In the award winning novelette “Julius Katz” the latest client for Boston’s most famous and eccentric detective Julius Katz is the 53 year old Norman Brewer. Accompanied by her slightly younger sister, Helen Arden, she wishes to discuss a family matter. A family matter she refused to tell Archie, Julius’ artificial intelligence sidekick, about over the phone thus preventing any real planning by Julius prior to their meeting.
The issue involves their 83 year old mother, Emma, who is suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. While provisions were made for various things by their father six years ago before he died from cancer, their brother Lawrence has taken over all of the legal aspects of their mother’s situation. Julius does not like family disputes and wants no part of this situation. However, like many a detective before him, he does need the money and Norma Brewer is willing to pay. He takes the case with some stipulations including meeting their mother so that he and Archie can assess her condition. While very reluctant at first, soon Julius is hard at work in a case that quickly takes a dark and sinister turn.
Also included in this book is the award winning story “Archie’s Been Framed.” As this one opens Julius has plenty of cash in the bank. That means he is not going to be inclined to take a new case for several months. What Archie sees as being lazy, Julius sees as enjoying the finer things of life. Work is not the priority for Julius, but for Archie work helps him refine his neural network.
With his current love interest Lily Rosten out of town visiting her parents in upstate New York. Julius is in a bit of a funk. A funk that a case would help lift. There is no sign of that until Archie discovers that Denise Penny, a 27 year old woman Archie has been in contact with, has been murdered. Unfortunately, Archie quickly becomes a suspect in her murder. Though he can easily be cleared if the true nature of his existence were revealed, it can’t be disclosed. Julius does not have a choice – he has to investigate and clear Archie.
Both award winning stories are good ones and feature interesting characters and cases. Humor, subtle and overt, is occasionally present in sharp contrast to the darker side of human nature. The dark side of human nature keeps many a detective and his sidekick employed and such is the case here in the very enjoyable Julius Katz Mysteries by Dave Zeltserman.
Julius Katz Mysteries
Top Suspense Group
A PDF by the author was supplied quite some time ago for my use in an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014