Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review of 'The Question of the Missing Head'

by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen

Samuel Hoenig is an unusual mystery protagonist. Not only does he have Asperger’s Syndrome, which gives him a unique perspective on people’s attitudes and mannerisms, but he’s neither a professional detective nor amateur sleuth. As the owner and operator of Questions Answered, it’s his job to do just that — answer questions, that is.

In the story, Sam is assisted by a certain Ms. Washburn, who had a question of her own, but got enlisted to help Sam with another question dealing with baseball and Yankee Stadium. But that’s not what the story’s about. It’s about how Sam and Ms. Washburn team up to answer 1) where the head of a dead woman (preserved by cryonics) has disappeared and 2) who killed one of the scientists at the cryonics lab.

Sam is a most likeable and funny character, as is his Mother — a formidable, but kind person. Sam’s observations bring to mind the kind of perceptions and deductions Sherlock Holmes would make — only funnier.

Maybe what I loved most about Sam was that he thought it important to know what someone’s favorite Beatles song was. Should I be worried that we both love “Strawberry Fields Forever”?

Copperman and Cohen build the suspense deftly with each chapter. And I laughed — always a plus. Further, the book ends with a twist I never saw coming. In retrospect, it seems like I should have, which is a testament to the writers’ ability to hide the ball in plain sight.

I highly recommend this novel, if you enjoy funny mysteries.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Review of 'Hill Country Greed'

by Patrick Kelly

HILL COUNTRY GREED takes place in 1999, during the boom days of high-tech. In it, Joe Robbins takes a position as CFO at a Connection Software in Austin, Texas, hoping to cash in on stock options, become rich and be set for life.

What Joe doesn’t realize is that nefarious goings-on are taking place at the Connection, as the firm is called. When an employee commits suicide at a firm party, Joe is wary, but not nearly wary enough.

The story follows Joe and how his life unravels as he makes one bad decision after another. Author Patrick Kelly has written a highly suspenseful page-turner that I found hard to put down. He also paints a picture of Austin that puts the reader right there.

This book is Kelly’s debut novel. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading his next one.