The Question of the Missing Head
(An Asperger’s Mystery)
First in Series
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 2245 KB
Samuel Hoenig answers questions for a living. And as a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, his unique personality helps him ferret out almost any answer there is. But his latest question is a rather odd one–who stole a preserved head from the Garden State Cryonics Institute?
Arriving at the scene of the crime accompanied by his new colleague, Ms. Washburn, Samuel finds that what started out as a theft has escalated to murder. With suspects and motives emerging at a rapid rate, one final question remains–can Samuel’s powers of deduction uncover a killer in the face of overwhelming odds?
Before I review this book I want to give you a little information about Asperger’s Syndrome. A member of my extended family was diagnosed with this disorder very early in his life so I am not an expert but know a little bit.
Aspergers according to Wikipedia is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.
The author Jeff Cohen has written 2 books on the topic from a very personal standpoint, as a parent with a child that living with the disorder. In this new mystery series he showcases it in a fun way while at the same time bringing awareness to a disorder we are still learning about every day. The exact cause is still unknown and families with children need help understanding how to help their child.
Because of this the authors have started the MISSING HEAD CHALLENGE: Buy a copy of THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD on its publication day (October 8). Then take a picture of yourself with the book (or your e-reader with the title page showing) and post it on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to tag E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen in your posts.
For each picture seen by me or Jeff Cohen, we’ll donate $3 to ASPEN, the Autism Spectrum Education Network, up to $300. And HSG Agency, which represents us, will match the donation! So you get to help families with at least one member who has a spectrum disorder, and you don’t have to spend an extra dime!
This is an absolutely wonderful story that features a great whodunit too!
Samuel Hoenig has Asperger’s Syndrome and in fact is quite a genius. When you first start reading you may think he is like Adrian Monk of television fame and the books by Hy Conrad and Lee Goldberg, but Mr. Monk has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and that is very different from Asperger’s.
Samuel has opened up a business, Questions Answered, and his new client has a doozy of question – Who took the head of a woman from my cryogenics lab? Another woman, Mrs. Washburn, had come in to ask Samuel a question herself but this newcomer’s question definitely takes precedence. In fact she tags also as Samuel’s assistant in his endeavor to find this “missing head”.
I love Samuel. I love the way he takes care of his mom and she takes care of him. I love how quickly he gets close to Mrs. Washburn and they way she understands his unique personality. These characters a flashed out and real and they jump off the pages.
Then we have the characters at Garden State Cryonics Institute. They are a very interesting group from the CEO that asked the “question” to the Security Commander who thinks everyone is pointing figures his way for the missing cranium.
We also meet Detective Lapides who is really in uncharted waters with a case of this magnitude. Nothing like this have ever taken place for him to investigate. Plus he needs to deal with Laverne and Arthur Masters, the mother and brother of the woman whose head was being preserved at the institute and is now missing.
Most of the story takes place at the cryogenics lab and it is quite a place. It seems to give Samuel more questions than answers at first. The reader gets to follow him through his process of interviewing suspects, identifying clues and following where they lead and basically getting to understand the way Samuel evaluates things to answer the question.
The authors have also shown us a bit of the funny side to Samuel’s life, things that those around him have grown to love about him. So truthful as those who have loved ones with this disorder will recognize. It affects people differently and at different levels but I feel the authors are created a wonderful protagonist and written a great mystery around him while at the same time creating awareness about Asperger’s.
I truly can not wait to read the next story in this series. These authors have hit it out of the park on this one! and I think Samuel has answered his baseball question as well!!
For more information about E. J. Copperman and his books check out his website here.
For more information about Jeff Cohen and his books check out his webpage here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”