cover image Ukulele of Death

Ukulele of Death

E.J. Copperman. Severn, $31.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0970-2

Copperman (And Justice for Mall) launches a light and lively paranormal-tinged series featuring New York City–based sister-and-brother detective team Fran and Ken Stein. The tall, strapping siblings are more than just average gumshoes: they’re “genetically perfect superbeings” created by a pair of scientists who disappeared decades ago, leaving their “children” in the care of their aunt Margie, a former journalist. Are they human? Yes, except for the fact that they have to plug into a wall socket every now and then to renew their energy. The action picks up when their investigative agency, which specializes in finding birth parents for adoptees, acquires a new client, who wants them to find her bio-dad. Her only clue to his identity is that he is a collector of stringed instruments, and once owned a rare Gibson ukulele that is coming up for auction in London. In the midst of their investigation, both Ken and Fran are abducted by a mad scientist, and their identities—a closely guarded secret for their entire lives—threaten to come to light. Copperman has loads of fun with his blatantly silly conceit, and Fran’s narration zips along at a fast and furious pace. Fans of Copperman’s Jersey Girl Mysteries will enjoy themselves. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (May)

Correction: The author's last name was misspelled in an earlier version of this review.