Sherban Young has crafted a witty and entertaining mystery within the pages of Fleeting Chance. Young’s characters are both familiar and original. The mystery begins on a luxury yacht during a high-stakes poker game. Someone falls overboard, someone dies, and the yacht experiences mechanical issues. On top of the events of the mystery, the narrator is at a loss as to how he could lose when he was holding a perfect poker hand. This is just the beginning of Sherban Young’s Fleeting Chance.
The narrator, John (Johnny) Hathaway, is not the detective. Johnny observes. He sees things as a regular person might see them, yet his interpretations hint at another way of seeing the same scene as he has learned from his mentor, Enescu Fleet. Johnny has a tendency to be long-winded in thought. He combs over the events leading to his situation. Each rumination tends to bring forth a bit more memory into the proceedings of the infamous night.
Enescu Fleet is a detective’s detective. He is sharp-eyed, insightful, cunning, resourceful, and rather quiet. Fleet has a way of showing up at the perfect time and many of those times are to Johnny’s benefit. The reader is in Johnny’s head from the start of the book to the end, but the rare glimpses into Fleet’s thoughts are golden.
This is my first Enescu Fleet Mystery Book though I did not feel lost within Fleet’s world. Sherban Young does a good job introducing his repeat characters, Fleet, Johnny and others, without going into too much detail. Young develops characters throughout the book showing each character’s strengths, weaknesses, and possible culpability to crime. Not being a card player, I found the poker references trying at times, but the overall mystery and subplots helped to alleviate the card playing digressions.
My interest in the novel was not only grabbed by the main mystery, but also by the subplots. I wanted to know more about what Fleet’s daughter, Ate, Johnny’s best friend, Hutton, and Johnny’s fiancé, Lesley, were up to, why were they being coy about their time in town while Johnny and Fleet went off to their yacht, and why were they being mysterious throughout the story. All in all, Fleeting Chance was a lively tale. I enjoyed Young’s novel as an entertaining escape into a witty mystery.
Nina Longfield is a writer living in Oregon’s fertile wine country. When she is not reading or writing in her spare time, Nina enjoys hiking in the hills surrounding her cabin.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sherban Young. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.