Huh? Why? and Punch by Marc Jedel

Title: Huh? Why? and Punch (Silicon Valley Mystery #5)

Author: Marc Jedel

Published on:14 January 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Marty Golden is looking forward to spending an enjoyable vacation at Hawaii. Mrs. Kim, Marty’s neighbor offers free rooms at a resort in Hawaii – an offer Marty cannot refuse. Marty, his girlfriend Meghan, Mrs. Kim, Marty’s nieces Megan and Skye and their dog Buddy reach the hotel ahead of Marty’s sister Laney and Marty’s two children Amanda and Eli.

They are welcomed at the hotel by police cars and flashing lights. No, Marty hasn’t done anything wrong… not yet, at least. A part of the hotel is under renovation. Marty learns that someone fell to their death from the scaffolding that morning. Turns out, the victim is Mrs. Kim’s cousin Kiki’s fiancé.

Mrs. Kim requests Marty to find the killer. After all, clues point out to the fact that the victim might have been pushed. Marty introduces himself to the HPD detective as San Francisco Police Department’s consultant. Well, this is called stretching the truth but… nevermind!

Huh? Why? and Punch is the fifth book in Marc Jedel’s Silicon Valley Mystery series.

Unlike the previous four books which were set in the Silicon Valley, in this book, we see Marty in Hawaii. For those who haven’t heard of the series before, Marty always wears Hawaiian shirts to work. Now, he blends like a local in Hawaii… um, not really but shirt-wise, maybe!

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Marty is looking forward to spending time with his family and girlfriend. Just to be clear, his girlfriend is called Meghan, and niece is called Megan. Marty, nieces, girlfriend, Mrs. Kim and Buddy arrive earlier while Laney and Marty’s children would be arriving at a later time. But as the story proceeds, we see the trio’s flight initially delayed, then canceled, then delayed… Ugh! Not the right way to start a vacation!

As the group arrives at the resort, they learn the owner’s fiancé fell to his death from the scaffolding that morning. Mrs. Kim is aware of Marty’s previous sleuthing adventures and asks him to solve the case. Halfway through the story, Marty meets someone from his past – and this person plays a significant role in helping Marty solve the case. Then we have Raj, Marty’s colleague, who plays a significant role too.

Speaking of Raj, in the previous books, Raj is portrayed as someone who is adjusting to the American way of life. But in this book, I felt the ‘teasing’ was more of an insult. Marty makes fun of Raj’s minimal understanding of idioms and Americanisms. There is also a mention of English being Raj’s third or fourth language at school. Well, this is certainly not true in reality and Marty might lose a fan if insults like these continue. Just saying…

Marty’s sleuthing adventures were not as interesting as the previous books. Marty and Meghan get into a fight about marriages. There also comes a time when Marty wonders if his full-Marty-mode is what ruined his first marriage – so true, Marty! So true! I have found the previous books funny and quirky but I cannot say the same about this book.

When it comes to ratings on Goodreads, I am in the minority but my opinion is purely based on comparison with previous books. There’s a thin line between quirky and stupidity/know-it-all. Looks like someone has crossed the line from quirky to… Hmm!

As I mentioned before, the sleuthing was not interesting. Solving a crime while on a vacation – well, I have read a handful of books on this theme and the spotlight is always on ‘solving the crime’ and not ‘enjoying the vacation.’ This book is an exception though.

Having said that, the dad jokes were spot on. Um, more of a poker-face-kinda-scenario but that is what makes the dad jokes ‘funny’, isn’t it? Coming to the title, Huh? Why? and Punch is the dad joke version of Hawaiian punch. Marty also speaks of Karl, the guy who used to tweet about the San Francisco fog. It seems one day he just disappeared. What happened to Karl remains a… mist-ery.

Although Marty’s stupidity and insults spoiled the read a tad, Huh? Why? and Punch by Marc Jedel was a good read.

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