Monday, June 22, 2009

41. Death Vows: a Donald Strachey mystery, by Richard Stevenson

When Jim Sturdivant calls private detective Donald Strachey to investigate Barry Fields, the young man his friend, Bill Moore, is about to marry, Strachey naturally expects to find a gold-digger. He does find that Fields, and his friend Bud Radziwill, had popped up seemingly out of nowhere several years earlier. But he also learns that, far from being friends of Moore's, Sturdivant and his partner have been engaged in some underhanded loan dealings with him and other members of the town's gay community.

When Sturdivant is found shot to death following a very public confrontation with Fields, the latter is naturally the prime suspect. His fiancé hires Strachey to clear his name, and find the real killer. In the course of so doing, Strachey learns that just about everyone has a secret, some relevant, some not. The whole ends with a confrontation between a Fred Phelps-like religous sect and a bunch of Mafiosi!

A light, quick, enjoyable read.

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