Quote of the Week

"The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them."
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic
10-30-03. Web Comic Pioneer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A to Z Rewind

Authors A to Z, in order, in a year proved to be more difficult than I originally imagined but also quite a bit of fun. As we prepare for our next challenge, it seems like a good opportunity to review the good parts and the not-so-successful. For good parts, I have to include reading and becoming a fan of several new authors, and protagonists. Colin Cotterill immediately comes to mind along with Gail Bowen, Vincent O'Neill and more. Since we (Sue Wargo & I) had agreed to only read authors we had never read before, I became familiar with new characters and styles.
Now we are off on a new venture: mysteries from every state. Follow us as we travel around our country, meeting some new authors and revisiting some old favorites. See how long it takes us to complete our countrywide adventure.
We have to thank our local librarian, Alison Boutagh, Thompson Public Library, for the idea and always, the website, Stopyourekillingme.com for valuable resources.
Stay tuned!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

"One Dead Drag Queen" by Mark Richard Zubro

This is the book that I found to conclude our A to Z mystery author quest.  I found One Dead Drag Queen by Mark Richard Zubro in a second hand book store in NH.  The story begins with a massive city explosion in a city in Illinois that involves the partner(lover) of gay baseball player Scott Carpenter.  Now this is copyrighted in 2000 and written after Oklahoma City bombing but before New York City & 9/11.  This is part of a series that Zubro started in 1989 and concluded in 2006.  Scott's partner Tom is gravely hurt in the explosion and you find that Scott as a major league baseball player had "come out" as a gay man in a major sports field at a time that it was still a pretty shocking thing to do.  There is under tones of homophobia that would have been rampant at that time and that played a lot in the red herrings that Zubro placed around the plot.  There was an abortion clinic that was bombed also and you find yourself wondering along with Scott if that is the true reason for the bombing.  One of the characters is a man with a trademark "drag queen' persona and is found dead later in the story.  The intertwining of politics, religious undertones relating to abortion rights and a gay couple in the mix was interesting and compelling.  I found that some references made about Tom & Scott are now dated.  But I was able to enjoy the story and transcend.  Zubro writes a tight story. I checked his blog which has not had a post in a very long time.  But he now writes in collaborations with others and I think I would seek out his work to see where life has taken him now. Zubro won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men's Mystery.  Check out the 'Stop you're killing me' mystery web page fora list of his books.  I was unable to find these books in the cwmars library system so this series may have passed it's day but are available second hand through re-sellers.