Monday, June 30, 2008


A Farewell to Legs

By Jeffrey Cohen

Bancroft Press


ISBN: 1890862-29-0

This author needs to dial it down a little. I mean, do we need a joke, a funny line, a pun or a toe-stubber on every page, nay, in every paragraph? Somewhere there is someone involved in our popular culture who is smiling because Cohen’s avatar, one Aaron Tucker, missed cracking wise about him or her, or his project.

Having said that, let me address the substance of the book, that is, the mystery. While attending their twenty-fifth high school reunion, Mr. Tucker and Mr. Mahoney, life-long buddies, discover that their youthful lust object appears to have aged even better than they. In the midst of horny if innocent festivities, the object of their desires, one Stephanie, learns via cell phone (naturally) that her husband is dead. Murdered.

Well, of course, Tucker, a free-lance writer, gets involved. Turns out he’s acquainted with the dead guy and what’s more the dead guy’s widow wants Tucker to investigate, in order, presumably, to cover her assets and avoid incarceration. Then there’s the matter of Mr. Gibson’s politics. Now you, dear reader, may be a conservative, a Democrat, a Progressive an Independent or a liberal. It doesn’t really matter, because your political ox gets gored at some point during this narrative.

Also, Mr. Tucker, being a stay-at-home with a dandy wife who earns more than he does, is involved with their children, the children’s school, and even with some of his wife’s clients, Abby being a defense attorney. Mr. Tucker does some free-lance investigating for the school’s principal, dodges rocks lobbed at him, and deals with many of the usual family matters that occupy a lot of us from time to time.

Therein lies the immense appeal of this book, part of a series. Aaron Tucker embodies elements we all recognize in our neighbors, if not ourselves. But Tucker manages to carry it all off without losing his cool. I like Aaron Tucker a lot. I like the writing, the pace and the dialogue, and I’m pleased to note that this book has been carefully copyedited which reduced grammatical missteps to a bare minimum. Actually I only noticed a single error. Cohen isn’t trying to write great literature. He’s having fun with the genre and doing it so readers can have an enjoyable time with their reading. What’s more, the major mystery is a clever one, well-told. Find Aaron Tucker’s stories. You’ll be glad you did.

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