Tag Archives: E.J. Copperman

The Question of the Missing Head by E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen

The Question of the Missing HeadThe Question of the Missing Head by E. J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen is the first book in the new “Asperger’s” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, October 2014

Samuel Hoenig answers questions for a living. And as a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, his unique personality helps him ferret out almost any answer there is. But his latest question is a rather odd one—who stole a preserved head from the Garden State Cryonics Institute?

Arriving at the scene of the crime accompanied by his new colleague, Ms. Washburn, Samuel finds that what started out as a theft has escalated to murder. With suspects and motives emerging at a rapid rate, one final question remains—can Samuel’s powers of deduction uncover a killer in the face of overwhelming odds?

I like it. It was an interesting and enjoyable read that had a very intriguing way of solving the puzzle simply by finding the answer to the question asked. I love the pacing of this light drama and the way the story flowed from scene to scene. It was interesting watching the protagonist’s interaction with those he met along the way and how that observation helped him put the pieces together. The author did a good job in setting the story up with usual suspects and some twists and turns I didn’t see coming until it happened. A good read and I look forward to the next question asked and Ms. Washburn’s return.

A Day in the Life of Samuel Hoenig by E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen

The Question of the Missing HeadMy days are usually quite uniform in terms of scheduling and sequence. I have a “condition” called Asperger’s Syndrome, considered a form of high-functioning autism, and that means that I am not much given to surprise. I prefer to know what is coming next, and to prepare for it.

So the day will begin simply. My mother does almost all the cooking in our home. She will rise and prepare breakfast for the two of us, after which we both prepare for the day. I have showered and dressed before the morning meal, and while I am cleaning the kitchen, Mother does the same. Then she drives me to my office in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Questions Answered is located in a former pizzeria in a strip mall on Stelton Road. I leased the space because it was relatively inexpensive and could accommodate my needs, which are minimal. From there, I answer questions for clients when asked, and when the question is of interest to me. The business has been open only three months, so it has been difficult to establish a routine, which is something of an irritant for me.

Still, when I arrive I read any emails that have accumulated overnight and check the voice mail for new clients or established ones who might have a need. Then I begin my research for the day. I rarely contract to answer more than two questions at a time because I must be sure to give each client the attention his or her question deserves. This is part of being a good businessperson and providing a reliable service.

Every twenty minutes I stand up from my desk and walk the perimeter of the office six times while raising my arms above my head. This is done on the advice of a doctor I consulted in order to elevate my heart rate and keep my systems running smoothly. I am able to consider questions while exercising, so my efficiency is rarely tested.

Once I have circumnavigated the office space six times, constituting one-third of a mile, I walk to a vending machine left by the owners of the pizzeria that preceded Questions Answered to this space, and I buy a bottle of spring water. Some of the money will be returned to me when a man named Les arrives once a week to restock the machine and retrieve the coins used to purchase drinks.

The day progresses until twelve-fifteen, when my friend Mike the taxicab driver arrives to take me home for lunch. Mike rarely stays to eat with Mother and me, but he is reliable and will often drive me back to the office—a trip of only seven minutes—if he is in the area when I am ready to return.

I do research and walk the office until five, when Mother usually arrives to drive me home. After dinner, I often watch baseball games on television with the sound muted (the crowd noise is disturbing to me) and, when the season has ended, I read or play music by the Beatles until it is time to sleep.

My routine is quite important to me, but it was recently disrupted rather severely. It began when the telephone rang.

But then, that story has been told elsewhere.

Samuel Hoenig appears in THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD: An Asperger’s Mystery from Midnight Ink, the first in a series by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen.

Donation: Anyone who buys a copy of THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD on October 8, its pub day, then takes a picture of him/herself with the book or the first page of it on an e-reader should post that picture to Facebook or Twitter and make sure I see it. I’ll donate $3 for each person who does so (up to 100 people) to ASPEN, the Autism Spectrum Education Network here in New Jersey.

About the author
Jeff Cohen and E.J. Copperman are collaborating for the first time on THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD: An Asperger’s Mystery, coming this month from Midnight Ink. E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime, and Jeff Cohen has written the Aaron Tucker and Double Feature series as well as two non-fiction books about raising a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

Visit E.J. at his website, on Facebook or Twitter

Visit Jeff at his website, on Facebook or Twitter

The Thrill of the Haunt by E.J. Copperman

Thrill of HauntThe Thrill of the Haunt by E.J. Copperman is the fifth book in the “Haunted Guesthouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, November 2013

Alison Kerby’s guesthouse is already crowded with spirits. The last thing she needs is a whole new batch of haunts settling in.

As Alison’s reputation as “the ghost lady” grows, so does her business—and not always in a way she’d like. Tourists may be flocking to her guesthouse for a chance to glimpse her resident spirits, but her special abilities are also bringing unwanted private investigation cases to her door. And she has no choice but to take a case when the local homeless man is found murdered under mysterious circumstances, just hours after asking for help in exorcising a specter.

If that weren’t enough to deal with, Alison’s other PI case soon turns fatal, as the mistress she was spying on for a jealous wife turns up dead as well. The cases seem like they couldn’t possibly be linked, but with a mountain of clues, motives and suspects—both living and dead—Alison will have to think fast before someone else checks out for good.

I love this series. What a great mystery that I could not put down because I had to know what happens next as the story progressed to an exciting conclusion that caught me unawares. The author did a brilliant job of keeping me glued to the pages with several twists and turns and some surprising twists that I did not see coming. With each novel, Alison becomes a more stronger heroine and in this one, she has outdone herself. Of course with her ghostly friends, you have to expect the unexpected and you see it in their interactions with Alison. Boasting a superb casts of characters that includes Maxie, Paul, Melissa and Loretta, a warm and comfortable setting and great dialogue, that was amusing at times, this is the best book yet in this wonderfully crafted and delightfully charming series and I can’t wait for their next adventures.

A Day In The Death Of Maxie Malone by E.J. Copperman

Thrill of HauntFirst of all, I’m not a ghost. You may think I’m a ghost, or a spirit, or whatever, but I’m not. Seriously. I’m not.

I am a young woman who is formerly alive. That’s all.

It’s a long story how I got this way, and I don’t have time to tell it all now. But suffice it to say it wasn’t my fault. You can read about it all elsewhere (Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman). After all this time, it’s not important anymore.

What is important now is that I stay in this house—my house, really—on the Jersey Shore, taken over by another girl (editor’s note: Alison Kerby) after I became… like this. And she runs it as a guesthouse, which isn’t the worst idea ever, but not what I would do. Luckily, her daughter Melissa is a sweetie, and she and I share a room up in the attic.

For reasons I couldn’t begin to explain, I have to help Paul, the other deceased person in the house, put on “spook shows” once in the morning and once at night, to keep the guests in the house entertained. At first, I wasn’t going to go along with the gag—it’s so lame—but Melissa asked me to help her mom keep guests coming in, and what could I do?

My typical day? Well, what’s typical when you’re formerly alive and hanging around the Jersey Shore?

We don’t sleep, people like me. We sort of recharge our batteries mentally sometimes, but I like to spend time on the roof of the house, looking out at the ocean or the Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 35; they’re both pretty. But when the sun comes up I’m usually a little bored, a little underappreciated—I mean, nobody ever asks how I’m doing, just because I was murdered a couple of years ago—and a little, understandably, cranky.

I didn’t ask to be stuck in this place, you know.

Of course, I’m not as stuck as I used to be. When Paul and I first found ourselves in this disgusting predicament, I couldn’t move past the property line of the house—my house—from the street to the beach. But since then, I’ve managed to break free of the place and now I get to move around (Paul still can’t). It’s not fast, but I can hop in someone’s car or a passing truck or something, and get to explore.

But there are these stupid “spook shows” to put on, and I did promise Melissa, so I show up pretty much every day to move things around and have the guests ooh and aah over the “flying” objects in the room. Live people are so easy to fool.

After that’s over, my time is my own until the afternoon show. Sometimes the girl who owns the place now (ed.: Alison Kerby) plays private eye. That was part of the deal when we started this spook show thing—Paul the PI wanted to have something to investigate, but almost nobody can see us, so he got Melissa’s mom to get an investigator’s license and now he talks her into detecting stuff once in a while. Now that I can get out of the house, sometimes I go along just for laughs. It’s fun to watch her screw up.

Like lately, there was this homeless dude who got himself killed in the men’s room at the local gas station. So I had to go along when Melissa’s mom (ed.: Alison Kerby) went to check the place out. A guy’s bathroom. I mean, really. Gross!

Frankly, I don’t think anybody would have ever even begun to figure out what happened if I hadn’t been there, but you know me: I don’t blow my own horn. So I do the work and let others take the credit; it’s just the kind of person I am. Was. Whatever.

Maxie Malone appears (alongside Alison Kerby) in the fifth Haunted Guesthouse mystery, The Thrill of the Haunt, released November 5. Find out more at www.ejcopperman.com.

Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of “THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends November 15; US entries only per publisher’s request.

Meet the author
E.J. Copperman is either someone’s pseudonym or the sick mind behind the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, in which two resident ghosts help a single mom/innkeeper/private investigator solve crimes and entertain guests, or both. E.J. is a screenwriter, freelance reporter, teacher and bon vivant from New Jersey, if such a thing is possible.

The Thrill of the Haunt is the fifth in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, following Night of the Living Deed, An Uninvited Ghost, Old Haunts and Chance of a Ghost. Two e-book novellas in the series, A Wild Ghost Chase and An Open Spook, are also available.

You can see a personal message from E.J. below:

An Open Spook by E.J. Copperman

an open spookAn Open Spook by E.J. Copperman is the second novella in the “Haunted Guesthouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, October 2013

Haunted guesthouse owner Alison Kerby may have only recently discovered her ability to communicate with ghosts, but for her mother Loretta, it’s been a lifelong gift. As Alison prepares her Jersey Shore guesthouse for what promises to be a huge storm, Loretta helps out by tackling a different issue when the winds blow in an unexpected visitor: the ghost of Sgt. Robert Elliot. His request? Help him find the POW bracelet from the Vietnam War that bears his name. But no sooner does Elliot make his appeal than he suddenly disappears, cutting off contact, and leaving Loretta to wonder…why here? Why now? And why the vanishing act?

The answers begin to materialize when Alison’s lone remaining guest shows up unwittingly holding a clue to the case—on his wrist. A coincidence? Hardly. And Loretta has good reason to believe that the sergeant’s spirit has a secret he’s yet to share. Something he’s been holding on to for more than forty years. Something he’s dying to put to rest.

This was a very enjoyable read that had the ghosts and Alison on a search for a missing POW bracelet. The mystery was very interesting and I liked how everyone of the casts were involved in solving this puzzle, all in the middle of a storm. E.J. is a terrific writer and I look forward to reading “The Thrill of the Haunt” which was a sneak peek in this novella.

Chance of A Ghost by E.J. Copperman

Chance of a GhostChance of A Ghost by E.J. Copperman is the fourth book in the “Haunted Guesthouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, February 2012

Alison Kerby’s guesthouse is haunted all year round. Surviving the dead of winter, though? That’s a spooky proposition.

Even with a blizzard bearing down on New Jersey, Alison can count on at least two guests—Paul and Maxie, the stubborn ghosts who share her shore town inn. Then there’s her widowed mother, who hasn’t just been seeing ghosts, she’s been secretly dating one: Alison’s father. But when he stands her up three times in a row, something’s wrong. Is he a lost soul…or a missing apparition?

Their only lead is an overdramatic spirit—stage name Lawrence Laurentz—who doesn’t take direction well and won’t talk until they find his killer. Alison will reluctantly play the part of PI, but when the clues take a sinister turn, the writing is on the wall: If Alison can’t keep a level head, this will be her father’s final act—and maybe her own.

The laughs keeps coming as I read all about Alison’s escapades in her hunt for a killer and the search for her missing father. What makes this book amazing is the relationship that exists between Alison, her family and her two *spirited* partners. I love that they are a more cohesive investigative team using all the resources available to them. The writing is excellent with non-stop humor and clever and witty dialogue. I got a laugh out of those sneaky snide comments on topical subject matters that were interwoven into the story. This is one of the best book in this delightfully charming series and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the adventures of Alison and her team.

A Wild Ghost Chase by E.J. Copperman

Wild Ghost ChaseA Wild Ghost Chase by E.J. Copperman is the first novella in the “Haunted Guesthouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2012

Phantom PI Paul Harrison from the national bestselling Haunted Guesthouse mysteries returns with a tale of his own in a house full of ghosts, secrets, and spectacular oceanside views.

Three years ago in a large Victorian house on the Jersey Shore in the town of Harbor Haven, fledgling private investigator Paul and his client, Maxie Malone, were murdered. Since then, recent divorcee and reluctant ghost whisperer Alison Kerby and her 10-year-old daughter Melissa have moved in and converted the place to a guesthouse, where Maxie and Paul are now checked in for an eternity and ready to solve any case that comes their way—or at least spook the guests (who love it).

Alison’s got a lot on her plate at the moment, however, so when Paul discovers the three-hundred-year-old ghost of a small boy in the house, he decides not to involve her in the case. The boy, named Eagle of the Sun, says he’s searching for his missing mother. Paul’s happy to help Eagle of the Sun find her, though something about the boy’s story doesn’t add up. But why would a lost little ghost lie?

Paul is on the case when a young boy seeks his help in locating his mother from the great beyond. This is a very enjoyable mystery with surprising elements in this short novella with bonus excerpt for the next Haunted Guesthouse series.

Old Haunts by E.J. Copperman

Old Haunts by E.J. Copperman is the third book in the “Haunted Guesthouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), February 2012

Alison Kerby’s guesthouse already had two resident ghosts. But now, the past is coming to visit. Make your reservation early.

There’s nothing quite as mournful as a gloomy ghost—and Alison has a pair of sad spirits, Maxie and Paul, haunting her Jersey Shore guesthouse. Maxie wants to know who murdered her ex-husband, a biker named Big Bob, whose remains have just been discovered two years later. Paul, pining for his still-living almost-fiancée, wants Alison to track her down and make sure she’s okay.

The only one who isn’t missing her ex is Alison—because The Swine has waltzed back into her life, specifically into her guesthouse, and is trying to win back their ten-year-old daughter, Melissa. He says he wants to get back together, but Alison knows him too well. The only question is: What is he really up to?

I love this series. The past comes back to haunt Alison, Maxie and Paul and when asked to solve a murder and look for an old friend, Alison does her best to help her ghostly friends and the journey to the end was filled with amusing exploits. This fast-paced and well-written whodunit was a fun read that I could not put down. This was a good mystery as the ending caught me by surprise. With a wonderful cast, entertaining and witty dialogue, Old Haunts is the best one yet in this delightfully charming series.

A Day in the Life of Alison Kerby by E.J. Copperman

Running a Jersey Shore guesthouse means the day starts early. Really early. I’m talking early here. Like, five a.m. See? Early.

You have to be up before the guests, make sure everything’s in order, clean up anything that didn’t get cleaned up the night before, get coffee and tea ready (I don’t make breakfast; this ain’t no B&B—it’s just a B), get my daughter Melissa ready for school (although she does that mostly on her own; she’s 10) and make sure everything is all set up for the morning spook show.

Have to get the house ghosts in line.

Most mornings with Paul Harrison, our resident PI ghost, that’s not an issue; Paul is very conscientious and never misses a “performance,” especially since they are part of a deal we have. My guesthouse has gained—not surprisingly—a reputation for being haunted, and some guests really want to interact with “the spirits,” so I need to provide evidence of their residence (not bad, huh?) twice a day. I hold up my end of the bargain by occasionally, like whenever I can’t talk my way out of it, acting as Paul’s “legs” to the outside, living world when he finds a case he’d like to investigate. Apparently, being dead isn’t just a horror and a tragedy; it’s also boring.

Paul’s side of the bargain is that he performs at the daily spook shows and makes sure Maxie Malone does the same.

I haven’t told you about Maxie. Is there an emoticon for eye-rolling?

In addition to the usual guesthouse responsibilities, like making sure the guests have clean rooms, access to the beach, activities nearby and clean towels, I need to play den mother to Paul and (mostly) Maxie, who died by poisoning when she was 28-going-on 16. She keeps our lives… interesting. Worse, she’s actually become friends with Melissa, whom she considers her “roommate” in Melissa’s attic bedroom.

When Paul is forcing me against my will to look into a crime, that’ll happen mostly in the afternoon, between spook shows and when the guests are likely to be occupied elsewhere. The guesthouse comes first, and that means the guests come first.

But lately, the past has been coming to visit. Paul wants me to find some woman he was going to propose to before he died, just to see if she’s all right. Maxie wants me to find out who murdered her ex-husband—of four days—the biker “Big Bob,” whose remains were just found under the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.

And my own past—in the form of my ex-husband Steven (not at all affectionately referred to as The Swine)—has just arrived on my doorstep.

It’s going to be an interesting week.

Alison Kerby appears in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The latest book in the series, OLD HAUNTS, was just published. You can find out more about Alison, her resident ghosts, and a contest to win OLD HAUNTS prizes at www.ejcopperman.com E.J.’s last name is not “Cooperman.”

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of OLD HAUNTS to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends February 29. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, which began with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and AN UNINVITED GHOST and continues now with OLD HAUNTS. E.J., whose last name is NOT “Cooperman,” lives and writes in New Jersey, because somebody has to, and no, has never seen a ghost. Unless you count Casper, but that was a long time ago.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.