Author: Sheldon Goldfarb
Publisher: UKA Press
ISBN:  978-1-905796-08-3

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Thanks a great deal to Sherlock Holmes, many mystery writers and readers like mystery novels set in merry ol’ England.  It has become a sort of tradition that is followed, not quiet successfully, in Remember, Remember by Sheldon Goldfarb.

Aleister Lister Smith is a fourteen year old boy in an unremarkable boarding school in Shropshire, England.  Mum and Dad are in India and English snobbery insists on English educations, so Aleister has been away from his family since the age of five.  He is best student and perhaps pet, but he is bored with it all and yearns for the adventures found in his novels like the Count of Monte Cristo.

He is unsuspectedly lured away from his school by the headmaster’s brother in law, Arthur Talbot, so desperate for help he is willing to steal a school boy.  Talbot has been stealing from his employer, Saviour Assurance, and now is being blackmailed by persons unknown.  Talbot plants Aleister in his place of work to spy and find out who is blackmailing him.  Of course, things quickly get out of hand, and soon Aleister is trying to solve a murder and not just a case of blackmail. 

This book was shockingly ordinary for many reasons, starting with the hero, Aleister.  Aleister remains nothing more than a rather stiff, wooden character instead of an interesting, fleshed out hero.  Little of his inner thoughts and emotions are told except for fear and timidity.  Instead of hero material, he rather comes off as a person to be saved.  None of the other characters are vivid enough to steal the scene though and the reader plods through the book, not involved in the actions of the characters and disconnected to the whole story itself.

The use of the word mystery in this book is rather a steep one, because by the middle of the book the reader can piece together what the major crime is going to be, who will be accused, who the true criminal is, and how it will all turn out.  I will not reveal the details for those who still want to read this book, but they will find it a quick read since all suspense is lost around the middle of the story.

 The author of the book, Sheldon Goldfarb, is very knowledgeable about Victorian England and the components of the basic mystery novel.  However, the tale he puts together lacks the spark that strong characters and suspense add to any story.  It is rather academic sounding for any age group, especially for the pre-teen and teenage audience this story was intended for.  In general, this book has potential but fails to reach the mark of an interesting read.

Click Here To Purchase Remember, Remember