SERPENT'S TOOTH is one of the better novels in this series; her reduction of time spent on religious background and squabbles actually aids her in this one. The first chapter is intriguing as Kellerman sets us up for what's about to happen by letting us know a little bit about some of the people in the trendy restaurant who are about to meet a fatal end. Once the killer "kills himself," it seems like an open and shut case, but where would the novel be if this was the case? Decker is now more willing to accept the advice of his daughter, Cindy, who is about to enter the police academy; Rina once again goes behind Peter's back to give him some assistance; we learn more about some of the other detectives: Webster, the southern transplant, is a likeable and a good addition; I haven't decided if I like Scott Oliver yet, what a chauvinist and ... fiend, but Kellerman is smart in giving us that sensitive side that indicates his main problem might be loneliness; Marge continues to be the lonely amazon woman--I think she's really in love with Peter?
Anyway, the cast of meanies in this one are despicable: Jeanine Garrison, the daughter of two of the restaurant's victims, who has her own financial agenda; Sean Amos and Malcolm Carey, two vile teenagers; Joaquin, a rather nerdy teen, who is a champion Scrabble player; David Garrison, Jeanine's brother who has (there's one of these in each book it seems?) a drug problem, and winds up iced, too.
The whodunit isn't overly exciting, but the way Kellerman interweaves all these personalities makes for good reading for fans of this series.