

Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Biography

It's tempting to compare Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus to Dashiell Hammett's classic crime-solving couple, Nick and Nora Charles. But Faye Kellerman's duo, who debuted in 1983, bear more resemblance to her own husband-wife dynamic with fellow bestselling thriller author Jonathan Kellerman. Decker is an L.A. cop; wife Rina is an Orthodox Jewish mom who gets very involved in her husband's work. The series comes with a love story built in, since in the first title, Ritual Bath, Lazarus is a witness meeting Detective Decker for the first time. Over the next dozen-odd novels, the two fall in love, get married, have children and solve crimes along the way.

Kellerman, who was inspired by her husband to begin writing, is also the author of Moon Music, a contemporary thriller set in Las Vegas, and The Quality of Mercy, a historical novel of Elizabethan England. Fans needn't worry, however, that Kellerman is going to abandon the pair she is best known for. "I never tire of them," Kellerman says in an interview on her publisher's web site of Decker and Lazarus. "I like them very much, but to keep them fresh is the main reason why I have two 'outside-the-series' or 'stand alone' books. Once in a while you have to sit back and gain some perspective on these people that you are writing about year after year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Beverly Hills, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 31, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Mathematics, 1974; D.D.A., 1978

Read an Excerpt

Jupiter's Bones

Chapter One

"The thing is, they moved the body, Lieutenant."

"What?" Decker strained to hear Oliver's voice over the unmarked's radio static. "Who's they?"

"Whoever's acting as the head honcho of the Order, I guess. Marge did manage to seal off the bedroom. That's where Jupiter was found

"Could you talk up, Scott?"

"-- point being that the crime scene is screwed up, and the body has been messed with because of the shrine."

"Shrine?"

"Yeah. When we got here, the members were in the process of dressing him and constructing this shrine -- "

"Where's the body now?"

"In a small anteroom off some kind of church -- "

Temple, Decker heard a male voice enunciate from the background. "Someone with you, Detective?"

"Hold on, lemme.. ."

Decker tapped the steering wheel until Scott came back on the line. It took a while.

Oliver held his voice low. "I told them to stop messing with the corpse until you got here. Not being a trusting soul, I've been guarding the body with some self-appointed guru who calls himself Brother Pluto. I sent an officer in there to keep him company so we could talk more privately."

The electronic noise cracked through Decker's ear. He said, "You need to talk louder."

Oliver spoke up. "This Pluto person doesn't want the police here. He keeps insisting that the death was natural, waving this bogus death certificate to prove it, disregarding the empty fifth of Stoli underneath the bed. Which he claims wasn't Jupiter's because Jupiter didn't drink."

"Death certificate?" Decker said. "Has the coroner been there?"

"Nope. It was signed by agent named Brother Nova."

"Who's be?"

"Got me, sir."

"Did you explain to them what we're doing is standard procedure in sudden deaths?"

"I've tried to explain it, but Pluto's not listening." A laugh. "I've been biting my tongue, refraining from asking him where Goofy was."

Decker smiled. Oliver was showing unusual discretion. "Did you tell him that we have to transport the body to the morgue for autopsy?"

"Been saving the good news for you. Because right now, Pluto and his toons are not happy campers, though I suspect they've never been a cheerful lot. Who called the death in?"

"Jupiter's daughter. Her name is Europa Ganz. She's on the faculty at Southwest University of Technology. Jupiter used to be a hotshot professor there years ago. His real name is Emil Euler Ganz. Apparently, the daughter's not associated with the Order."

"So how'd she find out about the death?"

A good question. "I don't know, Scott. The details are sketchy." He hesitated. "Find out about Ganz's death certificate. This Nova must be a member of the Order, right?"

"I'd assume so. Probably some kind of in-house doctor. But that doesn't qualify him to sign off on Jupiter."

True enough. Decker's finely tuned psycho-BS-detector was on max. He said, "The static is really bad. I'm having trouble hearing you. Just keep status quo until I get there. "

"We're trying. But the parishioners are getting feisty. Is 'parishioners' the right word?"

It was fine with Decker although cult followers seemed more apropos. "Just try to keep everyone quiet."

"How far are you from the holy spot?"

"Four, five miles. Traffic's a little thick. I'll be there in about fifteen minutes."

"See you." Oliver clicked off.

The initial call had come through while Decker was still home, eating breakfast with his younger daughter, who was as skinny as the stick figures she drew. Hannah thought it was great fun to pick the raisins from her oatmeal, leaving behind the grainy mush. Decker was trying to spoon-feed her, attempting to get some nutrition down her gullet until Rina aptly pointed out that the child was five, and capable of feeding herself.

He lived about twenty minutes by freeway from the station house, about thirty-five minutes from the crime scene. That was on good days, and today wasn't one of them. Decker ran his left hand through strands of ginger hair now streaked with white, and settled into the seat of the unmarked Buick. He guzzled strong coffee from a thermos. Across the passenger's seat was the front page of the Los Angeles Times.

Eight-oh-five and nothing was moving.

Inching his way up to the next off-ramp, he decided to exit and take Devonshire. The boulevard was one of the main east-west arteries through the San Fernando Valley, six lanes lined with strip malls, wholesalers and industrial warehouses. Going farther west, the street's industry gave way to residences-stucco ranch houses sitting on flat land that once held agricultural orchards -- oranges, lemons, apricots. He and Rina had recently purchased a house in the area, intending to move in after a few minor renovations.

Which had turned (predictably) into a major overhaul.

He could have done the job himself if he hadn't been gainfully employed. So they bit the bullet, hiring subs while Rina acted as the contractor. One day, Decker had come to the property to find his wife precariously balanced on a ladder, pointing out to the roofer a defect near the chimney. Her skin blew in the wind as she spoke animatedly, though Decker couldn't hear a word of the conversation. Apparently the roofer had run the hose over the top of the house for twenty minutes, proudly pronouncing the place water-tight. But Rina had been skeptical. She had run the hose for three hours, discovering a leak after two hours and twenty minutes.

(The first rain would have ruined the hardwood floors, Peter.)

Decker smiled, thinking about her image -- that of his Orthodox Jewish wife perched on the highest rung of a tall ladder, one hand pointing out flaws while the other held down that hat she wore to cover her hair.

The scene helped to buoy his spirits. The day was gray and dirty, typical overcast May weather in Los Angeles. At least the cars were moving. He proceeded west into open terrain, the foothills on the right greened by the recent rains. They had become rolling waves of wild grass and flowers, spewing their pollens, making it a miserable allergy season. What Decker wouldn't have given to have the Allegra concession this year.

Jupiter's Bones. Copyright © by Faye Kellerman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Introduction

Jupiter's Bones is the next novel in Faye Kellerman's hugely popular crime-solving series featuring LAPD detective Peter Decker and wife Rina Lazarus. In this terrific installment, a brilliant, some say insane, doctor and notorious cult leader is murdered, and little evidence is found. Now Decker is faced with his most challenging, and potentially deadliest, case to date.
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Interviews & Essays

On Wednesday, August 4th, bn.com welcomed Faye Kellerman to discuss her latest spellbinder, JUPITER'S BONES.

Moderator: Hello, Faye Kellerman. Welcome back to bn.com. We're looking forward to chatting about JUPITER'S BONES. How is your summer going?

Faye Kellerman: Very busy and very productive. This is going to be fun. The book just came out yesterday, so this will be my first opportunity to talk about it.


Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Hello there, dear Faye! I'm happy that I'm able to talk to you today. I'm a huge fan of yours, as well as a fan of your husband's books. You two are excellent writers! I've loved all of your books that I've read, and I hope to put my hands on JUPITER'S BONES very soon. I have three questions: 1) Who are the contemporary writers that you like to read and/or that have influenced your own career? 2) What's the meaning of the title of this book? 3) What's next for you? Thank you. Love from a Brazilian fan! Tell Mr. Jonathan Kellerman he has a huge Brazilian fan as well! I love you two! Thank you, really!

Faye Kellerman: There are so many contemporary writers whom I enjoy; I wouldn't know where to begin. I've just read Martin Cruz Smith's HAVANA BAY and Sue Grafton's N IS FOR NOOSE. I thought they were both excellent, and I'm a cranky reader. For the meaning of the title, JUPITER'S BONES, you'll have to read the book. And as far as what's next? Who knows? Thank you for writing all the way from Brazil. Best.


Cy from Las Vegas, NV: I'm so happy to have Peter and Rina back, but I was wondering how you found writing about Las Vegas as opposed to L.A.? Will Peter and Rina ever meet Romulus Poe?

Faye Kellerman: I've always been fascinated with Las Vegas. It was one of the few cities we could drive to when I was little. I was intrigued by the bright lights. I really enjoyed my detour there. Will I write with Las Vegas and Poe again? It's a possibility. I really liked Poe and his motley crew. But Peter and Rina are family. They're likely to stick around for a long time.


Hally from Boca Raton, FL: I read somewhere that you went to school for dentistry. Have you ever or do you plan on using that knowledge in your books? (I'm a dentist.)

Faye Kellerman: Indeed, I did go to dental school, and I graduated in 1978. I didn't practice, and so far, the ADA hasn't called me, wondering when I'm going to return. I've used forensic odontology in two books, SACRED AND PROFANE and GRIEVOUS SIN. My forensic odontologist also makes a brief cameo in the latest, JUPITER'S BONES. Best and thanks for writing.


Elke from bn.com: For online guests who haven't ready JUPITER'S BONES yet, could you tell us what Peter and Rina are up to in this thriller?

Faye Kellerman: JUPITER'S BONES is a melding of science and religion. It also talks about cults and their pitfalls, which, of course, can be quite nefarious. The science part comes out of my studies -- and love -- for science, specifically 20th-century cosmology. The religion...well, you know where that comes from. It's a very challenging case for Peter Decker, one of those situations where he sees what is going on, but there's little he can do about it. It's a fast read, and I hope all of you out there enjoy it.


Brenda Jackson from Tacoma, WA: Hi, Ms. Kellerman, and thanks for chatting tonight. I was curious how much of your Decker/Lazarus novels are inspired by real-life events or crimes that you may have learned about while researching.

Faye Kellerman: Hi, and thanks for writing. All of my stories are fiction. The joy is making it up. But you can't write meaningful characters without borrowing and burrowing from your soul. So all of my characters -- good, bad, main, secondary, cameo -- come from some part of me. To get inspiration is easy. All one has to do is pick up the paper, turn on to the Internet, or eavesdrop on conversations. I never know what is going to inspire me. I love to do research -- JUPITER'S BONES is filled with science, and I must have read about ten books for it -- but ultimately, I hope the book entertains you. Thanks.


Michele Riva from Chelsea, MA: Hi, Mrs. Kellerman. I loved your new book and what happened to Marge in this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Faye Kellerman: Hello, Michele. We've been corresponding for a number of years, and it's so nice to hear from you again. I'm thrilled that you like my newest, and I think Marge really came into her own on this one. Great to hear from you and write anytime. As always, best wishes.


Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Hi there again! Tell me: Do you have a "favorite child" among your books? What's Jonathan's best book, in your opinion? Thank you.

Faye Kellerman: Hi again, Marco. No, I really don't have a favorite. Of course, you're always most enthused about the book that you're currently writing. I love all of Jonathan's books, and I wouldn't dare pick a favorite. If you were asking me for my favorite author, well, then, it would have to be Jonathan. Best.


Lewis from Cedar Rapids, IA: Are we going to see more Romulus Poe stories?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Lewis: I'd like to see Poe and his crew crop up again, but I have to find the perfect story for them. As you know, at the end of MOON MUSIC, I left it kind of open-ended. When the story hits, then I'll write it. In the meantime, Peter and Rina are my family.


Erica from Smith College: As a Jew, do you feel limited to writing about Jews? Who are your favorite Jewish writers?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Erica: I don't feel I'm writing Jewish books. I believe I'm writing thrillers with Jews as main characters. Everybody has to be something, and because I am so closely allied with my religion, I feel I can write more personally if my characters have compatible beliefs. I was a great fan of Kemelman's Rabbi series. But I think my favorite writer who writes about Jews would have to be Chaim Potok.


J. J. from Bakersville: Faye, how are you? I know you publish a novel about once every year, but how long does it take for you to write them? Do you rewrite and revise or is that your editor's job?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, J. J. It takes me around a year from start to finish -- from conception to publication. I do all my own rewriting and revising and that is a formidable task, let me tell you. Because my first drafts of anything are usually pretty terrible. My editor is a woman named Carrie Feron. She's great. After the manuscript is done on my end, she'll have questions and make suggestions on a separate piece of paper. I usually incorporate around 60 percent of her suggestions into my writing. A good editor never, ever marks up the manuscript. And Carrie's a good one.


Will from Metaire, CA: What is a typical work day like for you? Is it the same for your husband?

Faye Kellerman: I'm an early riser when the kids are in school -- around 6am. I take that time to exercise and read the paper, then I do carpool. I usually write anywhere from two to four hours in the morning. Break for lunch. Then, if time permits, a couple of hours in the afternoon. Since I have kids and dogs and a household, I suppose I'm no different than any other working mom except my commute is a lot shorter. Of course, there are times when I feel as if I'm juggling too many objects. But, hey, I've got the best job in the world, so I'm not complaining.


Jon from Washington, DC: And what are you working on now???

Faye Kellerman: I'm about three-fifths of the way through the newest novel, entitled STALKER. It's a Peter Decker, Rina Lazarus novel, but it features Cindy Decker in a very primary role. I love writing with Cindy. She's so smart and young and fresh and sassy. And now that she's a cop, you can imagine what Decker's going through. Thanks and take care.


Louie from Toronto, Canada: I have a comment and a quick question. First of all, I have enjoyed all of the Rina/Decker novels and usually finish them within a day!!! My question is: I noticed that the last four or five novels, when you compare them to the earlier ones, i.e. RITUAL BATH, have a different tone and style of writing. Was that deliberate? Thank you.

Faye Kellerman: Thanks for your kind words about my novels. No, I haven't deliberately changed styles. I haven't reread my early novels in years, but I bet they were a lot more terse. I do try to improve the actual language of my writing. Maybe that's what you're referring to. Writing books seems to get more challenging for me. I always seem to be searching for the perfect phrase, the perfect word. Sometimes, I'm happy, sometimes, I'm not. C'est la vie. Thanks.


Brenda Jackson from Tacoma, WA: Follow up question: When researching, have you ever come across a case or a crime that was so crazy or so horrible that you thought it would be too unbelievable to use for a novel? As you may have guessed, crime fascinates me.

Faye Kellerman: You can't write it crazy enough. Life is unbelievable. But I think it always was. I use a lot of biblical references, and you'll notice the first thing the Jewish bible talks about is sin and fratricide. Like Solomon says, "There is nothing new under the sun."


Claire from Medford, MA: Hello, Faye. What is the image on the cover of your book? What is the significance of a dog's snarl (if that's what it is)? Thanks.

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Claire. Indeed, the icon in the middle is a distorted dog. But really it can be just about any kind of monster you want. I'd spoil some of the book if I explained to you where it comes from. By the way, I have three dogs. They're all for sale! No, no, I'm just kidding. It's only when they chew up the table legs....


Vickie Sandt from Little Falls, NJ: I read somewhere that your new novel (I promise I'll read it as soon as I can) deals with a leader of a bizarre cult. Was this story inspired at all by the Hale-Bopp cult?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Vickie. Yes, JUPITER'S BONES centers around a cult called the Order of the Rings of God. It actually does mention Heaven's Gate several times. Cults have intrigued me for a while. This is just my take on them. My particular cult deals with pseudoscience as religion. And what can happen when a charismatic leader turns out to be less than honorable. It deals with the importance of independent thinking.


Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Dear Faye: Jonathan Kellerman always says that to cowrite a book with you is something almost impossible to happen, because he says he wants to keep married to you. What do you think about that? Have you ever discussed seriously this subject? Thanks!

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Marco: At the moment, it's all I can do to get through my own novel. No, we're not planning on cowriting a novel, but I think we'd like to do an anthology of short stories in the future -- if people would be interested.


Mello from Jefferson City, MO: Hello, Mrs. Kellerman. Would you mind telling us about THE QUALITY OF MERCY and its similarities to "Shakespeare in Love"? I heard there was some lawsuit....

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Mello: Yes, there is a lawsuit, and that's why I can't comment on your question. It's been an interesting experience. I have no idea as to the fate of the outcome.


Dougie from Virginia: How do you research your novels to stay fresh? While doing your research did you find out about any cults that are under the public's radar?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Dougie: Research keeps the novel fresh because it inputs new ideas into a static process. Sometimes, the research actually modifies the original plot. I do my own research for better or worse. I just got a comment by mail that I made a few errors regarding the Mormon religion. That Mormons eschew crucifixes, and a few other details. I apologize. The mistakes are my own.


Terrence from Mansfield, OH: I'm curious to know what kind of research you do for your novels?

Faye Kellerman: Hello Terrence: I do all kinds of research: I go to police stations, I visit sites, I scan the Internet, I go to libraries and look up esoteric material. I make cold calls to insurance companies, to lawyers, to rabbis, to priests. If I feel it needs to be done, I'll do it. For QUALITY OF MERCY, I did a research visit to England. For DAY OF ATONEMENT, I went to Brooklyn. My husband came with me both times. I think he preferred London.


Dawn Smith from Geneva, NY: Hi! You are such a wonderful author. I was wondering, what authors do you count among your favorites? Thank you.

Faye Kellerman: Hey, Dawn: Thanks for your kind words. My favorite authors are too many to enumerate. Of course, I love my husband Jonathan not just as a husband but also as one of the finest crime-fiction writers alive. I wrote to someone else that I just finished HAVANA BAY and N IS FOR NOOSE. Both were excellent.


D. Ludwig from Ashland: If you could meet one writer you've never met -- living or dead -- who would that be?

Faye Kellerman: Dear D. Ludwig: If I could meet only one person, it would be Moses. If I could meet only one writer, it would probably be James M. Cain. He was one of my chief inspirations when I was first formulating my voice.


Maura Clark from Dover, NJ: Do you give much consideration between the growth and development of Rina and Peter's relationship when you write these mysteries? How would you say their relationship has grown over the past few books?

Faye Kellerman: Hey Maura: My characters grow and age like everyone else. I hope they develop. Otherwise, you have a static kind of situation like an Agatha Christie novel where Hecule Poirot is basically the same from book to book. I think Peter and Rina are comfortable with each other now. But there is always some kind of tension that crops up in relationships. It's what keeps it fresh; when you stop having differences, you're dead.


Kim Hospodar from Allentown, PA: I'm so in love with your novels. Thank you very much for writing them. When you have time, what do you like to read? Do you have any other female mystery writers to recommend?

Faye Kellerman: Dear Kim: Thanks for your nice comments. I just finished Sue Grafton's N IS FOR NOOSE. I have been a Grafton fan for years. So much so, that I bought A IS FOR ALIBI when it first came out for what...around $14.95? Wish I would have picked my stocks as well. Anyway, I also like Susan Dunlap and Sara Paretsky and Sharyn McCrumb. Best.


Julie Weller from Hoboken, NJ: Good evening, Faye. I've been working on a mystery story for a few years now -- it's coming along, slowly, but coming along nonetheless. What do you do when the words just don't seem to flow?

Faye Kellerman: Dear Julie: Don't wait for the inspiration, just write. Write anything even if it's bad. The inspiration comes with the writing itself.


Michele Riva from Chelsea, MA: Hi again. Are you ever going to do book signings in Boston?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Michele. I don't do a lot of traveling -- except the cyber kind. But if I'm in Boston, I'll try to let you know.


Andy from Darien, CT: Do you follow the same Jewish customs your characters do?

Faye Kellerman: Hi, Andy: I am a modern Orthodox Jew. I follow many of Rina's customs, but I don't think I'm quite as particular as she is. We both love our religion, I'll say that much.


Moderator: Well, you've certainly made these 45 minutes go by quite quickly, Faye Kellerman. Thanks for spending some time with us, and we look forward to having you back on. Until then, do you have any final comments for your online fans?

Faye Kellerman: I'd just like to say to everyone out there, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love to write, and I couldn't be doing it if it weren't for you. Please know that you're appreciated by this author.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Good story.

    A good, basic mystery with an interesting scenario. Not the best ending, but I am super picky about those. Fun for fluff reading before bed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2001

    Captivating page turner

    I'm not an avid reader, but yesterday I sat down and began reading. I finally put the book down as I was falling asleep in the wee hours of the morning, only to pick it up once again when I woke up. It was absolutely captivating. I loved it. I am looking forward to reading Stalker. I too wish there were a glossary for those of us who do not have a strong understanding of the Jewish religion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Less is More

    Storyline is interesting. Unfortunately there is too much religious input. For those of us who are not orthodox jewish, the overload of reference, technical information and language take away from an otherwise captivating storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    Her best yet!

    This is a must read. I couldn't put the book down. Hold on to your seat - it's quite a ride. Really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2000

    Spellbinding

    I couldn't put the book down I was so intrigued by the knowledge it took to write such a specific story. She explained in great detail the very intellectual parts of the book that would have been over my head otherwise. I love the Decker/Rina books, which I just started reading this year. Although I am not Jewish, I find the insight fascinating. I only wish there would be a glossary for those of us who do not know the language.

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