cover image The Museum of Desire: An Alex Delaware Novel

The Museum of Desire: An Alex Delaware Novel

Jonathan Kellerman. Ballantine, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-61852-2

Early in bestseller Kellerman’s disappointing 35th whodunit featuring L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware (after 2019’s The Wedding Guest), a professional cleaner who arrives at a house the morning after a big party finds a white stretch limo parked near the pool containing four corpses. All are dressed in black and drenched in blood from the waist down. In the front seat, the chauffeur has a bullet wound to the head; in the backseat, the lone female victim holds the penis of a male victim. Delaware and his LAPD buddy, Lt. Milo Sturgis, must figure out how the four are connected, along with a motive for the murders and the staging of the bodies. The eventual explanation is a letdown, and Delaware and Sturgis make a judgment error at the climax that doesn’t fit with their years of experience interviewing suspects. Overdone prose is another negative (“Misfortune is the mother’s milk of journalism... those who suckle the teats of tragedy are rarely forced to confront evil directly”). Those looking for a cleverer resolution of a similar macabre setup should check out P.D. James’s A Taste for Death. (Feb.)