Boozy Books June ’18: The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

Hello readers! It is I, A, queen of falling into time warps only to discover that weeks have gone by and I’m behind on my writing. Tbh, I’m also behind on my reading, which is a big part of why June’s Boozy Book selection is so late.

BUT. I have finished a book! Better yet, it was one I actually liked. See, the original plan was to pair A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window, but I would be hard pressed to recommend that overwritten turd to anyone.

SO. Instead, I’ll be pairing The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: a Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs.

Now, it’s not a masterpiece. It’s not something I’ll be reading on a yearly basis. Hell, I may never pick it up again, but it was clever and held my attention. In many ways, it reminded me of Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game, so if you enjoyed that one as a kid, you’ll probably get your money’s worth from this one.

It’s kind of funny that I picked this one up, because I famously hate math. So a title about equations and a plot the revolves around the death of a mathematician don’t exactly inspire confidence for right brained readers like myself. Luckily, Hazel, the main character shares these traits with me, so my confusion is her confusion and vice versa.

Each chapter (some told from viewpoints other than Hazel’s) reveals a little tiny bit more about the mysterious death of Isaac Severy, but the story flows really nicely. By the time the clues start to fall into place, you’re invested in the characters and story, so it never feels like you’re being forced to follow or solve a mystery.

Hazel’s bumbling and eventual growth, her brother’s strange stakeouts, her suddenly present cousin, and her uncle’s run-ins with a P. Booth Lyons (phone booth?) all add up to a charming novel that’s perfect for lazy afternoons and pre-bedtime reading.

Now for the pairing! This one reads well with a strong hot toddy (extra lemon!). If you have any on hand, be sure to stir with a stick of cinnamon.

Happy reading!

A

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