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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. 4 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. 4 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

    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.

  4. 4 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.

  5. 4 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.

  6. 4 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 4 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.

  10. 5 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+

  11. 4 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.

  12. 5 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

  13. 5 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Buttons

    Good mystery thriller!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 5 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.

  20. 5 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 4 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This novel was good, but not great, to me--2.5 to 3 stars overall. It started out very strong--great characters and events that moved along nicely and absorbed my attention completely. But about halfway in, things started to move slowly and I felt my interest slackening. It wasn't that the story wasn't good; it just started plodding along, then the last part of the story was kind of wrapped up quickly and with a big bow. For this series, I prefer The Throat and Koko over this one. But that's jus This novel was good, but not great, to me--2.5 to 3 stars overall. It started out very strong--great characters and events that moved along nicely and absorbed my attention completely. But about halfway in, things started to move slowly and I felt my interest slackening. It wasn't that the story wasn't good; it just started plodding along, then the last part of the story was kind of wrapped up quickly and with a big bow. For this series, I prefer The Throat and Koko over this one. But that's just me.

  24. 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.

  25. 5 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 . .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    just a pure pleasure to read

  27. 5 out of 5

    Val Penny

    My friend Sharon passed this book on to me when she had finished it. She highly recommended Mystery. I had not read anything by Peter Straub before, so I took the book on holiday with me to read while I was away at The Clube Humbria, Algarve, Portugal. The hotel is reviewed at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.wor... ‎. I have discovered that the author, Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA on 2 March, 1943. The author earned an honors B.A. in English at the University of W My friend Sharon passed this book on to me when she had finished it. She highly recommended Mystery. I had not read anything by Peter Straub before, so I took the book on holiday with me to read while I was away at The Clube Humbria, Algarve, Portugal. The hotel is reviewed at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.wor... ‎. I have discovered that the author, Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA on 2 March, 1943. The author earned an honors B.A. in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965, and an M.A. at Columbia University a year later. He briefly taught English at Milwaukee Country Day, then moved to Dublin, Ireland, in 1969 to work on a Ph.D., and started to write professionally. This American author and poet writes horror fiction and has received numerous literary honors such as the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award. Mystery, however, is more of a detective novel than a horror story. The beginning of the book rather mirrors an episode in the author's early life. At the age of seven, Straub was struck by a car, sustaining serious injuries. He was hospitalized for several months and he read voraciously from an early age. Likewise, in Mystery, ten year old Tom Passmore is hit by a car and nearly dies. During hospitalization Tom becomes interested in reading, and he reads many novels, but he becomes gripped by one kind in particular: mysteries. Tom becomes interested in detective work, but on the island of Millwalk not everyone appreciates the boy's hobby. Mystery is the second volume of a trilogy (the first was Koko) but Mystery stands well on its own. The book is rich in characterisation, compelling plot, interesting location, excellent prose and of course the mysteries. It is really a good detective novel. It is vividly and skilfully written with excellent use of atmosphere and subtlety. Mystery is a tense novel well worth reading

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charles Harwood

    Mystery is a convoluted tale, set on a Caribbean island of Mill Walk. The central character, Tom suffers a devastating car accident where he almost gets killed. After breaking everything in his body, he spends months in a wheelchair, growing obsessed with crimes on the island. His grandfather, Glen is a potent force, as is the corrupt and greedy Redwing family. With the police force in their pockets, Toms’ sleuthing does not go down well. Glen sends Tom off to Eagle Lake along with the Redwings t Mystery is a convoluted tale, set on a Caribbean island of Mill Walk. The central character, Tom suffers a devastating car accident where he almost gets killed. After breaking everything in his body, he spends months in a wheelchair, growing obsessed with crimes on the island. His grandfather, Glen is a potent force, as is the corrupt and greedy Redwing family. With the police force in their pockets, Toms’ sleuthing does not go down well. Glen sends Tom off to Eagle Lake along with the Redwings to get him out of the way. Instead, Tom continues to sleuth around and communicate with the weird and reclusive Von Heilitz. This ruffles a few feathers and Tom grows very unpopular. There are a lot of characters to remember as well as little subplots. At times, I found Straub’s pacing slow, but not boringly so. Tom was at times, robotic. His passion for Sarah (a betrothed to a Redwing) didn’t convince. I had to remember that Tom was 17, and didn’t really act like a typical 17 year old. He also didn’t show any after effects of his devastating accident. No limp, no aches or pains (mind you, he did have a temporary limp after someone tried to push him in front of a car, years later). I felt anguish for Tom when he thought he been castrated at the hospital after the car accident. Only after the cast had been removed months later, did he learn he had not been castrated. Tom's reaction? Oh, he hadn't been castrated after all. That's it. I’m sorry, but I would imagine the average male might have fainted with relief or cry or something? But robotic Tom didn’t give the preservation of his manhood any afterthought. Oh, well, it’s only a penis, after all. Mystery was overall an enjoyable read and Straub had provided some shocks and revelations about Tom’s family within the last half of the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Roberts

    I am reviewing the thriller Mystery by Peter Straub which is a very good novel which I bought from a car boot sale. Straub is more famous for his fantasy novels than his thrillers and did do a couple of books with Stephen King, one horror and one fantasy presumably to perfect their art. His fantasy novels are very good in having peril and suspense which are prevalent in thrillers. This novel is set on what I think is a fictional island in the Caribbean called Mill Walk which is the playground of I am reviewing the thriller Mystery by Peter Straub which is a very good novel which I bought from a car boot sale. Straub is more famous for his fantasy novels than his thrillers and did do a couple of books with Stephen King, one horror and one fantasy presumably to perfect their art. His fantasy novels are very good in having peril and suspense which are prevalent in thrillers. This novel is set on what I think is a fictional island in the Caribbean called Mill Walk which is the playground of the wealthy and where the key character Tom Pasmore lives. At the beginning Tom hitches a ride on a milk cart to a strange part of the island and gets stabbed which almost kills him. He becomes interested in unsolved crime and in particular with the murder of a lady in 1925 on the island. People disapprove of him investigating the case in the particular the local construction owned by a very wealthy tycoon. It does appear certain people have an interest in the case remaining unsolved. Tom who is only a young lad persists in trying to solve the case anyway. He does keeping writing to the local about his concerns about the case and unknown to him the police are keeping an eye to make sure he doesn't come to any harm. He does almost die a second time and the novel is a decent length at over 500 pages and is a rewarding read. I did really enjoy reading it. It is the kind of novel which at least for me took me into a completely different world to my own which I really liked. It was published in 1990 so isn't a recent novel by any means. I think if like me you see it being sold at a cheap price it's worth buying.

  30. 5 out of 5

    BookRecycler

    Solid Tale of Amateur Sleuth at Odds with Corruption on a Caribbean Island Mystery is a solid and well-crafted plot, if a little convoluted, but is worth sticking with for the climaxes and twists. Tom is a young sleuth who takes an interest in the crimes committed on a small Caribbean Island of Mill Walk. This is partly due to suffering a horrific traffic accident as a young boy and Tom has little to do but to read and research during convalescence. Tom’s ‘pastime’ is frowned upon by his grandfath Solid Tale of Amateur Sleuth at Odds with Corruption on a Caribbean Island Mystery is a solid and well-crafted plot, if a little convoluted, but is worth sticking with for the climaxes and twists. Tom is a young sleuth who takes an interest in the crimes committed on a small Caribbean Island of Mill Walk. This is partly due to suffering a horrific traffic accident as a young boy and Tom has little to do but to read and research during convalescence. Tom’s ‘pastime’ is frowned upon by his grandfather, Glen, who, along with the Redwing magnates corrupts the island. And so Tom is sent to Eagle Lake to get him out of the way. But this further piques Tom’s curiosity about how the crimes are connected. And with recluse and island ‘weirdo’ Von Heilitz, begins to see the bigger picture. But Tom suspects he is digging too deep for somebody’s tastes. Tom acts a little robotic at times and his passion for love interest Sarah didn’t quite convince. His reaction to finding he had not been castrated after his childhood accident was bemusing. ‘So he had not been castrated after all.’ And then no further mention of this revelation. Well, it’s only a penis, I suppose. I enjoyed Mystery and liked the downtrodden nurses and underdogs of the island who were incorruptible. The locals and the officials created a real sense of a flawed yet colourful closed society that was at times alluring.

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