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A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION
by Jeffrey Cohen
Berkley, April 2009
290 pages
$7.99
ISBN: 0425228150


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Aimed primarily at the people who will recognize all the classic movie homages in the plot, A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION is an amusing diversion. Elliot Freed has a struggling theater which shows nothing but classic comedies (a choice which fits his tastes but explains why the theater is struggling). He also has an unending love for his ex-wife. Right when he begins to hope that his love life might parallel a screwball romance Sharon is divorcing her current husband and Elliot has high hopes of winning her back grim reality intrudes.

Sharon, a doctor, is implicated in the death of a patient. Having been misdiagnosed with an inoperable tumor, the patient went home and committed suicide but not before changing his will to donate a large sum of money to his doctor. Now his furious family is accusing her of outright murder. The only reason Sharon hasn't been arrested is because she has disappeared.

At first Elliot thinks she has gone off to collect her thoughts and grieve, but that's before someone trashes both his and her current houses. Frantic with worry, Elliot launches off to investigate his third crime.

Although Elliot has a fairly high-stress life his beloved ex-wife is missing, his failing theater has equally failing plumbing, his best employee's family is trying to talk her into quitting her job and his family is, as cozy convention demands, quirky at best this is not a high-stress book. Despite the topic, it is as light-hearted as possible, with Elliot ever ready to quote or imitate his beloved comedy characters. The plot is also as light as possible, large parts of it hinging on Elliot's proud resistance to all modern technology (with the exception of DVDs). People looking for a realistic, complex puzzle should pass. People looking for an amusing and undemanding read indoors during an April shower or outdoors on the beach might want to consider giving this Double Feature mystery a try.

Reviewed by Linnea Dodson, May 2009

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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