An Old Man’s Game

Prospect Park. (Amos Parisman, Bk. 1). Dec. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9781945551642. pap. $16. M
DEBUT Amos Parisman is a retired PI in L.A. Despite this fact, Howie Rothbart, president of Temple Shir Emmet, asks Amos to investigate the recent death of their charismatic rabbi. Although Ezra Diamant died at Canter’s Deli over lunch, the board of the synagogue is suspicious. The rabbi might have smoked and been overweight, but he was forceful, made headlines, and stirred up trouble. Parisman’s friend Lt. Bill Malloy insists it was a natural death, and the man’s family concurs, but Amos was hired for a job. He’s persistent. When two people are murdered who have connections to the rabbi, and Amos finds a bullet on his car, he brings in protection, a 30-year-old Mexican man who credits Amos for saving him from prison. While the mystery is intriguing, the thoughtful, retired Jewish PI is the draw for this debut mystery. As he and his wife age, he deals with her onset of dementia with love and patience, that patience being a part of his nature as an inquisitive PI.
VERDICT The character of the unassuming retired PI will appeal to fans of Naomi Hirahara’s “Mas Arai” mysteries, another series with an elderly investigator. The quiet story puts an interesting spin on Jewish history.

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