JULIUS KATZ AND ARCHIE is the first of what I hope will be many novels about this crime-solving duo from Boston. For those of you unfamiliar with the characters, Julius Katz is a brilliant, slightly eccentric, luxury-loving private detective, and Archie is his assistant, a tiny computer chip that has an Artificial Intelligence far ahead of any other technology currently available. How Julius got his hands on Archie remains a mystery, one that I’m sure author Dave Zeltserman will get around to exploring one of these days.
In the meantime, this case opens with a famous mystery writer whose career is somewhat on the skids hiring Julius to assist him in what the author insists is a publicity stunt. He claims that half a dozen people have good reason to murder him, and he wants Julius to find out which of them really intends to. Publicity stunt or not, the author winds up dead (which should come as no surprise to anyone, therefore I’m not marking this post with a spoiler alert), and it’s up to Julius and Archie, despite obvious reluctance on Julius’s part, to find out who killed him.
This is a well-plotted novel, but the real appeal of this book is the relationship between the two title characters and the funny, engaging voice in which Archie narrates the story. Also, in these days when mystery fiction has become increasingly divided into numerous sub-genres, it’s nice to read a traditional mystery the likes of which once dominated the field. JULIUS KATZ AND ARCHIE is available as an inexpensive e-book, and it gets a very high recommendation from me.