Rabbi Jack Riemer
A MURDER TAKES PLACE IN BOCA
I have noticed something strange lately. I have never seen a book in which a murder takes place in Deerfield Beach or in Delray or in Pompano or in Plantation. But I have seen lots of books in which a murder takes place in Boca Raton. I have no idea why that is.
The latest in the series of detective stories set in Boca is Boca Knights by Steven M. Forman. It is a fast moving, suspense full story, and I recommend it to you if you are a detective story buff.
The detective is Eddie Perlmutter, who moves down to Boca to retire after a long career with the Boston Police Department. When he arrives, he is bewildered by the lifestyle of the community. Whereas in Boston, he often met young people who were ‘gonna bes’, in Boca he only meets retirees who are ‘used to bes’.
And he is confused by the names of the gated communities in which people live. There is no point in Boca Pointe, and Boca West is East of Boca Isle, which is in no way an island. Broken Sound is not broken, and you can’t hear a sound there when you drive by. Boca Vista does not have a better view than Boca Green, and Boca Green is no greener than St. Andrews is, and St. Andrews is a street, not a church. You can’t hunt at Woodfield Hunt Club, and I have no idea what Boca Teeca means. Le Lac has a lake, but then again so does Boca Lago, and both of them are man-made.
Perlmutter learns that you eat dinner at three o’clock in Boca; you eat lunch at ten; and you eat breakfast the night before, because of Early Bird rules in the restaurants. And he learns that the people in Boca live by schedules. Breakfast is at seven, softball is at eight, tetherball is at ten, general swim is at eleven, lunch is at twelve, and rest hour is from one to two.
The only difference between Camp Boca and the camps we went to when we were children is that when regular summer camp was over, went back home and prepared for the real world, whereas Camp Boca is in season till the campers die.
“You probably don’t know what Boca Midnight is”, someone says to Perlamutter when he arrives.
“No I don’t,” he says. “What’s Boca midnight?”
That is the kind of writing you find in this book: fast dialogue, clever lines, and lots of making fun of oneself and one’s community.
But in between the jokes, Perlmutter goes back to his old trade, and solves a murder mystery, fights off an Aryan Brotherhood invasion, and has affairs with two different women at the same time.
If you like to read detective stories, and if you want to see if you can figure out who did it before Perlmutter does, this is a book you will enjoy.
And at the end, the author promises that he is at work on another detective story to follow this one, a story that also takes place in Boca Raton..
Until I read this book, I thought that Miami was a dangerous place to live. Who would have known that the bad guys are moving up the coast and plying their business in Boca?
I am glad that we have retired detective Perlmutter around to keep us safe, and to keep our minds sharp, because in a retirement community minds can sometimes get rusty from lack of use.
Rabbi Jack Riemer lives in Boca Raton, and has not been involved in solving any murders since he lived in Marblehead, next door to Harry Kimmelman, who wrote the Friday the Rabbi Slept Late and the other books in that series.
Rabbi Jack Riemer Boca Raton, FL April 23, 2019