by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Question of the Felonious Friend. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Although Asperger’s Syndrome may no longer be recognized in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V, being on the spectrum of autism is a trait that has helped to make Samuel Hoenig an effective investigator. In the year since establishing his Questions Answered inquiry business, he and his employee Janet Washburn have successfully provided both mundane and unusual solutions. Now he’s being faced with a question that tests all of Samuel’s abilities to understand emotions, as well as being difficult to define in and of itself. How do you know if someone is your friend?
More specifically, Tyler Clayton is asking Questions Answered to tell him if Richard Handy is indeed Tyler’s friend. It’s a situation Tyler is unequipped to handle, as he is also on the autism spectrum and unable to effectively translate body language or social interactions. Tyler daily visits the Quik N EZ convenience store where Richard is an assistant manager, but Richard has only visited Tyler’s home to play video games once. Although Samuel is reluctant to provide him with an answer, when Samuel finally does deliver the one Richard himself provides, Tyler doesn’t take it well. But no one was expecting that it would lead to Richard’s death.
Tyler’s siblings, as well as Ms. Washburn and Samuel’s own mother, heap on enough guilt and pressure to force him into answering the question of Tyler’s innocence. Richard was no angel, and to learn more about Tyler Questions Answered delves into his therapy group, as well as his online role-playing Sword and Sorcerers players.
The previous two installments of this Asperger’s Mystery series explored how Asperger’s effects Samuel and enhances his investigations, but here we have the fascinating scenario of seeing him interact with others also on the spectrum. Although Janet Washburn and Samuel’s mother view Samuel’s unsympathetic treatment of Tyler as rude and cruel, Samuel asserts that he doesn’t take emotion into his approach at all. Perhaps, having learned to mimic “neurotypical” behavior, it is not easy for Samuel to see the reactions towards people who have not.
The mystery plot itself takes unexpected turns, and the wry commentary on society always shines through. Samuel and Janet Washburn’s friendship continues to evolve, and he is completely confused on how to react to the use of her estranged husband as a source of gamer information. The author of numerous novels that include the Haunted Guesthouse, Comedy Tonight, and Aaron Tucker mystery series, Jeff Cohen/E.J. Copperman share not just one brain, but an extremely sharp and clever sense of humor. Despite Samuel’s overly analytical brain and declared difficulty with emotions, this series combines laughs with heartfelt compassion. The novels continue to be as illuminating as they are entertaining.
To enter to win a signed copy of The Question of the Felonious Friend, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “question,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 8, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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