Title: Late Fees (A Pinx Video Mystery #3)
Author: Marshall Thornton
Publisher: Kenmore Books
Release Date: November 10, 2018
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery
Page Count: 177
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
It’s Thanksgiving, 1992 and Noah Valentine is late picking his mother up from the airport. When he arrives he discovers that she’s made a friend on the flight whose also waiting for her son. When women’s son doesn’t show up, they eventually take the woman home for breakfast with neighbor’s Marc and Louis. Soon after, they learn that the woman’s son has overdosed—or has he? Noah and his motley crew investigate over the holiday weekend; which includes a fabulous dinner, a chat with a male stripper, a tiny little burglary and some help from Detective Tall, Dark, and Delicious.
“Late Fees” finds Noah and his small group of friends getting ready for Thanksgiving and the arrival of Noah’s mother Angie for the holiday. Angie meets Joanne on the plane trip –“We found out we had all these things in common.” “Like that we were both on our way to L.A. to visit our gay sons!” — and when Joanne’s son doesn’t come to the airport to pick her up, Noah gives Joanne a ride only to find the son dead in his apartment, apparently a suicide.
But Noah, Matt, Louis and Leon aren’t so sure and do some investigating of their own, with Angie proving to be a valuable addition to the group, picking locks with a bobby pin and engaging in a little bit of breaking and entering. As always, the murder mystery is secondary to the thoroughly engaging cast of characters and I loved Matt and Louis’ elaborate Thanksgiving dinner (plus the recipes at the end of the book.)
Detective Javier O’Shea makes an appearance here, and while there’s nary a kiss, O’Shea reluctantly tells Noah he can’t stop thinking about him, and you just know there is more to come in the incredibly slow-burning saga of Noah and Javier. O’Shea now has a boyfriend Tim, but not to worry, as Noah’s mother tells him:
“Oh, that’s not going to last.”
“Mom, what do you know about it?”
“I wasn’t born yesterday. See, in every couple there’s a pretty one. Tim thinks he’s the pretty one, but he’s not. As soon as he figures that out, it’s over.”
Noah continues to come to terms with being HIV positive (in the days when AZT was the only drug in town) but he’s working toward being in a better frame of mine:
I did sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I’d never met Jeffer, never fallen in love with him, never trusted — but I couldn’t ever get a clear picture. The only thing I knew for sure was that it would be different and I wouldn’t be where I was right now. And now was not too bad. I liked now.
4.5 stars and a Recommended Read for “Late Fees” and I awaiting the next book in this series!