"One of the best books I have ever read"
Reference librarian Alex Short finds work very boring
as assisting customers is done more on an assembly line
with pneumatic tubes than on a one-to-one basis. He enjoys
lettering and on rare occasions, a customer's call slip is
written in a historical style of graphics and he collects
these rarities with a passion. The young man prefers
to 'girdle' by writing observations in his little notebook
that he carries with him all the time more than he wants to
have sex with his beautiful French wife.
Sixtyish Henry James Jesson III submits a library call
slip requesting Secret Compartments, an eighteenth century
furniture book. The beautiful rarely seen-today writing
style catches Alex's eye and he breaks the rules by
delivering the book to the requester. Henry offers Alex a
job to complete a collection that contains a secret
compartment with a hanging nail inside but the attached
item is missing. Henry begins to follow the trail of THE
GRAND COMPLICATION, a lost eighteenth century watch, and a
search that could prove to cost him his soul.
THE GRAND COMPLICATION is a different type of mystery
one that seems so simple yet is so rich and complex. The
library, Nic's pop-ups, eighteenth century cabinets to
conserve precious items, and Henry's Manhattan townhouse
are filled with layers of detail weaved into the delightful
story line. The investigation is intelligent and adds to
the strange relationship between Henry and Alex. Readers
who delight in well-written, off beat literature will want
to obtain Allen Kurzweil's first novel in a decade because
few writers enter the soul of his characters quite like
this author does.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 16, 2001