A Gus LeGarde Mystery by Aaron Paul Lazar
A Book Review written by
Frank Weaver, Jr. - columnist, author
In the opening monologue of Neil Simon's, "The Good Doctor," the lead character turns to the audience and says, "So I ask myself the question, 'What force is it that compels me to write so incessantly, day after day, page after page, story after story?' And the answer is quite simple. I have no choice. I am a writer."
Of course, not every author has the special talent that's needed to be a writer. Those few who do, write. They hone their skills seeking to hold the readers' interest, regardless of what they pen. And it's that special mark that makes them a writer. Like talented musicians or award winning actors, these wordsmiths fine-tune their dexterity in order to move the reader from one place and time to another. And all the while they enable the reader to enjoy a memorable trip traveling down that highway of reading called adventure.
Mark Twain was a writer. So was Ernest Hemingway. In today's world, John Grisham, James Reston, Jr. and Danny Lee Ingram are just a few among others. As a matter of fact, Ingram's book of short stories, called, "Pennies On The Tracks" is an excellent example of good writing.
But not every author is a writer. Fortunately, for readers of good fiction, Aaron Paul Lazar is one, first, and then he's an author. That much is evident. And because Lazar is a writer, first, just like the lead character in the Neil Simon play, he has no choice but to write. His "Seedlings" columns alone are proof.
However, if there is ever any doubt, all one needs to do is pick up a copy of his first book, Double Forté, the opening of his LeGarde mystery series. His numerous tales about retired university music professor, Gus LeGarde, prove the above point. For author Lazar, he hones his writing craft with a love and dedication one only finds with award winning writers.
Set in New York State’s Genesee Valley, LeGarde is the main character who solves one mystery after another in the most of unique ways. With the skillful use of words serving as his paintbrush, author Aaron Paul Lazar creates breathtaking scenery as he guides the reader through the adventure surrounding the Genesee Valley.
In telling his story, Lazar allows us to see and hear the wildlife, to smell the flowers, taste and enjoy the home cooking, to soak scene after scene into our indelible memories, to hear the glorious songs of birds and to feel the fiery passion of humanity as we join him in this adventurous journey. It's a skill found mostly with good writers but sadly missing with so many upcoming authors.
Lazar is fond of saying, "Take pleasure in the little things." And he should be. After all, he practices precisely what he preaches. It shows in his writings, whether they be "Seedlings" or his series of LeGarde mysteries. And in doing so, he teaches us all how to enjoy that pleasure.
Author Aaron Paul Lazar has completed eight LeGarde series mysteries. Besides Double Forté , among others are, Upstaged, Tremolo, Mazurka, Firesong: an unholy grave, Virtuoso, Portamento and Counterpoint. In all nine books have been or are presently in the process of completion. The writing of another book series featuring Sam and Rachel Moore has already commenced, with two books completed. According to the author, there are still more books planned for each series. He hopes "to deliver a couple a year 'til the day I drop." If most readers are like me, then we hope so, too.
It's difficult for me to go as far as to say that these are classical works of literary art or even masterful stories. To do so would be to admit this man has reached his pinnacle of success, literary perfection. And whenever that happens the risk of no more books being written soon becomes a reality. After all, don't all artists stop when they reach the top?
I, for one, do not wish to ever see Aaron Paul Lazar stop writing. And for that selfish reason, while he continuously approaches that summit, I guardedly hold my tongue.
Frank Weaver, Jr. - columnist
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