A Gus LeGarde Mystery
By Aaron Paul Lazar
Lazar is the first—the very first author who forced me to go to the back of the book to find out about a character. I didn’t read anything; I just made sure the name appeared again—I didn’t want to grieve if I didn’t have to! Ok, I’m giving away a little by saying that, so I’ll stop and just add that Aaron Paul Lazar’s characters in this series are so wonderfully created that I’ve become attached to them!
And no wonder! Would you believe that he changed a Honeymoon Trip into a Fantastic Mystery (for readers, that is)? I didn’t know whether to be irritated or excited!
You probably realize that Mazurka has now become my favorite in the Gus LeGarde series. They do indeed keep getting better, but I absolutely loved this one!
Gus and Camille are now married—you’ll see a wonderful rerun of the wedding near the end of the book—what a clever idea for sharing this important moment in such a unique. touching way! Gus and Camille had decided to first stop in Paris and then on to Vienna for their honeymoon. But since that early decision there had been a slight change.
Siegfried’s great aunt had requested Sig come to Germany—her health was bad and she had asked for a visit. If you’re following the series, you will know that Sig is the twin brother of Gus’ first wife who was now dead. Sig had also been Gus’ best friend so when he became his brother-in-law, he had moved to live on their property. As you may also know by now, Sig was hurt in an accident when he was twelve. Although he still has moments of brilliance, especially related to math, and has learned to drive a car and other things, his mental capabilities had been limited at that time. Interestingly, he had reverted to speaking the German he had known as a child and was quite comfortable in planning a visit with his relatives.
Sig wasn’t quite sure that he was not interfering with the honeymoon, but Gus and Camille both loved Sig and assured him he was welcome. Except...none of them could have realized what was awaiting them!
From all over the world, with one even on the plane with Gus’s small group, young men who were referred to as neo-Nazis were planning major terroristic maneuvers. So while Gus, Camille and Sig went to their hotel in Paris and began to tour, a major leader of the Nazi group also arrived. It was during their first shopping trip that the leader spotted Sig. With long blond hair pulled into a ponytail, Sig’s tall body stood out in any crowd, so as he waited outside for Gus and Camille to come out of a shop, the Nazi leader, thinking he was talking to a local German man, yelled out to Sig.
That was the worst thing he could have done. For Sig didn’t quite understand what was happening, but he did know that the Nazis had killed many of his family, Sig was part Jewish and he screamed that back to the man. Instantly a fight began and during that fight Sig was seriously injured and one of the young men accidentally killed the leader, while aiming for Sig.
But to the young rebels, they didn’t care who had pulled the trigger. Sig, and Gus and Camille who had by then joined Sig were at fault. Revenge was what came after that!
The excitement, danger, and anger against the group who were imitating the old Nazi regime affects everybody in various countries, but only a few know of the chase after Sig, Gus and Camille. Sig has made it into Germany where he will recuperate, while Gus and Camille decide that it is all right to proceed to Vienna, although that, too, proves to be wrong. While there, they hear that a bomb has destroyed the home where Sig was staying!
Against the fear and hatred that is stirred by this terrorist group, Lazar as placed a beautiful family intrigue. During the time that Gus and Camille are still in Germany, his great aunt shares a precious secret that has been handed down from generation to generation and now would go to Sig. At the same time, she is joyous to learn that her niece had a daughter about whom she have never heard—an important fact since the secret was to be handed down through the female side of the family. Sig was the one who quickly mentioned that it should go to Freddie who had received the formal name that was part of the story—Fredericka. This story in itself is worthy of its own short story and I commend Lazar for making it so realistic and beautifully presented within the overall novel! Indeed the title reflects this family heritage and fits so well within the overall theme of the Gus LeGarde Mystery series.
Aaron, you are getting better and better and I can’t wait to read the next in this series, as well as all of your future books! Aaron Paul Lazar has officially been added to my must-read favorite author list! I loved Mazurka...but I truly do recommend you begin at the beginning of this series. As mentioned above, the characters are so important that you just must meet them long before Mazurka “happens!”
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G. A. Bixler