ONELEGI promise my tiresome reminiscences of my vacation are coming to a close soon. However, I am still basking in the post-vacation light and want to make that last as long as I can. Which brings me to today’s Weekly Read, The One-Legged Man …who Came out of a Well by Robert Holland.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, my friend Lynda and I thought it would be fun if everyone on the trip read the same book, so we can have a rolling book club type of discussion and have something to share.

We toyed around with many titles from classics (Dickens, Dumas, Bronte made the short list) to mid-century compilations (Dylan Thomas was the frontrunner) to contemporary books (there were many options).

However, a stop at Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, MA on our meandering trip to Wellfleet changed everything. It was there we found The One-Legged Man …who Came out of a Well by Robert Holland after browsing the “young adult” section for a while. We thought a book aimed at younger readers may be more accessible and better suited to casual vacation reading.

We were attract to the book by the promise of a mystery with a baseball subplot – two things we all liked in a story.

About The One-Legged Man …who Came out of a Well by Robert Holland: “Nick Rivers is a ballplayer with a strong sense of injustice and when he discovers that a great many people in town think that his neighbor, an inventor named Augustus Bede, murdered his wife, despite the fact that he was never brought to trial, Nick decides to set things straight. But the murder occurred over forty years before and Nick faces a cold trail and the anger of the people who still believe that Augustus Bede murdered his wife. The question is whether he did and what might happen if Nick uncovers the real murderer but still can’t prove it, because then he ends up with an enemy who is already a murderer and has nothing more to lose.”

Let me say out the outset that not all our traveling companions read the book, and of those who started it, no one finished it. I finished the book in short time after returning home. I found it hard to read it on vacation where I felt I was competing with my co-readers. That said, the idea of reading a common book was a good one and we selected a book I would have never picked up otherwise and enjoyed it.

After reading the book, I tried to do some research on its author, Robert Holland. I was shocked to find out that the book was not available on Amazon. I believe this is the first time I ever looked for a book that was not available in some form on Amazon. It would appear the Mr. Holland, and his publisher, Frost Hollow Publishers, are one in the same. Or at the very least it is a boutique business that markets the author’s books exclusively.

According to its website, Frost Hollow Publishers “specializes in books that boys will read, and is the only publisher producing novels aimed exclusively at boys. All you have to do is try one and your school book report worries are over.” An admirable pursuit indeed.

Meanwhile, the book itself? I enjoyed it for what it was – a book aimed at young readers. It reminded me of the Hardy Boys books I devoured when I was young, which is not a bad thing and it provided a nostalgic aura. Aside from a petty annoyance of the narrative sounding like an old man trying to provide a voice for a young protagonist, the story was entertaining and enjoyable.

The One-Legged Man …who Came out of a Well by Robert Holland is available directly from Frost Hollow Books and small retailers like Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, MA.