by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Question of the Dead Mistress along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
After encouragement from his mother, Samuel Hoenig put his unique observational skills to use by opening Questions Answered, a Piscataway, New Jersey, business that answered any question asked by clients. In between mathematical and logistical calculations to determine the time it takes to circle the globe, Samuel has solved several murders, rescued his long-lost father, and begun a tentative romance with his assistant. The question being asked by a new client may disrupt this relationship at work, though, as he and Janet Washburn have decidedly opposing viewpoints on the answer. While Samuel believes that “no” should be the only reasonable answer to the question, “Is my husband having an affair with his dead girlfriend?,” Ms. Washburn is open to paranormal possibilities beyond what can be seen. After agreeing that it should be she who leads the case and follows the suspected philanderer Brett Fontaine, Ms. Washburn unfortunately also has the responsibility of calling for help when she discovers him dead.
With Ms. Washburn feeling very protective of her client – and primary suspect – Ginny Fontaine, Questions Answered are soon investigating why Brett was obsessed with the belief that his ex-girlfriend was alive and how that may have played a role in his murder. Interviews with the mourners and not-so-mournful further divides Samuel and Ms. Washburn, with his unique personality ruffling more than a few feathers. Asperger’s may not be a syndrome and instead fall into the category of an autism spectrum disorder, Samuel’s need for routine, difficulty in expressing emotions, and taking words literally still often result in humorous miscommunications and confusion. As they track down the dead girlfriend and Ginny’s own secrets, it is the unproven existence of ghosts, and therefore their logical non-existence, that may prove more threatening to the future of Questions Answered than a manipulative killer.
Having fallen in love with Samuel through his narrations in these past five books, it’s impossible not to get so upset with those who misinterpret his actions or become frustrated with him. While Samuel often misses non-verbal cues and “neurotypical” emotional reactions, the sharp writing allows readers to catch them and sympathize with his confusion. Readers will side with Samuel when he states that he has no connection to the father who left them nearly thirty years ago, and feel anger at those who shame Samuel for his lack of filial love. Samuel is an extraordinarily intelligent and vulnerable character who has grown so much throughout this series, with a once unthinkable romance now blossoming into something more.
The thought of this series, full of wry humor, commentary on the human condition, and impossible-to-solve mysteries, ever ending is heart-breaking, even though it builds to a satisfying and rewarding conclusion. This is a wonderful series, told from such an original viewpoint, that readers will only want to know more of what awaits Samuel in future.
To enter to win a copy of The Question of the Dead Mistress, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “mistress,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 10, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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