Title: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen (A Luke Tanner Mystery #1)
Author: Michael Rupured
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Genre(s): Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 210
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship.
On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a long-time performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance.
Luke reluctantly agrees to help his newfound friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.
It’s October 1982, and Luke Tanner bartends at the Gilded Lily, where the nightly drag show is the big draw, starring Ruby Dubonnet (“Nobody—including Jennifer Holliday—did “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” better than Ruby Dubonnet.”) But when Ruby goes missing, Pixie Wilder (“Her look was classic Nashville: big hair, flashy jewelry, a vibrant turquoise dress embellished with ten or fifteen pounds of rhinestones, and high-heeled, rhinestone-studded boots. For a girl, she was short. For a guy, she was tiny.”) and Luke team up to finding the missing diva.
Rupured does a good job of dealing with his huge cast of characters (many of whom are suspects at one point or other throughout the story) but as a result, few are fully developed and fleshed out. Please note, there is no sexual relationship or sex scenes in this mystery.
I had a few niggles about the book – primarily, having set the story in the early 1980’s, there is little detail about the era (other than Tina Turner and Whitney Houston being played at the Gilded Lily, although Whitney’s first album wasn’t released until 1985 and Tina’s solo career really took off in 1983). Also the mystery isn’t particularly compelling, and at times the pace really feels slow.
I’m off two minds about this title – as a standalone, it is interesting, but not a page-turner. However, as the first book in a series, there is a good blend of interesting characters and potential situations that make me want to continue the series. 3.5 stars.
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