cover image The Wedding Guest: An Alex Delaware Novel

The Wedding Guest: An Alex Delaware Novel

Jonathan Kellerman. Ballantine, $28.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-61849-2

At the start of Edgar winner Kellerman’s workmanlike 34th whodunit featuring L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware (after 2018’s Night Moves), a guest at a wedding held at a former strip joint is looking for a bathroom when she stumbles across a female corpse. During the subsequent police investigation, none of the wedding attendees admits to knowing the victim, who was drugged with an injection of fentanyl in her neck before being garroted. Alex and his LAPD friend, Lt. Milo Sturgis, follow predictable lines of inquiry, including tracing the strip joint’s former owner and determining whether anyone hated the bride or groom enough to ruin the celebration. They eventually identify the victim as 31-year-old Suzanne DaCosta, but she had no known links to the newlyweds. Some possibly related deaths include one that Alex and Milo learn of by pure chance when a Polish expat working in the coroner’s office informs them of a murder in her native country, whose m.o. matches that of DaCosta. Kellerman has done better both with plotting and with bringing the reader inside the heads of his characters. (Feb.)