The Ghost Orchid
September 26, 2023

Book Review

The Ghost Orchid

reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo



“Life seemed to be filled with things that were just like the ghost orchid – wonderful to imagine and easy to fall in love with, but a little fantastic and fleeting and out of reach.”

I have always had a slight obsession with Alex Delaware books. So much so that I opened it the minute they sent it to my kindle and read it in two days. Alex is like an old friend that I know intimately as well as all the nuances in his life. I am familiar with his idiosyncrasies, his wonderful relationship with Robin, his fondness for his French bulldog, Blanche, and his sometimes bizarre friendship with Milo, a gay police detective with no filter. The Ghost Orchid is Kellerman’s 39th Alex Delaware novel and I have read them all. I can say without a doubt that this is one of my favorites. In Alex Delaware style, this book is full of charming wit and amusing similes. The significance of the ghost orchid is integral to understanding one victim’s background and is important in solving the mystery of her death, though the connection is not made well into the story.   

In this novel, Alex is recovering from a violent attack by a fugitive with a bat in the last book and is feeling bored and a little hurt that Milo has not called to invite him in on any cases in four months. But then Milo’s hesitant call comes in. There are two victims shot poolside at a run down rental in Bel Air. The younger man is heir to an Italian shoe empire, and she is his older married neighbor. Both are nude. But which one was the target? This is where Kellerman shines. He tells an intricate mystery of two people, both with interesting pasts and no reason either would be killed, let alone both of them. Together Milo and Alex take us on another amazing journey starting with no clues to build up a story that is both interesting, well developed and thrilling, eventually solving a case in the last final minutes of the book that leaves the reader left saying “How did we get here?” I couldn’t get enough. 

The Ghost Orchid is amazing, well written and keeps the reader guessing throughout the entire novel. As usual, Sturgis and Delaware are well-developed characters but I suggest reading past novels to really figure out who they are and how they work so seamlessly together. Readers like me, who have read every novel from start to finish, reading this book will be like spending time with old friends. 

The Ghost Orchid is available at:

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