Everyone feels nervous on their first day at a new job, but Toby has a few extra reasons to worry.
A murder mystery generally isn’t something I’d expect to find funny, but this one provided me with a lot of opportunities to laugh. Mr. Maus has a unique sense of humor that worked really well with the tone of this story. His uncanny ability to draw out the humorous side in all kinds of unlikely scenarios is one of the biggest reasons why I get so excited when this author releases something new.
There were a few minor pacing issues in the beginning. This tale needed to introduce several important characters before the plot picked up. While all of the characters were important to what happened later on, I would have preferred to dig into the mystery sooner because it was such an interesting one. A slow introduction works well for a novel, but it felt a little out of place for something this length.
Some of my favorite scenes in this book showed how the customers that Toby and his coworker visited were actually living. How people present themselves to the outside world doesn’t always match what is really going on their lives. The gap between that image and the reality of their private lives was a fascinating place to explore.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of Mr. Maus’ books yet, Service before Self is a great place to start. If you’re already a fan of his work, I’d recommend it just as strongly. There’s something here for everyone!
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.