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by Mike Befeler

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2509-6
Publisher: Five Star

A gentle tale in which that venerable subgenre, the amnesiac whodunit, is freshened by a geriatric hero whose short-term memory loss is all too believable.

Paul Jacobson wakes up to find himself in a place he doesn’t recognize next to a beautiful woman he’s never seen before. The last thing he remembers is living with his wife Rhonda in Hawaii. Now he appears to be in Venice Beach doing who knows what. For Paul, however, this is just another day in the life. The octogenarian has a memory span that’s just a day long, so that everything’s erased each night when he falls asleep. For most people, this amnesia would be a challenge, but for Paul it’s even more of a disaster because the poor guy keeps getting wrapped up in murder mysteries—at least according to his family. In his latest adventure, Paul is under investigation by bulldog Detective Quintana for deaths involving both the art world and the homeless population. He’s eager to clear his name, if only so that he can leave town to honeymoon with his bride Marion, the new acquaintance from his bed. Though he can’t remember any details of the past few days, Paul remains fairly certain he’s not a killer. With the help of his granddaughter Jennifer, who knows about something called “the internet,” and Marion’s grandson Austin, the old man struggles to get to the truth in a world he has to start over every day.

Befeler’s third installment (Living with Your Kids is Murder, 2009, etc.) won’t ruffle any feathers. It’s the sort of cozy your grandparents would love.