John Hathaway just wanted a quiet weekend alone with his fiancée. Instead, he receives a cryptic postcard from a man he’s never met, gets wrapped up in an elaborate art heist and finds himself framed for murder. And what’s worse, his future in-laws are in town!
The palette is certainly thickening here, and there might be only one person who can rally the muses in time to string it all together: the Master himself, Enescu Fleet, retired private eye.
Sherban Young, splits his time between Maryland and Maine, and has often been called the next P. G. Wodehouse, or at the very least the current Sherban Young. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of poker, baseball, literature, classical music and film (although, it should be noted that this encyclopedia is a single volume, pop-up book edition). He enjoys single malt, his Mini Cooper S, Macs and, at times, listing things he enjoys.
Sherban claims to be pretty old school, when it comes to mystery writing, with inspiration from the pens of P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie and Rex Stout, urging him on to become an author.
The 37-year-old Ellicott City resident became interested in solving puzzles and mysteries through CD-ROM interactive adventure games, whilst studying at Loyola University, (where he majored in English literature), with his friend developing the graphics and programming and Sherban writing the stories and puzzles.
Whilst currently his own boss, in partnership with his father in a Columbia financial planning firm, Sherban has disciplined himself to devote time each morning to writing his mystery capers, although he does confess that not many first ‘writes’ make it into the finished book.
I spend a lot of time rewriting, it’s essential. I think this is not only true at the end of a project but also at the beginning. If you go into a project fully aware that you’re going to rewrite it, you can approach it with a much more relaxed attitude. Then the ideas flow.
WORDS FROM THE BOOK
Everyone is working out their own intrigues. I blame the internet.
No. But Scotland always makes me think of Ireland. And Ireland makes me think of green, and green of greenhouses, and greenhouses of arboretums and of course arboretums of conservatories, and from there my mind went to the conservatory in this house. So, you see, his remark told me everything I needed to know.
As a principle, I’ve always questioned the sanity of characters in cop shows and the like who, scooching down, dab, sniff and taste the substances they find on the ground. This goes on all the time and I am constantly amazed that their last words aren’t “yup, poison”, as they keel over in agonies.
You’re always looking to the future, when everything will magically improve and all your problems will be solved. They never are. You need to live in the present. Look at art. It freezes a moment in time. When are you going to start enjoying a moment that way?
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK
“Blue sail fleet returns!” … Another case for the ‘Modern Mental Gunslinger!’
‘Fleeting Glance’ is the second in a trio of mystery capers, with each novel finding our erstwhile sleuth, Enescu Fleet, solving dastardly deeds and murders in each of the different artistic disciplines; … this time becoming embroiled in the depths of a daring and elaborate art heist.
Once again, the dry wit, acerbic humour and razor sharp mind of author Sherban Young, are unleashed onto the unsuspecting reader in copious quantities, whilst seasoned followers of his work are treated to yet another exhilarating farce of gigantic proportions and daring.
Sherban sets a frenetic pace for his stories which is totally off the wall, with the ‘who did what to who, where, when and why’ penned in a seemingly haphazard way, yet which, in reality, is a complex and skilled technique of writing which undoubtedly rivals that of its more serious counterparts.
You really do need to have your wits about you, even as this profusion of complex, unconventional and truly unique characters go about their everyday lives …. everyone is shrouded in secrets, there are definitely no stereotypes here! Everyone is just a little larger than life, from their rather bohemian appearance and dress mode, to the foibles and eccentricities of their personality and character.
With Sherban taking the brave step of introducing some British characters into this rollercoaster ride of thrust and parry verbal combat, even the odd faux pas, perhaps more noticeable to me as a ‘Brit’, only serves to add to the quirkiness and eccentricity of the exchanges.
Blink and you miss the clues, which are liberally scattered throughout the story; invisible to the naked and untrained eye, yet perfectly poised to become yet another unique lesson in detective work, from our three crime busting heroes.
The suspense is constant, the plot ever changing and the logic totally unfathomable, as Hathaway, Hutton and Fleet appear to stumble their way through the mishaps, mayhem and maze of clues and crimes, yet triumphing through it all, to arrive almost untroubled and unscathed at their prophetic conclusion, as if by some great and pre-planned design.
The rather avant garde style of writing, and excellent titling for the books, is more than complimented by the fantastic cover art of Sherban’s chosen illustrator Katerina Vamvasaki, who has perfected her art of interpreting the ‘feel’ of the title and characters and translating them into something stimulatingly visual and eye-catching.
In this fun storytelling style, which will undoubtedly challenge and ring the changes to your regular reading routine, just how easily are the brain and eyes deceived? See if you can work out this conundrum before our experts reveal all!
As this book was a review request, a complimentary Kindle edition of ‘Fleeting Glance’ was sent to me by its author, Sherban Young.
This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.