ISBN #: 978-1435700406
Page Count: 190
Copyright: October 28, 2007
(Taken from Amazon)
This dark-hued "cozy" murder mystery ushers into the world of the amateur sleuth Sidney Hirsch, a fifty-something, long-haired, long-bearded, aristocratic Sherlock who, in this opening appearance, comes complete with a formidable if circumstantial female Watson: his sharp-witted M.A. candidate daughter, Margaret Anne.
On their way to a vacation destination together, Hirsch, on a whim, makes a detour to a small seaside town in southern New Jersey where they soon find themselves enmeshed in a grotesque case of murder. The execution-style killing has all the earmarks of a professional hit, and using that as his springboard, Hirsch proceeds to solve the bizarre if apparently clueless murder until he's seemingly dead-ended by an inconsistency he can't resolve that threatens to consign his entire chain of inductive reasoning to the proverbial toilet.
If a cats 'n quilts cozy murder mystery is what you were looking for, you're looking for it in the wrong place.
That one word kept reverberating through my mind while reading this book. The story itself isn't pretentious, but the main character is.
Sidney is such a know-it-all that I just wanted to scream and slap this man silly. Every time he asked someone to look something over he already knew what they would or wouldn't find and it would be exactly as he suspected. Seriously?!! His arrogance I could deal with, but the vernacular he used was what made this man pretentious. Even after all of the books I've read during my life span, there were words in this book I'd never heard nor seen before. I would've stopped to look them up, but, in all honesty, there were parts that my eyes glazed over and I just kept moving on.
Margaret Anne is another story. She's nowhere near as pretentious as her daddy. Thank goodness! She does have some serious psychological issues, though. This girl cannot date a man because nobody can compare to her daddy. I can understand how a girl thinks no man will ever be as good as her father, but Margaret Anne took it to a whole new level. It wasn't said outright, but I sensed the implication that Margaret Anne finds herself in love with her own father.
That made you want to stop reading right there, didn't it? Go take a shower and come back ...
That's the worst of the review. Disregarding the two main characters, the mechanics of the story were nearly stellar. The author had a strong concept and wrote it well. The twists and turns in this story were just enough to make you want more, but not so much to feel as if your head was spinning and unable to keep up. The clues were placed so that when they became evident you would think back over the story and say to yourself, "Oooohhh, yeaahhh...."
I can see how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock character was an influence in the creating of Sidney. His knowledge. His weird behavior. His affinity for smoking. His ability to take the smallest infinitesimal clue and have it mean something. I just wish Sidney wasn't so annoying to read. I don't recall Sherlock being pretentious. He wasn't, was he?
Overall, this book will get 3 out of 5 stars from me. I enjoyed the story and how the mystery came together, but didn't enjoy the characters so much.
*An ecopy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.