If Sheldon Cooper were a detective, he’d be Samuel Hoenig, whose Asperger’s symptoms and mystery-solving skills combine to offer humor and suspense.
Samuel Hoenig is not your usual detective. While he lives with Asperger’s syndrome, he doesn’t let it hinder his recently opened business, Questions Answered, in Piscataway, New Jersey, where he puts his intellect to work answering clients’ questions. When a young woman hires him to get information on her husband, he’s at peak form trying to solve a mystery in this unusual but highly entertaining story.
This is the second in the Asperger’s Mystery series by E. J. Copperman, pen name of Jeff Cohen. In the first book, the former newspaper photographer and very married Janet Washburn assists him—he wants to employ her again because she understands how he “works” and helps him with his difficulty reading facial expressions. Samuel takes everything literally, so she also “translates” for him. Since he does not drive, she fills in as chauffeur, as well.
The story is told in first person by Samuel as he relates the unfolding events in an orderly manner, detailed with exact times and his particular read on what’s occurring, even when the duo catches several red herrings.
The plot is an interesting one: the deceased had several ex-wives, all of whom Samuel is determined to get information from. The clues take him and Janet to various locales, such as courthouses and the victim’s and suspects’ homes, all while Samuel delivers a running internal monologue, including this when an unexpected person enters Questions Answered: “My first reaction was to ask the man to leave, but that has been my initial reaction to virtually everyone I have ever met.”
The use of a cliffhanger at the conclusion of nearly each chapter is a fun device that is very much enjoyed.
The author creates a sympathetic character who aims a spotlight on what it’s like to have this often misunderstood syndrome. Cohen has also written two nonfiction books on the topic of Asperger’s.
Robin Farrell Edmunds
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.