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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Leonard P Valentine: A House Divided Cannot Stand by Paul G Buckner is crime and investigation at its best, beautifully written and hugely entertaining. The narrative is in the first person, a voice laced with humor; a quirkiness that will grab readers right off the bat. We meet Leonard, both protagonist and narrator, at the beginning of the story and we immediately understand that his work involves stress, plus he doesn’t seem to like his boss’s domineering and condescending tone. He is a short-order cook at “Greely’s Slop Shop.” Insights into his personality are quickly offered to the reader. He has a photogenic memory and, as he says, he can see something once and then just pull it up in his mind later. But he confesses that remembering something doesn’t mean understanding it. He is an introvert who likes being around people, but he is also a master at the art of self-effacement, and can actually go unnoticed in a crowd. Now, imagine what it feels like when someone, an orphan who has learned to keep to himself, becomes the only witness in a gruesome murder?
Leonard becomes the center of focus after witnessing the murder of the County Commissioner, William Wood, by a mob. But things change when a young and beautiful reporter gets involved in the investigation. Aside from her beauty, Leonard is thrilled by Lexi Osborne’s intelligence. Can there ever be any hope of him winning her, given that they come from two different worlds? This tale of murder, intrigue, and love features memorable characters. It’s interesting to follow the investigation and see how Leonard evolves throughout the story. He is a sophisticated character and the narrative has a fluidity about it that quickly engages the reader. The humor is at times grim and poignant. Paul G Buckner has what it takes to keep a story balanced and gripping. Leonard P Valentine: A House Divided Cannot Stand will keep you awake the entire night. I couldn’t put it down.