- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Nine Muses Books (July 11, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0991278402
- ISBN-13: 978-0991278404
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,884,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Minuscule Monk: A Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective Mystery Paperback – July 11, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Richard Behrens is considered one of the foremost martial arts masters in the world. He is world renowned for his deep and unique understanding of the nature of life, the mind, and the esoteric. He has counseled people around the world ranging from Wall Street moguls to Islamic generals, from hand-to-hand combat instructors of the Israeli Army to recording artists and movie stars.
Top customer reviews
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As for me, I'd have to address such a ridiculously rhetorical query with a simple, and hopefully mostly modest request for our young heroine Lizzie to get back to the business of solving a lot more actual "mini-mysteries." For I must confess that my main, though more or less paltry grievance about The Minuscule Monk, is that its perhaps a bit too long. The narrative also skips around somewhat, delving into back stories and character development here and there. Which is all extremely interesting and very, very well written, of course, but it also sometimes feels like it distances the reader from the primary puzzle just a bit too much.
Yet overall, the book is still a remarkably entertaining and highly memorable read just the same. So no major complaints here, actually. Make no mistake, this is yet another first rate home run hit by an obvious (though admittedly, an as yet unsung) master storyteller. It's just that I for one, have up to this point, just absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed the brevity and refreshingly succinct and perfectly timed nature of the vast majority of author Behrens' shorter Lizzie Borden tales.
Why? Well, at the risk of casting myself in the unenviably dubious role of a perhaps ungrateful and shamelessly picky reader, I honestly think that the author's work has thus far lent itself much more handily to the short story format modeled in his first smattering of Lizzie Borden adventures. And hey, it worked for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the vast majority of his relatively brief Sherlock Holmes tales more often than not, I dare say.
So all in all, even though I would highly recommend the book to absolutely anyone with discriminating tastes for exceptionally well crafted fiction, I would also have to add the proviso that since I greatly enjoyed the mini-mysteries that proceeded this full length novel, I would advise reading one or all of the previous Girl Detective short stories in the series before trying to sink ones teeth into a man-sized meal the likes of The Minuscule Monk. Because even though the book itself may be about a really small guy, the mystery itself isn't particularly diminutive by any means.
So as (almost) perfectly satisfying a dish as The Miniscule Monk may in fact be, I'm afraid that I much prefer my Lizzie Borden morsels to be hacked up (if you'll pardon the perhaps all too tasteless pun) into much more easily digestible portions. That's not to say that I won't eagerly devour future full length volumes in the series, mind you. With writing as impeccable as what author Behrens so routinely seems to so effortlessly serve up, we're bound to eventually find a fully satisfying full course Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective feast on the bountiful banquet table of this ever creative and industrious writer. Of that, I am more than sure.
The fact that our heroine is Lizzie Borden is just the beginning of the clever and entertaining path laid out by the author of this series. But this fictional Lizzie Borden doesn't resemble the infamous woman said to have given each of her parents a sufficient number of "whacks" to kill them. Lizzie Borden, girl detective, is intelligent and truth-seeking above all else -- "full of light and safety," to use the words of one of the most insightful characters in the book. She's the type of young woman who listens to dining companions argue about Eternity and Infinity and wishes that that type of conversation took place in her own house.
This story made me curious about the real story of Lizzie Borden, who, contrary to the implications of the song, was not charged with the murder of her parents although there was evidence enough to bring her to trail. I hope that the author of this series will eventually work his way up to those crimes. although just reading this first of his books about Lizzie makes me hope that our fictional heroine would solve those crimes and not commit them.
The story in The Minuscule Monk concerns a series of events that eventually lead to Lizzie's investigation into a murder, possibly more than one. The book is filled with well-drawn characters and scenes that remind me of two other books that I have enjoyed over the years -- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark (set in London in the early 1800s) and Arthur & George by Julian Barnes that features a fictionalized Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Lizzie Borden mysteries are set in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1875, and the author's great talent for the written word leaps off of every page and brings the reader into the fascinating world of the most excellent girl detective in the area, maybe even the world. I highly recommend this book.
Richard has built a very believable world that The Girl Detective inhabits and sleuths in. His writing is very rich, a literary treat not just for fans of mystery but fans of historical fiction. The weaving of fact with fiction is quite seamless and leads the reader down a most merry path. He has captured the tone of the times almost too well, occasionally the writing borders on corpulent, descriptions so heavy that only a wordsmith can truly appreciate.
I found only two typographical errors in the book, a remarkable achievement that attests to very competent editing and rigorous proofreading.
I give this Very Satisfying story 4.6 of 5 Stars.