Harry Lipkin, Private Eye

Doubleday  2012


This quirky detective story features the oldest private investigator in the books, Harry Lipkin, ex-cop, age 87. Living in Warmheart, Florida, near Miami, Harry is a real antique. He drives a forty year old Chevy Impala, wears a vintage suit and complains about his dentures. Harry’s wit is based on borscht belt humor. He’s a loner, with no family or friends other than the next door neighbors, a typical old Jewish couple whose lives he watches disdainfully. Harry talks to himself and dialogue consists of short, choppy sentences, parodying bad old fashioned detective fiction. Harry is called upon by Mrs. Norma Weinberger, a strictly kosher, wealthy, attractive widow who claims valuable and sentimental items are being stolen from her home. Her cartoonish protected world includes a full roster of staff from diverse backgrounds. She asks Lipkin to conduct a full investigation of her trusted chauffeur, maid, butler, gardener, and cook. Harry works slowly and steadily as only an elderly kvetchy Jewish sleuth can. He laughs at himself, makes many politically incorrect comments and seems to be ok with his lot in life. An unexpected ending rounds off this quick read.

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