The Question of the Felonious Friend
An Asperger's Mystery by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen
Review: When Tyler Clayton enters the offices of Questions Answered, he poses what seems to be a simple yes-or-no question: Is Richard Handy really my friend? Samuel Hoenig, the owner of the business, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and recognizes similar characteristics of autism spectrum disorder in his potential client, at first finds it difficult to answer the question directly. And when he does decide on an answer, the case should be closed, and yet he continues to ponder the question, in The Case of the Felonious Friend, the third mystery in this series by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen.
It isn't long after Samuel accepts the case when he and his associate, Ms. Washburn, witness the two young men together where Richard Handy works, and they are surprised to see Tyler tip Richard $100. Samuel concludes that Richard is taking advantage of Tyler and thus is not his friend. He tells Tyler this, and the very next day Richard is murdered, Tyler standing over his body. Tyler has reverted to a nonverbal state, unable to say what happened, whether he killed Richard out of anger or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though Samuel told Tyler what he thought was the logical outcome of their investigation into his question, he begins to have doubts as the certainty of his conclusion.
There is much to enjoy in The Case of the Felonious Friend, mostly centered on this unusual series lead and how he processes the information he gathers that ultimately leads him to provide answers to the questions he's asked. But this is far from a perfect mystery. For starters, the storyline seems not terribly well thought out. It's as if the authors came up with a question that would be nearly impossible to answer analytically — is someone a friend — and then attempted to craft a murder mystery around it. And the result is rather clumsy. Still, each of the principal characters are incredibly well-drawn, from the recurring cast to those specifically involved in this case. On balance, the characters are terrific, the storyline much less so, and thus for readers new to the series this entry may not be the best introduction to it.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided an eARC of The Question of the Felonious Friend for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Crooked Lane Books (Hardcover), June 2016
ISBN-13: 9781629535999; ISBN-10: 1629535990
Location(s) referenced in The Question of the Felonious Friend: New Jersey
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The Question of the Felonious Friend by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen — An Asperger's Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2016
List Price: $14.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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