Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Title: Partners in Crime (Two short stories)
Authors: Josh Lanyon and Sarah Black
Publishing Date: January 2008
Genre: GLBT (Mystery)
Title: Cards on the Table
Author: Josh Lanyon
Tim North comes home after swimming in his apartment complex’s pool to find a tarot card pinned to his front door. He thinks it might have something to do with a book he is writing on the unsolved murder of the famous actress Eva Aldrich. He wonders if it is a warning or threat of some kind. His neighbor Jack Brady, who he had gone out on a couple of dates with some six months ago, is a homicide detective. Tim decides to ask his advice even though they were on friendly terms he wasn’t sure how he would be received.
I liked this book. Tim narrates the story from his point of view. He is a very down to earth kind of guy, albeit a little reckless at times. I enjoyed how we get little snippets of who he is as the story unfolds. The story’s pacing is very well done. There was a very nice mystery involving a blonde bombshell from the 50’s that is interspersed nicely between scenes about Tim and Jack. I got a very clear picture of Jack’s personality through Tim’s point of view. Occasionally, I did feel that Jack’s words came off sounding a little cheesy. This is because I have a hard time picturing someone like Jack (a rough and tumble cop) talking sweet to Tim, his gay lover. When Jack was being very direct to Tim it was much more believable. I also liked how they talked through their problems, especially why Jack put their relationship on hiatus for six months. This was a quick, enjoyable read.
Title: Murder at Heartbreak Hotel
Author: Sarah Black
Peter Moon it the owner of Heartbreak Hotel, located in a small fishing town in Alaska off of Glacier Bay. Peter gets a call while at a bar in town to come home something bad has happened. His nephew has found one of Peter’s hotel guests murdered in the garden. Suddenly a relaxing vacation has turned deadly. Peter’s long time partner Sebastian appears the following day after the murder. Peter and Sebastian are possible suspects in the case.
Peter kind of reminded me of myself. I have always wanted to own my own bed and breakfast and have my own vegetable garden off the kitchen and make my guests delicious meals as they vacationed with me. Peter’s hotel feels more like a home than a business and his guests more like family than paying customers.
Peter did come across as a carpet at times, when it seemed he allowed Sebastian to walk all over him. I was worried about the romance angle of this story because Sebastian always leaves Peter. After staying with Peter for a while Sebastian gets the itch to move back to his shack in the wilderness and he has been doing this for fifteen years. This always causes Peter heartache. What’s to make Peter believe that this time Sebastian really wants to stay and won’t leave again? The author handled this problem in a satisfactorily way.
I found the beginning of the story very abrupt and confusing. I felt thrown into the story. By the third chapter, the story was flowing smoothly and my confusion was gone. The mystery plot is tight, but I thought took more of a backseat to Peter’s internal debate over his relationship with Sebastian (not that this was a problem for me). All in all, this was a nice, easy read.