The Question of the Felonious Friend
I enjoyed greatly the first Asperger’s Mystery by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen, The Question of the Missing Head, and its detectives, Samuel Hoenig and Ms. Washburn. The second, The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband, wasn’t as successful, in my opinion, so I wondered what I’d find in the third, The Question of the Felonious Friend, out next week.
It’s as fun as the first. Samuel has Asperger’s Syndrome, which makes his narration particularly interesting, his observations alternately pointed and unintentionally funny, and his deductive skills impressive, because he’s not always aware of the assumptions others hold. Samuel runs a business called “Questions Answered”, where he does what it says, helped by the understanding Ms. Washburn.
His client, this time out, is someone else who’s also on the autism spectrum, with more communication problems than Samuel has. Tyler wants to know if the clerk at the convenience mart he visits daily is really his friend. It’s a tricky question, particularly when someone with atypical responses is involved, and once Samuel finds out there is also money changing hands, a complicated one. Yet it’s one we can all, “typical” or not, can relate to.
As the investigation continues, events spiral to include a murder, a wrongful arrest, a group that plays a D&D-like game, various debates over how a friend should truly behave (particularly when observing potentially cheating relationship behavior), and a cursed gaming die. My favorite trait of Samuel’s is how he judges people by their answer to the question, “What is your favorite song by the Beatles?” That’s one of his special interests, along with the New York Yankees and criminal justice.
The Asperger’s Mystery series is back on track, with another enjoyable entry that will not only entertain for several hours but provide the reader with new insight into those on the autism spectrum. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)