In his mystery caper, Fleeting Memory, Sherban Young makes a brave move by introducing readers to a main character with no memory of his name or his past. A long time contemporary mystery reader (think Mary Higgins Clark), I was pleasantly steered out of my comfort zone with Young’s comedic approach to telling his tale.
Young’s nameless hero wakes up in an unfamiliar cabin, encounters an attractive blonde female with no recollection who she is, discovers a dying man in another room who whispers the cryptic words “The answer lies with Keats”, and then meets the eccentric Enescu Fleet, a retired PI.
After learning that Enescu Fleet will be a contestant on a murder mystery reality TV show called Deadly Allusions, Nameless Guy concludes that the body in his cabin was one of the actors from the show–especially since the body disappeared without a trace. Fleet deduces that nothing is quite as it seems when more bodies begin to pile up, this time remaining dead.
I thought that Fleeting Memory would be the type of mystery I could solve before Enescu Fleet and Nameless Guy. I had every intention of taking notes of suspects and their motives for committing a crime, but I soon found that I was every bit as lost and confused as Nameless Guy. I gave up trying to outsmart the characters, relaxed in my seat, and let Enescu do all of sleuthing (and later explaining) for me. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed feeling as if I were in the narrator’s shoes, wanting to learn his identity and his connection to the mysterious blonde just as much as he did.
Through the words of Enescu Fleet, Sherban Young reveals a much more complicated mystery than what I had envisioned. I was half-tempted to start over once I had finished Fleeting Memory, to place myself in Enescu’s shoes and pick up on all the seemingly insignificant details that helped him solve the crime.
I recommend Fleeting Memory to readers who prefer lighter mysteries since there is a great deal of humor in this novel. Young’s writing style is straight forward with simple sentence structures, and might be a good introduction to the genre for younger readers. Though I read a finished copy of the novel, I noticed some minor errors involving quotation marks, commas, semi-colons, and a few typos. Overall, Fleeting Memory was fairly well edited, and the mistakes that I did find were not distracting enough to take me out of the story.
The sequel to Fleeting Memory, Fleeting Glance, will be out on November 5th!
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sherban Young. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.