Friday, October 23, 2015

Copperman & Cohen, The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband

E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen, The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband.
Midnight Ink, 2015
ISBN 978-0-7387-4350-9
Also available as an ebook

Samuel Hoenig is the owner of a rather unique service business, Questions Answered—you have a question, he will find the answer…for a fee.  One fine day, Sheila McInerney enters his place of business (a not entirely converted pizza parlor) and asks (after some preliminaries), “Who is the man in my bed who calls himself my husband?”  Samuel agrees to try to find the answer.

But first he has to persuade Janet Washburn, who assisted him in The Question of the Missing Head, to re-join Questions Answered.

Naturally, the answer is not easily found, and the quest becomes quite complicated.  And Samuel’s approach is hardly conventional, and his interactions with the people he has to deal with are somewhat difficult—he finds it difficult, sometimes, to understand their behavior, and they almost always have difficulty understanding him, or his approach.  It’s hard to go into any detail without giving things away that readers should discover for themselves.
But, damn, is this a fine book.  I wound up reading it instead of paying attention to the Blue Jays/Royals game (3-3 in a rain delay right now—11:23 PM EST, Friday, October 23).  I am blown away by the quality of the writing, by the grace and sensitivity with which the characters are depicted, and by the intricacy of the plot.  As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series (The Question of the Missing Head), I found this book a major step forward.  The first one was really good.  This is great.