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Mystery

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After a tragic accident which he barely survives, Tom Pasmore develops an obsession with death--an obsession which leads him to investigate two murders--one in the past and one in the present. And during his investigation, Pasmore learns more than anyone needs--or deserves--to know!


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After a tragic accident which he barely survives, Tom Pasmore develops an obsession with death--an obsession which leads him to investigate two murders--one in the past and one in the present. And during his investigation, Pasmore learns more than anyone needs--or deserves--to know!

30 review for Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    Straub followed up his grim and intense post-Vietnam War psychological thriller Koko with something that is nearly the opposite... a big plummy murder mystery set in two past eras, detailing the life of a poor little rich boy as he goes about solving mysteries and falling in love. however - lest you think this is a warm and nostalgic character study a la Stephen King - let me assure you that the Straub who wrote this one is still the Straub who prefers to write from the head rather than from the Straub followed up his grim and intense post-Vietnam War psychological thriller Koko with something that is nearly the opposite... a big plummy murder mystery set in two past eras, detailing the life of a poor little rich boy as he goes about solving mysteries and falling in love. however - lest you think this is a warm and nostalgic character study a la Stephen King - let me assure you that the Straub who wrote this one is still the Straub who prefers to write from the head rather than from the heart. so you are more likely to feel a chill than enjoy any kind of comfy human warmth. the novel is set in two locations: the exclusive island of Mill Walk in the early 60s, home to an impoverished native community and a bunch of sickening wannabe aristocrats who rule over them; Eagle Lake in the early 60s and the late 20s (i think) - a lakeside residence in Wisconsin, where those wannabe aristocrats spend their summers. the settings are the strongest feature of the novel. our young sleuth of a protagonist is surprisingly robotic. his lack of affect and generally chilly behavior - while charming and quite understandable to a robot such as myself - could potentially create a real sense of distance and lack of empathy between reader and story. i will give Straub credit for really trying to make Tom vivid and affectionate and full of life - but there is a difference between trying really hard through repetition of certain phrases and actions... and, well, actually succeeding. characterization in general is not a real strength: the heroic and grandfatherly gent Lamont Cranston (yes, "The Shadow", but not that Shadow) is pretty much a cartoon character. same goes for nearly the rest of the cast, most of whom are villains or broken or simple-minded society-type parasites. the main exceptions are a fairly well-developed love interest and the mysterious supporting character Barbara Deane. i liked that Barbara Deane. overall, despite my complaints, this is a dense and enjoyable novel. the settings alone are worth the price of admission - well done there, Straub! and although this is a stand-alone novel, it is also the middle volume in the author's celebrated Blue Rose Trilogy, so there's that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cody | CodysBookshelf

    After reading a string of bad books, Peter Straub’s 1990 thriller, Mystery — the second in his acclaimed Blue Rose trilogy — was quite the refresher. Taking place in two different eras (the ‘60s and the ‘20s) And two perfectly evocative locations (a Caribbean island and an island near Wisconsin), this is a murder mystery/coming of age tale unlike any I have read before. This is Peter Straub, after all. At the center of the action is Tom Passmore, a boy who is struck by a car and almost killed at After reading a string of bad books, Peter Straub’s 1990 thriller, Mystery — the second in his acclaimed Blue Rose trilogy — was quite the refresher. Taking place in two different eras (the ‘60s and the ‘20s) And two perfectly evocative locations (a Caribbean island and an island near Wisconsin), this is a murder mystery/coming of age tale unlike any I have read before. This is Peter Straub, after all. At the center of the action is Tom Passmore, a boy who is struck by a car and almost killed at the age of ten. In the hospital, while recovering, he develops a deep love of books and befriends a strange elderly neighbor. These two things collide to develop his future as a Holmes-like mystery solver. I loved the character of Tom, as it is obvious Straub drew on experiences from his own childhood when writing this person. At almost 600 pages, this is a dense and complex work about corruption and family secrets and politics and murder. Told with Straub’s typically deft hand, this is a chilly and disarming work that I did not want to see end. And I’ve still got the The Throat to read. Yeah! Though this one doesn’t quite qualify as horror, it is creepy and unsettling — I would recommend this to any readers of dark fiction . . . or anyone who likes well-told tales of crime.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Corey Woodcock

    Book 2 of Peter Straub’s brilliant Blue Rose Trilogy. From what I remember, this one ranked only slightly below Koko for me, though it has been quite a few years and I am planning a reread. This book has a much more well-defined plot than Koko, and despite these books being very thematic in nature, this one could be read strictly for the plot. The story takes place in Mill Walk, which is kind of a doppelgänger for Millhaven, where the first book and subsequent books take place. It’s all done rem Book 2 of Peter Straub’s brilliant Blue Rose Trilogy. From what I remember, this one ranked only slightly below Koko for me, though it has been quite a few years and I am planning a reread. This book has a much more well-defined plot than Koko, and despite these books being very thematic in nature, this one could be read strictly for the plot. The story takes place in Mill Walk, which is kind of a doppelgänger for Millhaven, where the first book and subsequent books take place. It’s all done remarkably well - Mystery continues to explore the themes presented in Koko, and while I slightly preferred the first book, this is still 5 star material. Full review coming soon after reread.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave Edmunds

    🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2 "On the island of Mill Walk, a small boy is fleeing down the stairs, in so great a hurry to escape the sounds of his mother's screams that he has forgotten to close the door, and so the diminishing screams follow him, draining the air of oxygen." Initial Thoughts Peter Straub gives us a full on detective story in his second installment in the Blue Rose Trilogy, Mystery.  Whereas the first of the books, Koko, had been a visceral, dreamlike rendition of a murder mystery, this one had 🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2 "On the island of Mill Walk, a small boy is fleeing down the stairs, in so great a hurry to escape the sounds of his mother's screams that he has forgotten to close the door, and so the diminishing screams follow him, draining the air of oxygen." Initial Thoughts Peter Straub gives us a full on detective story in his second installment in the Blue Rose Trilogy, Mystery.  Whereas the first of the books, Koko, had been a visceral, dreamlike rendition of a murder mystery, this one had a much more straight forward structure.  I read it as part of a buddy read as we work our way through all three  books in this pretty fantastic series. Mystery is a novel from the middle period of Straub's bibliography and I've yet to experience any of his earlier books.  The ones I have though have been highly intelligent, atmospheric, slow burn works of art.  So having his interpretation of a classic mystery was something that really got my juices flowing. The Story This one begins in the late 1950’s on the small Carribbean island of Mill Walk.  We follow ten year old Tom Passmore, the grandson of one of the wealthiest and most powerful residents, as he lands himself in trouble and is chased by some knife wielding local gang bangers.  That's before he's smashed by a car he plays dodge with and earns himself an extended stay in the local hospital. He spends the next year in hospital, where he's visited by reclusive old neighbor, Lamont Von Heilitz.  A friendship forms as we discover Lamont has celebrity status as an amateur detective responsible for solving numerous high profile murders where he earns the nickname of 'the Shadow.'  The slaying of a local woman five years later brings the pair closer together and Tom starts to help the Shadow with a case from the past that still weighs heavily on his mind. While the story is essentially a mystery, there is also a fantastic coming-of-age story interwoven as we get to see Tom develop from a shy young boy into a young adult trying to find his way in a world that's filled with deceit and corruption. The Writing If you've read any off my other reviews for Peter Straub then you should know I love the guy's writing. Like I've said before he writes as well as anyone in the horror genre.  Well scratch that.  He writes as well as anyone in any genre.  He's got talent to spare and it's certainly evident in Mystery. Peter Straub a.k.a. "the man" It is vividly and skilfully written with excellent use of atmosphere and subtlety.  The prose are pristine and the dialogue sharp and engaging.  I've heard a number of people describe his books as slow and sometimes boring.  But something Straub can do that many, many others can't is take his time.  Where lesser authors would completely loose a reader, he constantly holds my attention regardless of where the story is at through sheer talent. So less of the boring remarks! "The cry disappeared into itself and vanished by gradations, like an animal that begins by swallowing it's tail ends by devouring itself altogether." Plus his ability to craft and plot his stories is really strong. Aspects that appear totally irrelevant come together at the end when we get the answer. Something that makes his style well suited to the mystery genre. Character I've not seen Straub try coming of age yet and it really works with the character of Tom Passmore.  The story follows him from the age of ten as he matures into a young adult and it's a fantastic character arc.  Starting as a shy boy who doesn't fit in with his family and doesn't know his place in life he discovers that the weaknesses he has are actually the strengths that are going to help him figure things out.  Straub really takes his time with the character development in this one and it's a huge highlight of the book.  Doing a bit of post novel research I discovered Straub himself was involved in a serious car accident when he was a young boy that he reflects added an element of darkness to his life view. He then became a voracious reader while recovering.  This mirrors the early developments for Tom and it's really evident that Straub pored his heart and soul into this character. "You nearly died. You had an experience most people have only once in their lives, and which very few live to remember or talk about. You're like a person who saw the dark side of the moon. Few people have been privileged to go there.." The character of Lamont was also a highlight for me.  He is first portrayed as a crazy old man but it transpires that there is more to him than meets the eye.  I love to see an older character done well and Straub does them as good as anyone else. Final Thoughts This being my fourth Peter Straub (along with Ghost Story, Koko, Floating Dragon) it's difficult not to compare them now. Although fantastically good, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as those other heavy hitters.  But Mystery is extremely good.  It's just that Straub sets the bar up there in the stratosphere. Like any of his stories it has a slow pace, he certainly doesn't rush.  All I'll say is hang in there, enjoy the ride and once the second half starts you're going to be rocking and rolling when events really start to pick up. Before I get going, as I've already stated Mystery is the second aspect of the Blue Rose trilogy but Mystery completely stands on its own two feet. There's very few links with the first book Koko and it has very little impact with this storyline.  After talking with my Goodreads buddy Mr Corey Woodcock I understand that in the third book, the Throat, Straub brings the two storylines together. I absolutely can't wait for that and it does have the reputation of being the best of the three. So it's a well earned four and half stars for this one. Thanks for reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mickie

    I read this book four times in the last 12 years. The only other book I read this many times was "Keys to the Street" by Ruth Rendell. Some books have everything in them. Magical prose, a page turning story, psychology, geography, engagement of all of the senses, relationship politics, art, history, and musical rhythm. I read this book four times in the last 12 years. The only other book I read this many times was "Keys to the Street" by Ruth Rendell. Some books have everything in them. Magical prose, a page turning story, psychology, geography, engagement of all of the senses, relationship politics, art, history, and musical rhythm.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maciek

    Ten year old Tom Passmore is hit by a car and nearly dies. During hospitalization Tom becomes interested in reading, and he digs his way through many novels, but he becomes fascinated with one kind: mysteries. Tom develops a passion for detective work, and in the cozy island of Millwalk not everyone looks at the young boy's budding hobby with appreciation... Although technically this is the second volume of a trilogy (the first being Koko) Mystery stands on its own. It has all trademarks of Strau Ten year old Tom Passmore is hit by a car and nearly dies. During hospitalization Tom becomes interested in reading, and he digs his way through many novels, but he becomes fascinated with one kind: mysteries. Tom develops a passion for detective work, and in the cozy island of Millwalk not everyone looks at the young boy's budding hobby with appreciation... Although technically this is the second volume of a trilogy (the first being Koko) Mystery stands on its own. It has all trademarks of Straub's achievements as a writer: Rich characterization, compelling plot, interesting location, excellent prose and of course the mysteries. Although Straub is primarily known as a horror writer, this is no horror: it's an excellent novel in its own right, with no monsters jumping out from under the bed. A unique combination of a coming of age story with a detective novel, vividly, skilfully written with excellent use of atmosphere and subtlety, tense but never forcefully, Mystery is a novel well worth reading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Torturous and banal. At 545 pages, 540 pages too long. The murder mysteries were so uninteresting I kept closing the book and reaching for Spinoza. The blurbs and section headings tease us that the protagonist Tom dies twice....spoiler....not true! He escapes death twice, but I guess that doesn't draw in enough potboiler fans, who need some life after death. The setting of Mill Walk, an island in the Caribbean that seems to be an American protectorate, colony, or insular area, was unappealing in Torturous and banal. At 545 pages, 540 pages too long. The murder mysteries were so uninteresting I kept closing the book and reaching for Spinoza. The blurbs and section headings tease us that the protagonist Tom dies twice....spoiler....not true! He escapes death twice, but I guess that doesn't draw in enough potboiler fans, who need some life after death. The setting of Mill Walk, an island in the Caribbean that seems to be an American protectorate, colony, or insular area, was unappealing in every possible way and then some. The evil characters were not believable and the morally good characters were sentimentalized mushily as if Grandpas in a Disney movie. The writing was awkward and cried out for an editor. The pacing was execrable. I just want to erase this heinous work from memory.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    This book is the middle story of a trilogy it has very little to do with the first book of the series only a book written by a Timothy Underhill which takes place on the Island the hero of our story is born and lives during his youth. This novel falls into the genre of crime fiction and is a lot of fun to read. As a young man Tom Pasmore nearly dies in an accident in some unsavory part of town/Island. He wounds are so intense that he is out of school more than a year and as he becomes more mobile This book is the middle story of a trilogy it has very little to do with the first book of the series only a book written by a Timothy Underhill which takes place on the Island the hero of our story is born and lives during his youth. This novel falls into the genre of crime fiction and is a lot of fun to read. As a young man Tom Pasmore nearly dies in an accident in some unsavory part of town/Island. He wounds are so intense that he is out of school more than a year and as he becomes more mobile all during that time he spends reading a lot of crime novels. His strange elderly neighbor by the name of Lamont von Heilitz who seems to take interest in the boy for some reason. As we learn more about Tom we find out that he somewhat detached from normal kids in his behaviour and his attitude to live and situations. He is never the most popular boy simply because most do not understand him at all. His fascination with crime and a certain scrapbook with a murder from the thirties slowly changes him from anything like a normal kid into a strange one who seems to have difficulty being emphatic to others. His situation at home also does not really add to a normal youth with his mother being a loving but almost always being an emotional wreck, his father being distant and bitter and his domination grandfather. It is when Tom really gets acquainted with von Heilitz that his live slowly alters. He finds out that this old man has been a most famous detective whose nickname was "the Shadow" and the man seems to groom Tom somehow for some small bits of investigating. When his grandfather sends Tom to Eagle lake where he still has a lodge among the more influential folks from the Island of Mill Wall that Toms live will alter forever. He finds lave, drama, crime and some murder. Which all will lead to the passing of Tom Passmore. This is a really good read and Peter Straub keeps the reader guessing and keeps changing the pace and the direction of the story. But he keeps you pulling back and keep reading the book. For me the involvement of an character called the Shadow was the initial hook to get caught. But the book is big on entertainment and keeps you guessing. A really fun and fulfilled read was delivered by the writer. This book is so different in tone from the first book that only at the end of the book you find yourself being released from a tension you never realized the story had. A really good read that is seemingly set in a Jessica Fletcher kind of world only a shedload darker. Weel worth your while and easy to read as a stand alone.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim C

    This is the second book of a trilogy but it is a stand alone. There is very little connection with the first novel. In this one, we follow the exploits of Tom Passmore as he investigates two different murders that happened years apart from each other. Three stars are a little too harsh for a rating but this novel wasn't four stars for me. We all know authors have their strengths for certain aspects of writing. The strength of Peter Straub is his mastery of the slow burn. It seems like the reader This is the second book of a trilogy but it is a stand alone. There is very little connection with the first novel. In this one, we follow the exploits of Tom Passmore as he investigates two different murders that happened years apart from each other. Three stars are a little too harsh for a rating but this novel wasn't four stars for me. We all know authors have their strengths for certain aspects of writing. The strength of Peter Straub is his mastery of the slow burn. It seems like the reader will start out reading about everyday common scenes without any real importance. Without realizing it Straub adds to the story by giving little tidbits and next thing you know the reader is totally engrossed with the story. This happened to me with this book. The characters as well as the setting all stood out for me and I wanted to know what would happen to them. The problem for me with this book was the "mystery". There were two big twists within the story and I figured them out right away so I wasn't amazed with their reveal. This author tends to be a little "wordy" but it is so worth it with the picture he paints. I did like the first book of this trilogy better as the story aspect of this book didn't quite land for me. That being said, I enjoyed it as I wanted to know more about the characters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    The best Holmes pastiche I’ve read—and yes, I know the character’s name isn’t Holmes, and he’s not English, and it’s half a century too late for a pastiche…but still.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Mystery is the second of the Blue Rose series (originally Trilogy, but Straub wrote another book a few years back that is called a Blue Rose book and also contains some of the characters from the others). Of all of the books I think this is my favorite, although its reviews at the time were not as good as those for Koko. Mystery's main character is Tom Pasmore, a young boy who lives in the affluent section of a fictional island in the Caribbean settled by the Redwing family. When seven Tom sees a Mystery is the second of the Blue Rose series (originally Trilogy, but Straub wrote another book a few years back that is called a Blue Rose book and also contains some of the characters from the others). Of all of the books I think this is my favorite, although its reviews at the time were not as good as those for Koko. Mystery's main character is Tom Pasmore, a young boy who lives in the affluent section of a fictional island in the Caribbean settled by the Redwing family. When seven Tom sees an event that eventually causes him, out of curiosity, to travel to town, a place where he has spent little time, and never by himself. He runs into a gang of ruffians who eventually chase him out of the neighborhood and in his attempt to escape him he runs directly in front of a vehicle which hits him and injures him severely enough that he misses a year of school. We see Tom grow into a teen who begins to show signs of an investigative mind, not unlike the mysterious man who lives across the street, Lamont Von Heilitz. Supposedly, the character of the old radio show, "The Shadow", was modeled after this detective and called Lamont Cranston. Eventually Tom's sleuthing comes under the direction of von Heilitz. And who is Tom investigating? A bevy of people, including none other than his own grandfather. Tom leaves the island for a summer to join the other island residents in a summer home compound located in Wisconsin. Tom, ever the inside outsider, gets on the wrong side of one of the Redwing scions, and all sorts of horrible events ensue, including a fire which ultimately leads von Heilitz to declare Tom dead in order to protect him. As with Koko, Mystery is full of atmosphere. The creepiness of the old slave quarters turned "projects" that ultimately became the island version of urban decay. The political shenanigans occurring all around them. And ultimately Tom learns how very horrible and perverse his grandfather really is and why his mother is the way she is. And finally Tom finds his real identity. There's no real happy ending in mystery - there are things not said to people who die, there is the stain of his grandfather's legacy, but there seems to be some hope and perhaps some type of happiness for Tom in the end. This was the first of the Blue Rose books that I ever read (I was unaware of the connection to the other books at that time) and I've read it at least three times over the past twenty or so years, and I still enjoy it - and still manage to not remember enough things that it's a new discovery. I love the atmosphere, where the place is as much a character as the people in it. UPDATE 7/26/2019 - This update is for the audiobook version. Although I found Patrick Lawlor's narration to be fine for Koko, I found him a little less satisfactory for Mystery. His voice fit the hard-bitten Vietnam vets who were the main characters of Koko, but Mystery should have a more nuanced and indeed, atmospheric voice. I was really looking forward to that sort of narration but I was very disappointed. It makes me want to go back and reread it myself to get back the place I always go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I had read this book a VERY long time ago. So long ago that I couldn't remember much about it except that it was a really good novel. So, when this book came in as a part of a "lot" I got from Ebay, I decided to keep it and re-read it at some point. I came across it a few weeks ago, and felt excited about reading it again. Peter Straub is an author that is at times an aquired taste. I have read a great many of his books and enjoyed most of them, but his writing style can be tedious at times. But, I had read this book a VERY long time ago. So long ago that I couldn't remember much about it except that it was a really good novel. So, when this book came in as a part of a "lot" I got from Ebay, I decided to keep it and re-read it at some point. I came across it a few weeks ago, and felt excited about reading it again. Peter Straub is an author that is at times an aquired taste. I have read a great many of his books and enjoyed most of them, but his writing style can be tedious at times. But, that is not the case with this book. First of all, "Mystery" is the second in the Blue Rose trilogy. However, if you don't have a copy of "Koko" you can read this one as a stand alone. There is mention of the Blue Rose murders that was investigated in Koko, and you may be curious about that, but this book is not one of those that picks up where the last one left off. In fact, this is an entirely different story. So, no worries there. The story is set in the late fifties/early sixities. Mill Walk is an island where mostly rich folks reside, although like anywhere it has it's "bad" part of town. Tom Pamore is a seventeen year old that has survived a near death experience after a terrible "accident" when he was nine. Because Tom was laid up for the better part of year, he read everything he could get his hands on. His ways of thinking and his attitude are vastly different from most of his peers. His family life is not idealistic. His mother is mentally disturbed and his father drinks a great deal and tries to pass himself off as a "normal" father. Tom's grandfather is quite rich, and powerful on the island and greatly respected. He seems to control a great many things including Tom's parents and to some degree, Tom. Tom has recently begun to spend time with an eccentric neighbor that has gotten him interested in a recent murder on the island, and in the death of his grandmother, and another death that took place at Eagle Lake many years ago. But, once Tom is about to go away to college, his grandfather decides it's time for Tom to spend the summer "up north" with his peers at Eagle Lake. This is supposed to be a chance for Tom to meet and greet and make some contacts, plus relax before going to college. Tom is happy to be spending some time with a girl he really cares for , but his snooping into the old deaths at Eagle Lake has stirred some things up. This takes Tom on a journey of self discovery, as well as uncovering long buried family secrets and those of the most powerful men in Mill Walk. This not just a murder mystery, but a novel about complicated family relationships. It is also about the rich and powerful and their feelings of entitlement. The way they use and manipulate people, and how expendable others are to them. Tom is a guy with real principles and character which sets him apart. You pull for him all the way from start to finish. His is a long, painful, heartbreaking journey. I highly recommend this novel. Way above average. I think I will go in search of " Koko" and the third book in this trilogy. A+

  13. 4 out of 5

    Benoit Lelièvre

    This didn't age very well, yet it's not Peter Straub's fault. The complex and ambitious mystery rooted in a strong sense of place genre has been hijacked and perfected by Stig Larsson and his Merry Gang of Scandinavian scrawlers upon the turn of the century but I guess its origins can be traced back to Straub's Blue Rose Trilogy. What holds this novel together is the characters. Lamont Von Heilitz, for example: an old, wealthy man turned amateur sleuth out of a vague sense of guilt and search for This didn't age very well, yet it's not Peter Straub's fault. The complex and ambitious mystery rooted in a strong sense of place genre has been hijacked and perfected by Stig Larsson and his Merry Gang of Scandinavian scrawlers upon the turn of the century but I guess its origins can be traced back to Straub's Blue Rose Trilogy. What holds this novel together is the characters. Lamont Von Heilitz, for example: an old, wealthy man turned amateur sleuth out of a vague sense of guilt and search for purpose. Investigation is sometimes a game to him, sometimes it's an existential lifeline. That guy remained mysterious and interesting for me for 500 pages. So did the Redwing and Upshaw family, deeply intertwined in the history of the city of Mill Walk. I'm not going to lie and tell you you've never read anything like this because you totally did, but this one lives up to its name. It doesn't live up to much more than that, but at least it began connecting the dots for the final volume. Still not 100% in that Straub bandwagon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Troy Blackford

    This book was a great journey, but for reasons that are hard for me to articulate. I enjoyed the setting, and the size of the book and the story made it very engrossing. However, as a story, it wasn't the most coherent or surprising of tales. The lead, while likable and interesting while the story is unfurling, sort of blows away once you are done like dust. There is little inherent 'mystery' once you realize that yes, the big bad family that pulls all the strings throughout the novel is bad, an This book was a great journey, but for reasons that are hard for me to articulate. I enjoyed the setting, and the size of the book and the story made it very engrossing. However, as a story, it wasn't the most coherent or surprising of tales. The lead, while likable and interesting while the story is unfurling, sort of blows away once you are done like dust. There is little inherent 'mystery' once you realize that yes, the big bad family that pulls all the strings throughout the novel is bad, and the people working in cahoots with them are bad. The mystery is almost more: how will these people be caught? An engaging tale, but it can't help but be a little unsatisfying. There are a few elements that are meant to be surprising (apparently, judging from the way the characters react when they later 'realize' something that was painfully obvious: I'm thinking primarily about something to do with a window and a telephone call) that are not, and a few elements that are meant to be surprising and are. These considerations all take a backseat to the lush language, enjoyable settings, larger-than-life characters stuffed into a frame of realism, and the sheer sprawling scope of the novel that gives you a great opportunity to be sucked in. I really enjoyed it, but also can't help but feel that some things could have been improved. Not the best Peter Straub I've read so far, but certainly a great read. He's a master stylist.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David B

    Tom Pasmore, an unusually introspective and intelligent teenager, teams up with the aged, eccentric private detective Lamont von Heilitz to investigate a pair of murders in the mid-60s. Peter Straub develops a compelling mystery with interesting characters and then fails to make it pay off in the end. Tom's near death experience turns out to have no bearing on later events and the resolution of the mystery is pretty much what you would expect; any time you have arrogant, powerful rich characters Tom Pasmore, an unusually introspective and intelligent teenager, teams up with the aged, eccentric private detective Lamont von Heilitz to investigate a pair of murders in the mid-60s. Peter Straub develops a compelling mystery with interesting characters and then fails to make it pay off in the end. Tom's near death experience turns out to have no bearing on later events and the resolution of the mystery is pretty much what you would expect; any time you have arrogant, powerful rich characters who treat the protagonist badly, you know that they must be up to their necks in some kind of dirty business. I've read "Koko," the first (and much superior) novel in the so-called Blue Rose trilogy and I fail to see any connection between them, other than the fact that Tom reads a novel that was written by one of the characters from "Koko." This is not one of Straub's best. https://thericochetreviewer.blogspot.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gatorman

    Hard to rate this book, found myself between 3 and 4 stars and went with higher. Well-written tale of family secrets, corruption and murder but not your typical mystery, which should be expected from Straub. Interesting characters keep the plot moving but the ending seemed sort of a letdown. Still, an enjoyable read which I would recommend to Straub fans willing to read something from him other than horror.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Buttons

    Good mystery thriller!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Thomas

    I don't want to finish this book, which is about the highest praise I know. I don't want to finish this book, which is about the highest praise I know.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    This was a re-read of one of my favourite books. The second in the loosely connected Blue Rose series, the novel shows the coming of age of a boy, Tom Pasmore, born to a privileged but dysfunctional family on the (fictional) Caribbean island of Millwalk. On this island, the Redwing family rule the roost, and Tom's grandfather has enjoyed a great influence with them, being in a business partnership with the previous and current partriarch of that family. Early in the story, Tom, already somewhat o This was a re-read of one of my favourite books. The second in the loosely connected Blue Rose series, the novel shows the coming of age of a boy, Tom Pasmore, born to a privileged but dysfunctional family on the (fictional) Caribbean island of Millwalk. On this island, the Redwing family rule the roost, and Tom's grandfather has enjoyed a great influence with them, being in a business partnership with the previous and current partriarch of that family. Early in the story, Tom, already somewhat of a bookworm (probably as an escape from a homelife where his parents both drinks and his 'fragile' mother often has screaming fits), travels to the other side of town to investigate something which puzzles him. A man had arrived at his house throwing rocks until Tom's grandfather, there on a visit, had persuaded him to leave. Tom catches the man's address and hitches a ride to try to discover what grudge the man has against his family. Unfortunately, the man sends some boys after him with knives and when he runs into traffic to escape them, he suffers a serious accident. Recuperating in Shady Mount hospital, he forms a bond with two nurses and is visited by an eccentric neighbour, Lamont van Helitz, who brings him plenty of classic detective fiction to read. Seven years later, as a 17 year old on the verge of graduating from high school, he is drawn into an investigation of the corruption and brutality that lie just beneath the surface of the ruling class, when van Helitz recruits him to assist in an investigation. His grandfather "suggests" that he spend the summer in his old lodge at a private lake resort in the USA - none of the family have been back there since the mid 1920s, though the grandfather is not honest about what has really kept them away. The Redwings spend every summer there and it is supposed to be an opportunity for Tom to ingratiate himself with the island's ruling class, but he is more interested in looking into a murder that took place there in 1925, and in romancing Sarah Spence, a young woman who everyone else expects to marry the boorish son of the Redwings. I loved the relationship between Tom and his mentor and also with Sarah Spence. There were also some well sketched minor characters such as Barbara Deane, the woman with s a secret past, connected to his grandfather and to the machinations of the island's rulers, and who now lives at the town near the resort and looks after the empty lodge. The book is also a beautiful homage to classic crime fiction, mostly the stories of Sherlock Holmes, whom van Helitz resembles. Tom himself is a very untypical teenager, but given his weird upbringing, whole year spent in hospital where he was hardly visited by his parents, and the family inheritance that eventually is revealed, I didn't find that difficult to accept. All in all I loved the book as much as the first time I read it, even though I did remember the sad fate of one character, and am very pleased to award it 5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    stix_antics

    Tom became interested in Mill Walk’s few murders, and kept a scrapbook of clippings from the Eyewitness that concerned them. He did not know why he was interested during in these murders, but every one of them left behind, on a hillside or in a room, a prematurely dispossessed body, a body that would otherwise be filled with life. Set on the fictional island of Mill Walk, MYSTERY follows Tom Pasmore as he goes from being a boy to being a man. When he was ten, wandering the slums of Mill Walk in s Tom became interested in Mill Walk’s few murders, and kept a scrapbook of clippings from the Eyewitness that concerned them. He did not know why he was interested during in these murders, but every one of them left behind, on a hillside or in a room, a prematurely dispossessed body, a body that would otherwise be filled with life. Set on the fictional island of Mill Walk, MYSTERY follows Tom Pasmore as he goes from being a boy to being a man. When he was ten, wandering the slums of Mill Walk in search of a dog whose howls of pain hurt his innocent little heart, Tom was confronted by children older than himself eager to inflict the terrible art of pain upon another person; Tom managed to escape them, but ended up in hospital due to being struck by a car. Visited only by his parents, a handful of friends and Lamont von Heilitz, the senile old man across the road from his house, Tom begins to read, aided by the last person in the above list. When he is released from the hospital, Tom’s newfound passion for books follows him like a stray yet friendly dog. He soon develops an interest in murder, even going so far as to investigate crime scenes as he gets older. At the age of seventeen, Tom is thrilled to learn that Lamont von Heilitz is a) not a cranky old man, and is actually quite a nice guy, and b) used to be a private detective nicknamed “the Shadow”. United by a somewhat macabre passion for murder mysteries, the two strike up an odd friendship in which von Heilitz describes some of the cases he did—most notably the murder of Jeanine Thielman, whose case may have been a part of something far bigger. Soon Tom begins to notice the corruption that plagues Mill Walk, some of which being exerted from his own grandfather. When he is sent to Eagle Lake, where the rich of Mill Walk go for their holidays and the site of Jeanine Thielman’s murder, Tom realises that his love of mysteries has forced him to become a part of one that will change Mill Walk and all who live on it forever. MYSTERY is the second book in the Blue Rose Trilogy, being the indirect sequel to the bleak, PTSD-driven KOKO. Apart from both being clever murder mysteries, the two novels are like night and day: perfect opposites that share only the sky and what they look down on. MYSTERY is, to KOKO’S dark exploration of how a mind can snap, a light-hearted (in comparison, anyway), straight-forward love letter to detective stories and books in general. In fact, this book shares a lot with Straub’s GHOST STORY in the sense that it feels like a tribute to the books and short stories that exist in the same genre as the novel. As said in the above paragraph, MYSTERY is a smart and complex detective story, yet also serves as a deconstruction of the genre. Take von Heilitz, for example: he is a private detective, yet he—as said somewhere in the book itself—doesn’t do things that the PI characters in novels would do. MYSTERY is a detective story, yes, but a realistic example of one; the events that take place here, along with the characters who go through them, could probably exist in real life. MYSTERY is also a love letter to reading. This may just be my personal opinion (I’m not sure whether anybody else feels the same way), but I feel that one of the messages in this novel is that reading can get you through hard times, connect you to the world, and release a part of you that you didn’t even know existed. Before his accident, books had meant the safety of escape; for a long time afterwards, what they meant was life itself. Very rarely, a few of the boys who had been his friends would stop in and stay half an hour or more, and during these visits he learned that the world did not stop at his front door—Buddy Redwing had been given a Corvette for his sixteenth birthday, and Jamie Thielman had been expelled from Brooks-Lowood for smoking behind the curtains on the school stage, the football team had won eight games in a row, and the basketball team, which played in a league with only four other teams, had an unbroken string of losses—but the boys seldom visited and soon left, and Tom, who really did hunger for information about what the big unknown world beyond his door, beyond Eastern Shore Road, beyond even Mill Walk was like, could forget while,he read that he was crippled and alone. Through the transparent medium of books, he left behind his body and his useless anger and roamed through forests and cities in close company with men and women who plotted for money, love, and revenge, who murdered and stole and saved England from foreign conspiracies, who embarked on great journeys and followed their doubles like shadows through foggy nineteenth-century London. He hated his body and his wheelchair, though his arms and shoulders grew as muscular as a weightlifters’s, and when he was put on his crutches, he loathed their awkwardness and the hobbled imitation of walking they represented: real life, his real life, was between the covers of several hundred novels. Everything else was horror and monstrosity—falling down, moving like an insect with his six limbs, screaming at his irritated tutors, dreaming at night of seas of blood, of a smashed and mutilated body. Tom “survives” his isolation by reading, and is given an education through it. When he goes back to school following his accident, he is a smart (if not socially awkward) by who has literature to thank for his talents. In fact, reading is what brings out the detective in him, meaning that MYSTERY happens because of the magic of books. I honestly believe that Straub is better at writing thrillers than he is at writing horror. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s great at writing horror, and it’s not like I’ve read many of his books, but I just think that his talent is suited to psychological thrillers or just mysteries. He dreamed of bodies rising like smoke from the lake, raising their arms above their dripping heads and hovering in place with open eyes and mouths—he dreamed he walked through a forest to a clearing where a great hairy monster, of a size that made his own height a little child’s, bit the head off a woman’s white body and turned to him with a mouth full of bone and gore and said, ”I am your father, Thomas. See what I am?” The above passage could be considered horror, but the kind that exists solely in a character’s head. Straub is amazing at writing the psychology of a character, and stuff like what is above is what makes his thrillers psychological (along with the level of craziness that some of his characters exhibit, such as Koko). Another thing that is worth noting is the romance present in MYSTERY. I haven’t read many Peter Straub books, but out of them (excluding the Jack Sawyer series, which was co-written by Stephen King), MYSTERY is the only one that features a couple who don’t hate each other or who aren’t cheating. In GHOST STORY, Rick’s wife has multiple affairs with a wide variety of men; in KOKO, Michael’s wife hates the very thought of his existence—sure, there is the romance between Conor and that woman whose name I can’t remember, but that didn’t happen until towards the end of the novel. This book, however, offers a considerably healthy love story between two people who used to be best friends but want to be more. I’m not really one for romance, but God did Michael’s wife really get on my nerves. Since I’m talking about contrasts, let’s look at the differences between KOKO and MYSTERY. The most obvious is the tone: while KOKO is bleak and grim, with its inspection of the worst parts of the human mind, MYSTERY feels a lot more hopeful; there are multiple scenes in the novel in which people who are in bad conditions are helping others like them without any reason to. While the people who live in the slums of Bangkok and Singapore turn to sex, drugs and violence for any hope of living, as seen in KOKO, some of the inhabitants of Mill Walk’s “Elysian Court” are seen to be caring and friendly. While KOKO could be considered “dirty” by those made uncomfortable by the disgusting ways that people get by in the mentioned cities, MYSTERY feels, for want of a better word, safe—it feels tamer than its predecessor. While KOKO is political in the sense that it glares at those who expect others to die for them only to discard them like used toys, MYSTERY walks into a crowded street and screams out about how corrupt those in power are. Another thing that people will most likely like about MYSTERY is that, unlike KOKO, it features a female character whose part in the story is vital to its progression. I’m not saying that Maggie is useless, but that her part in the book doesn’t really amount to much until towards the end; she was likeable enough, and she contributed to the story in a way that the male characters didn’t, and yet her character felt somewhat...unused. In MYSTERY, however, we have Sarah Spence, an enthusiastic young woman who I grew to like; in a story where the main character provides the brains, Sarah is the warm heart which draws you in and embraces you. As I mentioned earlier, Tom is quite robotic; for me, Sarah makes up for this and adds more. She is a sympathetic, likeable character, and I hope to see her make an appearance in THE THROAT with Tom. Straub’s writing and descriptions are as brilliant as ever, painting vivid pictures that have the possibility of staying with you until you read something better, though I doubt you will. Use this quote as an example of Straub’s writing powers: In the jumble of first impressions, Tom had taken in only the the space around him looked vaguely like a prison, vaguely like a European slum, and more than either of these like an illustration from a sinister comic book—tilting little streets connected by wooden passages like freight cars suspended in the air. In just a blurry glance, Straub gives you an idea of what this chaotic wasteland of the poor and suffering looks like; it helps you realise how messy it is there. While some authors spend paragraphs bumbling about places to make them seem chaotic, Straub does it in a sentence. MYSTERY is a spectacular novel, a worthy sequel to KOKO—perhaps even surpassing its predecessor—and I hope to see more of Tom Pasmore and Sarah Spence in THE THROAT, which will conclude what is currently one of my favourite thriller series of all time. (It will be interesting to see Tim Underhill—who was my favourite character in KOKO—interact with the wannabe yet worthy detective that Tom Pasmore becomes during the course of the novel.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kris Van Laer

    I discovered Peter Straub after reading The Talisman that Stephen King wrote with him ( still one of the best books ever for me) and as a young teenager I read Koko which I liked a lot. I re-read Koko and although it lost some of its magic it was still a good thriller. This book is much better, here you can really find the style that you often also find in Kings book: a small community where things aren't what they seem to be, a likeable main character, murder, betrayal and also weaved into the s I discovered Peter Straub after reading The Talisman that Stephen King wrote with him ( still one of the best books ever for me) and as a young teenager I read Koko which I liked a lot. I re-read Koko and although it lost some of its magic it was still a good thriller. This book is much better, here you can really find the style that you often also find in Kings book: a small community where things aren't what they seem to be, a likeable main character, murder, betrayal and also weaved into the story a love intrigue. Though written as a trilogy you don't need to read Koko to like this book. I can recommend this book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    When I began reading this I realized that I would say that it probably wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own – without Goodreads that is. And I still have that superficial opinion, but wait - it gets better! I must confess that in sitting down to write this review I looked at my “To Read” shelf to try and figure out who might have been the catalyst for my adding it back in 2009 and the winner is, author Laurie King. Mystery is a longish book of great story-telling. Primarily set on a When I began reading this I realized that I would say that it probably wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own – without Goodreads that is. And I still have that superficial opinion, but wait - it gets better! I must confess that in sitting down to write this review I looked at my “To Read” shelf to try and figure out who might have been the catalyst for my adding it back in 2009 and the winner is, author Laurie King. Mystery is a longish book of great story-telling. Primarily set on a mythical island, it showcases a closed, privileged community of haves who rule the ordinary people comprised of immigrants and those descended from former slaves. Within their own environment they set themselves apart and above all others; acting with impunity whenever they feel that something must be “corrected”. Like most small-minded groups, they have a right way of doing things and should you choose to ignore their “standards”, you are ostracized or worse. Into this world comes our protagonist. When we first meet him, he is 10 years old and is the grandson of a power-broker within the elites. His immediate family consists of his father, mother and himself. His grandfather lives apart and sees him only infrequently. From the almost mundane beginning, the book picks up fairly quickly. First the boy gets killed after attempting to investigate a minor mystery off in the wrong end of the island. Then, he gets revived (lucky for the next 450 pages or so). Then we begin to see into the workings of this community and the secrets it holds. I haven’t read anything else by this author. But I must say that the further I went the more this book attracted me. I know that there are two other books that supposedly make up a loosely connected trilogy (this being the middle story) and given how much I liked this one, I will probably read them someday. From the start this book is deceptive. It starts slowly, but with strongly defined locations and thoughts. As it develops, the book picks up twists until we seemingly have only one piled on top of another with no answers forthcoming. It is at this point that the author mixes things up with a second, central character: the man formerly known as “The Shadow”. While neither omniscient nor errorless, he raises the story to a new level teaching the protagonist how to investigate and discover the truth. I’m leaving out lots of detail in the hope that you will pick up this book rather than simply want to read spoilers. But I’ll say this: several more people die (including our boy again, but this time only as subterfuge), several flee from responsibility and truth, and others partake in their just rewards (both good and bad). By the time I finished this novel I was very satisfied with the writing, the characters, and the mysteries. While many might have preferred a more sentimental outcome, I think that the author did right by his characters with his ending. While it is a story of mystery and detection, it is also a study of characters and people, so if you might avoid because of the “mystery” genre tag, don’t. Think of it as good fiction that includes some mystery. It is worth every dust particle in Four (4) Stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    Of course I loved this book. It is very rare that I don't love a Peter Straub book to be honest. Despite loving his work, I have not necessarily read his most famous works and the Blue Rose series is a big gap in my Peter Straub love. I got my hands on Koko and flew through that and then found this for my nook. I have the 3rd book, The Throat waiting for me now. As with all of Straub's books, it opens somewhat slowly and builds until you are "falling downhill" as I always say. Stephen King has Of course I loved this book. It is very rare that I don't love a Peter Straub book to be honest. Despite loving his work, I have not necessarily read his most famous works and the Blue Rose series is a big gap in my Peter Straub love. I got my hands on Koko and flew through that and then found this for my nook. I have the 3rd book, The Throat waiting for me now. As with all of Straub's books, it opens somewhat slowly and builds until you are "falling downhill" as I always say. Stephen King has this ability and style too--you start to read and soon you are so involved you don't want to put it down. I was explaining Straub's books to my partner while I was reading this one and I said he had some similarity to Stephen King but that I always felt like his books were structured in such a way as to test your intelligence and patience and then let you into the goody bag. I think I actually said "even in his writing, Peter Straub does not suffer fools". He has some of the accessibility of Stephen King (which I consider a gift--being hard to read or vague for the sake of vague smacks of pretension for me and I DESPISE pretension) but he has a hallucinogenic and abstract quality that Stephen King does not. His incredible background and love of literature shines throughout his books and in particular this one. His main character, Tom Pasmore loves book as others love food (I can SO get with this) and devours them--something I do myself--and he lists many of the books the character reads and they are so varied--from great literature to popular favorites and I think this speaks of Straub himself. He also has the gift of making you care about his characters as well as see them fully in all their flawed glory. No saints here--all about the feet of clay. There is a lovely sense of nostalgia about the book as well--with Straub showing both the unpleasant and charming side of the past. As with so many of his books, this also reeks of the sins of the past coming to haunt the present. It's a device I enjoy very much. I am very excited to start The Throat today and so grateful that there is still much Straub for me to enjoy. And to think that this love all started with my adoration of the film Ghost Story. See kiddies, this is why one should NEVER be a snob about reading--I might never have discovered Peter Straub without that film, so never judge where you find a jewel--it does not have to be found in the list of great literature someone else thinks you should read, but in the heart of your own truth and interest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fish

    For me, 'Mystery' is THAT novel which is handed to you at just the right time in your life, where you not only fall in love with it, but fall in love with reading all together. The story follows Tom Pasmore, an awkward young man, who becomes a bookworm while recovering from an accident. His reading leads him to become fascinated with murders and the complicated past of his island town, Mill Walk. (incidentally Straub was born in Milwaukee & was gravely injured as a boy). Pasmore forms a bond with For me, 'Mystery' is THAT novel which is handed to you at just the right time in your life, where you not only fall in love with it, but fall in love with reading all together. The story follows Tom Pasmore, an awkward young man, who becomes a bookworm while recovering from an accident. His reading leads him to become fascinated with murders and the complicated past of his island town, Mill Walk. (incidentally Straub was born in Milwaukee & was gravely injured as a boy). Pasmore forms a bond with Lamont von Heilitz, a reclusive neighbor who has long studied the island's mysteries and becomes his mentor. Much to Pasmore's surprise, he is befriended by Sarah Spence a pretty former classmate, who sees him as both a sympathetic oddity and small rebellion against her proper parents. Together the trio plunge headlong into mysteries old and new, discovering that on their small island secrets, murder and lies tie all of their lives closely together. The book is a departure for an author who usually deals more in the horror/macabre genre, but the results are thrilling. The mysteries are deep, well-constructed and engrossing. His characters are interesting and enjoyable companions for the investigation. This is the second novel in "The Blue Rose Trilogy", along with 'Koko' and 'The Throat' (also both good reads by the way) but the three stories are not dependent upon each other. They simply exist in similar worlds and share similar characters. Like I said, I am bit biased when it comes to 'Mystery', but trust me this is a book that will be hard to put down. It has the qualities of a good beach-read, the darkness of macabre mystery stories and the roots of an author drawing on his own life to paint his characters. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rajeev Singh

    The first book from Peter Straub that I've finished, and quite a hefty tome, so definitely an achievement for me. My bitter experience with Shadowland and The Talisman and the very-first-page boredom with The Hellfire Club had deflated some of the intrigue that the blurbs from the Blue Rose Trilogy inspired, so I was wary at first as I began to read Mystery on my Kindle. The first chapter simply drew me in, the prose had a certain surrealistic quality that melted away all the previous baggage th The first book from Peter Straub that I've finished, and quite a hefty tome, so definitely an achievement for me. My bitter experience with Shadowland and The Talisman and the very-first-page boredom with The Hellfire Club had deflated some of the intrigue that the blurbs from the Blue Rose Trilogy inspired, so I was wary at first as I began to read Mystery on my Kindle. The first chapter simply drew me in, the prose had a certain surrealistic quality that melted away all the previous baggage that I had been carrying regarding this author not being for me. That said, I saw this book as a story involving some great characterization, a throwback to some classic novel that I might have enjoyed in the past, but the mystery and sleuth-work itself had next to zero interest for me. I stopped worrying about who killed Jeanine Thielman and just enjoyed Tom Pasmore's adventures, the picturesque Eagle Lake and its patrons, the so realistic town of Mill Walk, the enigmatic man that was Von Heilitz, the wealthy all-consuming predators that were the Redwings, and the abhorrent flint-heart of a man that was Glendenning Upshaw. In fact, in Upshaw's perspective on life, his hubris, his snobbery and its implication for Tom, I felt echoes of my own experience with persons from my family tree. Ah, I just recalled Straub's The Juniper Tree, a great short story that had blown me away one evening, at par with Clive Barker's Twilight at the Towers (and that is saying a lot). That was great stuff; this one is good, if not great.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dxmaniac69

    The second book in the Blue Rose trilogy, but if you happen to read it by itself it's no big deal. The book stands alone perfectly well and you won't even notice how it ties into the first book, Koko, until about 3/4ths of the way thru. And even then the tie in is minor. The book is a tense thriller and sort of a horror novel. There is only a slight illusion to anything supernatural, but like Koko the horror in this series comes from the depths humanity will sink too. I'd actually give this book a The second book in the Blue Rose trilogy, but if you happen to read it by itself it's no big deal. The book stands alone perfectly well and you won't even notice how it ties into the first book, Koko, until about 3/4ths of the way thru. And even then the tie in is minor. The book is a tense thriller and sort of a horror novel. There is only a slight illusion to anything supernatural, but like Koko the horror in this series comes from the depths humanity will sink too. I'd actually give this book a rating of 4 1/2 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I'm approximating a quote here. "This book ... It has too many words." Good story, really good characters, excellent mystery with lots of twists. But so many things I didn't need to know. Long, winding passages that led nowhere. Descriptions of things that didn't matter and set no tone. The abridged version would have been fine. I'm approximating a quote here. "This book ... It has too many words." Good story, really good characters, excellent mystery with lots of twists. But so many things I didn't need to know. Long, winding passages that led nowhere. Descriptions of things that didn't matter and set no tone. The abridged version would have been fine.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kade

    I didn't realize this was a part 2, but it wasn't necessary to follow this story. I will be reading the first, because I'm sure it will make this second story thicker.... but I don't feel there are any blanks I need filed in. It was a true mystery until the very end. I didn't realize this was a part 2, but it wasn't necessary to follow this story. I will be reading the first, because I'm sure it will make this second story thicker.... but I don't feel there are any blanks I need filed in. It was a true mystery until the very end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peter Ruys

    Mystery. Peter Straub, 1990. (Blue Rose #2). . Overall I really enjoyed Mystery, the second book in Straub’s loosely connected Blue Rose Trilogy. I have to emphasise just how loosely this one is connected to Koko, because I was building myself up for some major connection which ultimately seemed like an afterthought and sort of ‘tacked on’. I’m hoping it all comes together in The Throat. . As the title suggests this is a crime/mystery novel. It is a coming of age story about Tom Pasmore, a boy tryin Mystery. Peter Straub, 1990. (Blue Rose #2). . Overall I really enjoyed Mystery, the second book in Straub’s loosely connected Blue Rose Trilogy. I have to emphasise just how loosely this one is connected to Koko, because I was building myself up for some major connection which ultimately seemed like an afterthought and sort of ‘tacked on’. I’m hoping it all comes together in The Throat. . As the title suggests this is a crime/mystery novel. It is a coming of age story about Tom Pasmore, a boy trying to find answers about his past with an interest in solving some local mysteries. There is also a love interest in Sarah and I enjoyed their time at the lake. My favourite aspect of this book was the dynamic between Tom and Lamont Von Heilitz, an old retired ultra-cool detective 🕵🏻‍♂️. He seemed to be an homage to many literary and film detectives. I could really relate to Lamont and Tom because what boy hasn’t wanted to be a detective at some point in their youth?! . I really enjoy Straub’s writing but this one was confusing at times. It was hard to wrap my head around some of the settings (peak hour traffic consisting of cars and horse-and-carriages on a small island in the 50’s 🤔) and the complexities of the mystery seemed a little convoluted to me. It is probably hard as a writer to write a mystery that is not too easy but not too complicated! There were a lot of names to try and keep track of. It seemed from the beginning of the story that it may go in a mystical/supernatural direction but that wasn’t to be. I found the ending a little anticlimactic but the journey was good and the journey is generally always better than the destination for me. There were some great revelations along the way too. Looking forward to the next instalment! . . . 4/5 ⭐️. . . #peterruysbookreviews . .

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    just a pure pleasure to read

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