This book is almost impossible to review. It’s very well written, so much so that I am going to read another of Chabon’s as soon as I spot one on the shelf. However, I can’t afford to mention any of the plot without risking spoiling it for you.
There’s an elderly bee-keeper living in Sussex- a retired famous detective, no less; a young Jewish refugee (who doesn’t speak) with his only companion, an African Grey parrot (who does); and a small cast of other characters. There’s a murder, a theft and a mystery.
But by no means is this only a short detective story. This is an overwhelmingly sad book about the ravages of age and the futility of small actions when faced with a great evil. While I read it, I rattled through it enjoying the excellent prose, but now every time I think of it, I want to cry.
Please do read it, this is a wonderful book which captures so much in only 130 pages.