Go to Homepage   Fred Hunter: Capital Queers

 

St. Martin's Press (Hardcover),
ISBN 0-312-20463-9
For the same reason I don't want to live in Cabot Cove, Maine, I don't want to make friends with Alex Reynolds. Seems like being his friend equals signing your own death warrant. Just like living in the same town with Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote entitles you or a family member a free trip to Valhalla. 

The third of Fred Hunter's comic mysteries featuring Alex Reynolds, his husband Peter Livesay and Alex's mother Jean, Capital Queers reduces their circle of a acquaintances by another two. And this time, Alex and Peter can't blame the wrongful deaths on their part-time work for the CIA. Instead, the mystery appears to center on the victims' doll collection, the shattered remains of which mark the scenes of both murders. Since this is Washington, D.C., however, the resolution of the case naturally entails several surprise meetings with State Department officials and run-ins with renegade cultists. 

Alex and Peter remind me a bit of Nick and Nora Charles. They're witty, fun, and love a good mystery. They even acquire an Asta of sorts -- a dog named Muffin (!) bequeathed by the victims in this book -- an inheritance Alex would be more than thrilled to forego. 

Plus, Jean may be the coolest Mom on Earth. A British transplant, she exhibits open acceptance of her son's life, and not just his sex life. According to Alex, Mom put up with him smoking weed and listening to Rod McKuen read Jonathan Livingston Seagull during the Seventies. In addition, she shares the great pluck and sense of adventure of a certain famed Modern Major General. 

Through the course of the book I met a host of characters, gay and straight, that delighted me. The funeral of the two murder victims cracked me up. It sounds horrible, but the image of Stevie Sullivan cruising the wake for dates made me laugh. I know this man. 

The book proved an enjoyable if often leisurely read. Only one thing bothered me. I felt like I was missing key information about the characters and their setting by not reading the first two books in the series before starting this one. 

I recommend this book with a light white wine and some fancy finger foods. Curl up and have fun reading, but make sure you finish your food by the time you hit the halfway mark. That's when the action heats up, and you start the quick ride to the end. Trust me, it's tough to read through a cucumber sandwich, no matter how thin it is!

Jenny Buehler

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