"Delightful ... Mr. Weinberger writes as his hero detects, at a measured and thoughtful pace. Most of the book’s violence takes place offstage, leaving the detective to ponder and ruminate in contemplative fashion. And Amos himself proves pleasant company: a gruff mensch whose avowed atheism is balanced by a humanism that sees him tenderly caring at home for his dementia-prone wife. 'Everybody matters,' he says at one point, and as we follow his quest to find out what happened to Rabbi Ezra, we know he means it.
Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"Pure entertainment ... As characters go, Parisman is as no-nonsense as Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade, but unlike those classic detectives, there’s a bit more heart and nuance to our central character.“ San Francisco Chronicle
"Andy Weinberger has done something extraordinary with his first novel: he’s written a truly great detective novel that is fresh and original, but already feels like it’s a classic. In the tradition of Walter Mosley, Raymond Chandler, and Sue Grafton, semi-retired private eye Amos Parisman roams LA’s seedy and not-so-seedy neighborhoods in pursuit of justice. I don’t want another Amos Parisman novelI want a dozen more!”
Amy Stewart, bestselling author of the Kopp Sisters series, including Girl Waits with Gun.
“I loved An Old Man’s Game. Amos Parisman must return!”
Cara Black, author of Murder on the Quai and the other Aimée Leduc mysteries.
“As with most good detective stories, the real pleasure here is in watching the gumshoe at work… This is sheer fun.”
“It’s true that An Old Man’s Game is not Dostoevsky. But it might be called a “poor man’s version” of the classic Russian novelist. Parisman is a kind of “Paris Man” in the sense that he is urbane, witty, and charming in a Jewish, tough-guy L.A. way…. An Old Man’s Game doesn’t just offer light entertainment, though there is plenty of that. It also offers plenty of stick-to-your-ribs food for thought on Israel, anti-Semitism, Zionism, Jews, and Palestinians.”
New York Journal of Books
“Andy Weinberger's An Old Man's Game is a reader's delight. Bringing an old Jewish detective in LA, who doesn't believe in God, out of retirement to investigate the potential murder of a charismatic rabbi is just the start of this funny, charming, moving, and engaging debut mystery. Add him to Michael Connelly, Walter Mosley, and Joe Ide, writers who embrace the underrepresented people of LA, articulate the distortions of power, and cast a light on the darknesses we humans carry within us.”
John Evans, owner, Diesel Bookstore.
"If Isaac Singer wrote an L.A. gumshoe novel, it would be in lively conversation with An Old Man's Game, the first of what I hope is a series of Amos Parisman mysteries by the immensely talented Andy Weinberger. The writing here, to quote Sam Shepard, is 'full of crazy and comical pathos,' and the story itself brings the L.A. Jewish community fabulously and vividly alive. This is a ribald private-eye tale full of genius and originality."
Howard Norman, Whiting-award-winning author of My Darling Detective and the upcoming The Ghost Clause
"While the mystery is intriguing, the thoughtful, retired Jewish PI is the draw for this debut mystery. As he and his wife age, he deals with her onset of dementia with love and patience, that patience being a part of his nature as an inquisitive PI."
"Andy Weinberger has created an absolutely charming private investigator that readers will follow from book to book. L.A.’s Fairfax Districtget ready for your close-up!"
Naomi Hirahara, author of the Edgar Award–winning Mas Arai mystery series
“I have not had this much fun in a mystery debut in many, many years. Not only does Weinberger (and his aging, retired detective Amos Parisman) have a great sense of humor, but his take on Los Angeles makes this a joy to read for all of us locals. Amos has long since retired but is called back into the action by the board of directors of his local temple to investigate the death of their rabbi, who died during lunch at the iconic Canter’s Deli. Amos takes us on a ride through Los Angeles via his lifetime of experience thinking through the mysteries of life and death, while mentoring his sidekick (and ex-professional wrestler) Omar Villasenor. I loved every minute and look forward to the next installment.”
Bookseller Terry Gilman, owner of Mysterious Galaxy and Creating Conversations
DEBUT Amos Parisman is a retired PI in L.A. Despite this fact, Howie Rothbart, president of Temple Shir Emmet, asks Amos to investigate the recent death of their charismatic rabbi. Although Ezra Diamant died at Canter's Deli over lunch, the board of the synagogue is suspicious. The rabbi might have smoked and been overweight, but he was forceful, made headlines, and stirred up trouble. Parisman's friend Lt. Bill Malloy insists it was a natural death, and the man's family concurs, but Amos was hired for a job. He's persistent. When two people are murdered who have connections to the rabbi, and Amos finds a bullet on his car, he brings in protection, a 30-year-old Mexican man who credits Amos for saving him from prison. While the mystery is intriguing, the thoughtful, retired Jewish PI is the draw for this debut mystery. As he and his wife age, he deals with her onset of dementia with love and patience, that patience being a part of his nature as an inquisitive PI. VERDICT The character of the unassuming retired PI will appeal to fans of Naomi Hirahara's "Mas Arai" mysteries, another series with an elderly investigator. The quiet story puts an interesting spin on Jewish history.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Retired Los Angeles private eye Amos Parisman probes the death of a controversial rabbi.
Parisman debuts on the mystery scene, bravely flaunting his Yiddishkeit in his first-person narrative. Unfortunately, he loses his street cred by the end of Chapter 1, mangling both Hebrew and Yiddish translations and transliterations with equal abandon. Alav hashalom (not le sholem, Parisman's weirdly French-sounding rendition) really does more or less mean "rest in peace," but twisting alter kocker into alte katchke (which would rhyme with tchotchke) does not make it closer to meaning "old duck." Parisman's gumshoe chops come across as a little more authentic. He's reasonably skeptical when Howie Rothbart hires him to investigate the death of Rabbi Ezra Diamant of Shir Emmet, a wealthy West Hollywood congregation. Why would the board suspect that the demise of their overweight, middle-aged spiritual leader, who keeled over into his matzo ball soup lunch at Canter's Deli on Fairfax, was anything but the natural consequences of his poor food and exercise choices? Rothbart's repeated claim that Diamant rubbed people the wrong way does little to convince Parisman he's looking at a murder. But the subsequent death by crowbar of Diamant's doctor, Dora Ewing, does. By now Amos has grown cautious enough to hire ex-wrestler Omar Villasenor to provide some much-needed muscle, and the ill-assorted pair provide an entertaining tour of LA while they track down a killer with a surprising motive.
Probably worthy of an encore—if the author gets a dialogue coach.