Even though I read all types of books, give me a good detective mystery any day and I'm happy. No matter if it's a good mystery with a so-so detective or a so-so mystery with a good detective, odds are I'll like it. But I really
like it when both the detective and the mystery are top-notch. Fuerst's small-time detective Eugene "Huge" Smalls and his whodunit mystery delivered me straight to readers' heaven.
If you read the book's synopsis you know that twelve-year-old Eugene (Genie to his mom and sister, much to his chagrin) fancies himself a bit of a private investigator and sets out to solve the mystery of who painted graffiti over the sign at his grandmother's nursing home. So far, it doesn't seem very different from those old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries many of us read as youngsters, but it couldn't be more dissimilar. In the first place,...
Beyond the Book
BookBrowse chats with James Fuerst
: Is Eugene based upon anyone in particular?
: I hope no one is terribly disappointed by this, but Eugene "Huge" Smalls isn't based on anyone in particular nor is he a composite of characteristics drawn from real people (at least no real people I know or have known). He is, however, pretty explicitly cut from the cloth of fictional hard-boiled detectives such as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, among others, and he's also a kid, a somewhat precocious, almost-thirteen-year-old kid who has problems, a foul mouth, has experienced his...