STARRED REVIEW
February 2017

A precocious gorilla solves a big case

By Jakob Wegelius
Review by

Award-winning Swedish author and illustrator Jakob Wegelius pens a fascinating murder-mystery that features a multitalented gorilla, Sally Jones, who narrates the story via a 1908 Underwood No. 5 typewriter.

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Award-winning Swedish author and illustrator Jakob Wegelius pens a fascinating murder-mystery that features a multitalented gorilla, Sally Jones, who narrates the story via a 1908 Underwood No. 5 typewriter.

Sally’s seaman friend Chief accepts a peculiar transport job from a shady character named Alphonse Morro. In a strange turn of events, Chief is wrongfully accused of murdering Morro and sent to prison for 25 years. Now separated from Chief, Sally finds refuge at the home of Ana Molina, where she is given the opportunity to learn to repair accordions. After another strange turn of events, Sally learns that Morro is not dead but hiding somewhere in the Far East. Encouraged by the unexpected news, Sally embarks on a journey to prove her friend’s innocence.

Eighty chapters and more than 600 pages long, The Murderer’s Ape feels like a rebooted Alexandre Dumas novel. While the book’s length may be daunting, Wegelius’ audience is in for a pleasant surprise. The highly engaging narrative turns a fat novel into a light read. In the midst of Sally’s complex account, Wegelius weaves in a well-defined cast and punctuates his substantial story with over 100 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations. The character portrayals at the book’s opening are particularly stunning.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Murderer’s Ape

The Murderer’s Ape

By Jakob Wegelius
Delacorte
ISBN 9781101931752

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