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Harry Lipkin, Private Eye: A Novel by Barry…

Harry Lipkin, Private Eye: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Barry Fantoni

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7517238,973 (3.13)17
Title:Harry Lipkin, Private Eye: A Novel
Authors:Barry Fantoni
Info:Doubleday (2012), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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Harry Lipkin, Private Eye by Barry Fantoni



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Harry Lipkin in an 87-year-old private detective living in Miami, who is hired by a widow to solve the thefts of some of her possessions. An interesting twist to the usual detective fiction, I thought.

However... the "mystery" was non-existent: if you were paying attention, the solution was evident in the first few pages; and, despite Harry following some of the characters around Miami and discovering their secrets, he never did figure it out -- the answer was told to him. In addition, the breezy, flip style and commentary were sometimes clever and amusing, but far too much of the "humor" was predicated on ethnic, racial, religious or age-related stereotypes. I thought it often verged on the offensive, and didn't find it funny.

It's a short book, and only took a few hours to read, but in the end I felt that I had wasted my time. ( )
  ivyd | Sep 29, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Book Review & Giveaway: When I read the publisher’s description for Harry Lipkin Private Eye by Barry Fantoni, I started chuckling at the mental image I got. I immediately knew I wanted to read it. Like detective stories and/or mysteries? Well, this one is going to be a bit different from most of the ones you’ve read in the past. As a popular poster says, “Growing old is not for sissies.” If any book can help you appreciate that, it’s this one. I was delighted when I won Harry Lipkin Private Eye in a giveaway. Now I’m paying it forward and one lucky reader will win an advance readers copy (ARC) of their very own! Read the rest of my review & enter to win our giveaway at http://popcornreads.com/?p=4367. ( )
  PopcornReads | Aug 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Remember that summer when there were two killer asteroid films out at the same time? Or the Broadway season with two musicals based on the epic poem The Wild Party? Well, as improbably as it seems, this is the second comic mystery featuring an 87-year-old, Jewish detective I've read this month. Yes, they were the exact same age! I tell you, it's hard to predict what's going to be in the cultural zeitgeist these days.

Unfortunately, author Barry Fantoni is the loser in this scenario, because the prior novel, Don't Ever Get Old, the debut of Daniel Friedman, was such a consummate charmer and slam-dunk in every way, it highlighted to me even more just how sub-par this book was. I'd probably rate it at 2.5 stars, but a truly uninspired ending leads to a rare instance of me rounding my stars down. I'm so uninterested here, that I don't even feel like summarizing much.

In short, an uber-wealthy Miami matron has come to Harry because she believes one of her staff has stolen a trinket from her, a pill box. This is what passes for humor:

"Since my pillbox was stolen, Mr. Lipkin, I haven't had a wink of sleep."
"You think maybe the thief is planning on stealing something else?"
"My sleeping pills are in the box."

That's also a good example of the caliber of the dialogue. "Uninspired" is the kindest word that comes to mind. What follows is a fairly unexciting and by the book investigation of the staff, leading the novel's notably unsatisfying dénouement. In addition to the complaints above, was the fairly non-existent character development. Harry, in addition to being not especially likable, doesn't seem in any way elderly. One example is his apparently flawless memory, which he never doubts for even a moment.

At 224 pages, Harry Lipkin, Private Eye is a novella that can be read in no time flat. The fact that I found something this short as pointless as I did speaks volumes. I could continue to criticize this book, but my final word would be better spent directing readers who like the premise to read Daniel Friedman's Don't Ever Get Old, which I can't recommend highly enough. ( )
1 vote suetu | Jul 19, 2012 |
Great book and great writing style. I'm definitely interested in reading more Harry Lipkin, Private Eye stories in the future. Recommended to anyone who likes a little humor thrown in with their detective stories. ( )
  bjkelley | Jul 5, 2012 |
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Harry Lipkin. Eighty-seven. Eighty-eight next birthday. You think that's old?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385536100, Hardcover)

Meet Harry Lipkin, the world's oldest private detective: part Sam Spade, part Woody Allen, all mensch.

Harry Lipkin is a tough-talking, soft-chewing, rough-around-the-edges, slow-around-the-corners private investigator who carries a .38 along with a spare set of dentures. Harry specializes in the sort of cases that cops can't be bothered with, but knows where to find good chopped liver for a fair price. He might not be the best P.I. in Miami, but at 87, he's certainly the oldest.

His latest client, Mrs. Norma Weinberger, has a problem. Someone in her home is stealing sentimental trinkets and the occasional priceless jewel from her; someone she employs, trusts, cares for, and treats like family. With the stakes so low and blood pressure that's a little too high, Harry Lipkin must figure out whodunit before the thief strikes again.
Sure to appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith, Harry Lipkin, Private Eye is sharp, funny and irresistible.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:17 -0400)

Harry Lipkin, the world's oldest private investigator, takes on the case of Norma Weinberger, a wealthy woman whose belongings are being pilfered by one of her staff, people she employs, trusts, cares for, and treats like family.

(summary from another edition)

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