Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review: A Night at the Operation

This is the third Double Feature mystery and thanks to its title it had some high expectations. Yes, there’s the cliché of not judging a book by its cover but I’m stubborn. The first in the series was Some Like It Hot-Buttered, which was a play on words of Some Like It Hot which is a very funny movies. The second was It Happened One Knife/It Happened One Night. Again, very funny movie. Yet this was one A Night at the Operation/A Night at the Opera, which is Marx Brothers territory. I adore the Marx Brothers. I even like Zeppo, which not many can say.

Although there are quite a large number of Marx Brothers references here, the book is ultimately more about the Operation than the Opera. This is an odd thing to me because it seems there would be a lot of opportunities for mysteries for a man who runs a comedy movie theatre. Yet this mystery really has nothing to do with movies. Elliot Freed’s ex-wife is missing and it may or may not be connected to a medical scandal. So the whole book I’m waiting for this medical patient to be a screenwriter or a Marx Brothers historian or something to tie back to everything, but it never did. Has Cohen already grown tired of the series? I really hope not because Elliot Freed is a fun character and his theatre Comedy Tonight is a nice gathering place. (I wish I had a theatre near me that only shows classic and new comedies.) So Cohen knows how to plot and knows how to make likable characters and that is evident here, but I like my movies dangit!

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