Good King Sauerkraut

Barbara Paul, Author Scribner Book Company $16.95 (214p) ISBN 978-0-684-19089-1
Paul's new novel may not receive the unstinted praise previously accorded her sophisticated, original mysteries. A want of symmetry in plot weakens this saga of King Sarcowicz--called ``Sauerkraut,'' because he is very tall and clumsy, yet envied for his skill at designing robots. It is King's lack of coordination that causes the accidental death of two colleagues while they are conferring in a Manhattan hotel. Panicked, King leaves the scene and wanders the city until he's beaten by muggers and lands in hospital. (Paul's descriptions of New York are wonderful--except when she misplaces the entrance to Carnegie Hall.) The maladroit killer then returns to the hotel, where detectives investigating what they believe is murder focus suspicion on King, regardless of his alleged alibi. Erratic henceforth, the narrative finishes abruptly. The finale is less shocking than the author apparently intended--and is illogical to boot. Nevertheless, Paul deserves credit for attempting this off-beat saga of put-upon King Sauerkraut. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-517-09610-9
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