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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Zither! The Romper Room Where Illusion and Reality Meet is a work of fiction in the mystery, comedy, and adventure subgenres and was penned by author Jeffrey Hanlon. Written as part of the Mars Candiotti mystery collection, this charming and concise tale takes us along for the ride with quirky P.I. Mars. Penned in Mars’s own voice, the lines between reality and imagination are blurred as Mars investigates the great gazebo heist and, in the process, finds the seemingly idyllic love of his life, librarian Marian. Will he get the girl? Does the girl even truly exist? Find out within the pages of this intelligent and surreal romantic comedy, wrapped up in a hilarious existential mystery caper.
Author Jeffrey Hanlon will suit readers who enjoy a quirky mystery that asks more questions of its unreliable narrator than it does of the actual plot points in the wider story. The novel requires a sharp brain to follow its twists and truly get its humor, but the niche appeal has plenty of rewards for those who tap into Mars’s bumbling ways, his admirable cool in the face of ultimate confusion, and his yearning for the loquacious Marian and her wordy ways. I enjoyed the dialogue especially, which keeps you on your toes and often bears rereading for a good giggle. Overall, I would certainly recommend Zither! to fans of Douglas Adams-style wit and wisdom and for kooky mystery readers who want to discover a new author with plenty of charisma and storytelling skill.