Ukulele of Death

Yes, it’s spelled “ukulele,” not “ukelele.” As those clickbait posts on Facebook would say, almost 90% of adults spell this word wrong!

A second issue is not so easily resolved. Many of us like labels and taxonomies—not as a tool for building fences but as a method of organizing and understanding the world. Bridges, not walls, to switch metaphors. So what genre is E.J. Copperman’s Ukulele of Death? I would say that it’s primarily a cozy mystery, with a dash of science fiction and a quarter-cup of humor. But I wouldn’t call it a science-fiction mystery, which is altogether different.

I’ve reviewed seven of Copperman’s other books elsewhere in this blog—just search for Copperman in the search bar. He writes multiple series under multiple author names, including his real one, Jeffrey Cohen, so it’s a bit hard to keep track of what’s going on. Obviously I enjoy his writing or I wouldn’t keep reading his work.

You will not be surprised that a ukulele is the MacGuffin of this novel. You probably, however, will be surprised by a couple of things: how the protagonists (Fran and Ken Stein) are different from normal people, revealed early in the story; and who the killer is, revealed near the end. The humor level is kept consistently high throughout, and it does require a certain willing level of disbelief, though not excessively so. If you’re the sort of person who likes this kind of novel, then you will like Ukulele of Death. I certainly did.

Categories: Books