Har­ry Lip­kin, Pri­vate Eye

Bar­ry Fantoni
  • Review
By – October 22, 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.

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams is a Cuban-born, Brook­lyn-raised, Long Island-resid­ing mom. She is Hadas­sah Nas­sau’s One Region One Book chair­la­dy, a free­lance essay­ist, and a cer­ti­fied yoga instruc­tor who has loved review­ing books for the JBC for the past ten years.

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