Adam Schwartz is a motivated high school teacher bothered by the lack of his students’ creative ideas in their attempt to write essays for their college applications. Together with his best friends, Drew, a twice-divorced attorney; Kenny, a senior trade consultant in a real-estate company; and his brother-in-law Rob, an IT guy turned stay-at-home-dad, he initiates The Pencil Pro, a program aimed at finding the next genius. Soon their Facebook page becomes a social-media hit with over 15,000 followers and countless motivated minds.
Eric Gutenheim is a detective with the Providence, RI, police department. When Eric is called on to solve the murder case of a 16-year-old girl, he soon learns that this case is not going to be run-of-the-mill. Together with his deputy Sergeant Elaine Hernandez, the two detectives search for the killer through the codes of ancient tribes from thousands of years ago.
The two parallel stories are woven together to the climax of an unexpected ending.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)|
About the Author
Roni is known for challenging and motivating people in becoming creative thinkers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Not by the Book: The Pencil Pro is a cultural/mystery fiction novel written by Roni Rosenthal. Adam, Kenny and Drew had been friends since they were in grammar school together. And while they each pursued their own interests during their college years, the three friends made sure to keep track of each other. After college, each of them ended up back in their home state of Maryland. Adam was a creative writing teacher; Kenny, an intuitive mathematician who ended up in real estate; Drew, the golden boy and athlete of the three, ended up becoming a lawyer and volunteer teacher. The three smoothly and easily gravitated to Thursday beer night sessions where they’d converse while the beer flowed. But something special happened during one of those beer nights. They started thinking about things, thinking about thinking in fact, and how, like the computers we’ve created, our thought processes have become all zeroes and ones. But what if we transformed that process and added a third element, or in some other way changed things? On that night, The Pencil Pro was born, a grand resolution to retool how one thinks, to design exercises that encourage people to think outside the box. A Facebook page was created, and, before they knew it, there were thousands of people involved with changing how they solved problems and viewed the world. Roni Rosenthal’s thought-provoking cultural mystery novel, Not by the Book: The Pencil Pro, weaves the story of Adam and The Pencil Pro phenomenon with that of a classic detective murder mystery where Detective Eric Gutenheim must find out the story behind the young woman whose story gets more complicated, even as the detective discovers more about her life. I enjoyed seeing how the techniques Adam and his friends work through help the reader approach the mystery of the murder of Carolyn James. Rosenthal gives the armchair sleuth plenty of red herrings to consider in this book, as well as some intriguing new tools to use when puzzling things out. Not by the Book: The Pencil Pro is well-written and original, and it’s highly recommended.
As a high school teacher myself, I couldn't help but relate to Adam's struggle. The student's frustration, as well as the teachers, is close to my heart and I believe that Adam may have found the answer for us. Eric's story is fascinating mainly in the way the writer brings the characters to life, but the real gem here is the shatter of all illusions. This book is smart, funny, and brings up many topics for discussion. I've read many mysteries and still couldn't figure out this one until the end. The stories are fresh and easy to follow. A must read
I absolutely loved this book! I have read many stories detailing history-culture mystery but this is by far THE BEST! Once I got through the first few chapters I could not put it down and now I see why it’s one of the books you must read before you die. The writing is amazing and just flows. Eric’s and Adam’s stories kept me captivated. The tension kept between the two parallel stories make this book unique. All I can say is that it’s a different story, told from different perspectives and you won’t be sorry! I would recommend this book to anyone and have already lent it out to a few folks.