In this coming-of-age caper set in Kansas City in 1963, 12-year-old Howard Block is preparing for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah while struggling with schoolyard anti-Semitism, an over-protective mother, and an imposing religious school instructor. When Howard's father is accused in a fraudulent medical malpractice suit, Howard decides to stretch the symbolic ritual of becoming a man and resolves to save his father's career and reputation. Inspired by a new movie sensation, the British secret agent James Bond, Howard recruits best friends Irwin Stinky Devinki and Mike Hunsacker for a crack undercover team to thwart the psychiatrist villain Chadwick Huntley and his patient/accomplice Hannah Stringer. Howard's attraction for Huntley's daughter Melissa doesn't make things any easier. This touching and often hilarious book follows Howard's journey to self discovery and manhood during an era of cultural divides between Jew and Gentile, black and white, and even father and son.
A native of Kansas City and former editor of the Harvard Lampoon, L.M. Vincent has published both fiction and non-fiction, and his plays have been produced regionally and Off-off-Broadway. He and his wife divide their time between Boston and Seattle.