Harry Lipkin Private Eye by Barry Fantoni

July 10, 2012
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Harry Lipkin Private Eye
Barry Fantoni

DoubleDay
7-10-12
Hardcover/224 pages
ISBN: 978-0385536103
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". . . never fails to surprise and delight . . ."

Harry has it all: Reflux, insomnia, aching muscles and joints, and he still keep going.

Harry Lipkin is eighty-seven years old and will soon be eighty-eight. He does not need to work and he does not have a wife or children, but he enjoys being a private eye. He gets the small cases, the ones the police do not get. This time around, Harry is going to find out which one of Mrs. Weinberger’s household staff keeps taking her things.

Harry is on the case for $50 a day. There is no charge for the decapitated thug on his front lawn. Harry throws that in for free.

It isn’t often I find a book that takes me in from the first page, but Barry Fantoni did just that with Harry Lipkin: Private Eye. The idea that an eighty-seven year old man would even want to keep working isn’t so odd or so unbelievable, but that Harry would be such a source of fun and fund of knowledge was unexpected. Harry is unexpected and I really like the old mensch.

From what seems like a minor domestic drama—find the thief among the staff—turns into so much more. Harry is a gumshoe philosopher and a reader of humanity that never fails to surprise and delight, and even make a little sad. Fantoni doesn’t write complex sentences or plots and he doesn’t indulge in hours of navel gazing, but he does know how to write a good story. Harry Lipkin: Private Eye is a good story well written with a character you want to go to the corner deli with and share an egg cream or a piece of strawberry cheesecake and lemon tea. You’ll learn something, but, most of all, you will enjoy yourself immensely.

Reviewer: J.M. Cornwell

 

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