Tuesday, October 3, 2017

David Handler's The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes: A Book Review

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When TLC Book Tours sent me The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes by David Handler, I must admit that I was drawn in by the title. Despite the obvious Beatles reference and humming Lucy in the Sky while I started reading it, I went in cold. I didn’t know that this was the ninth book of a series that had been on hiatus for twenty odd years, nor did I need to honestly. While I must admit that I might have been privy to a few more of the book’s jokes had I past experiences with the Stewart Hoag series, the book was fine without them. In fact the book was a literary mystery in which the pages turned, the plot flowed, and the prose general surprised.

To start off, Handler lays the foundation of the mystery: an aloof writer might be coming in from the cold, the writer is planning a book, and he wants the narrator Stewart Hoag involved in the project. Digging deeper, Richard Aintree, our missing literary genius, has a pair of daughters with their own literary renown and celebrity problems. Thus Hoagy, our celebrity detective with a nose for mystery finds himself in Los Angles first exploring the mystery of the Aintrees before ending up in the throes of murder, drugs, and a series of unexplained events. All in all, the read is fast, pleasurable, and a good time. A welcome respite from many of the texts I’ve read as of late—both the pace and precision of language advances the plot and crafts a unique experience in the bygone era of the 1990’s (and an experience that has me scouring used bookstores for the first eight books).

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