Thursday, January 1, 2009

Book Review: The Angel Singers by Dorien Grey

This who-done-it tale is set in Chicago, within the close nit community of the local Gay Men’s Chorus. Soon after Dick Hardesty’s lover, Jonathan Quinlan, joins the chorus, he realizes that the chores has a dark side, that for some members, it’s a cauldron of battling egos, backbiting. . . and possibly murder.
When one of the solo singers is the victim of a mysterious hit-and-run car accident, and another turns up dead, Detective Dick Hardesty is called onto the case to find out if anyone within the chorus was involved with either incident. The tension rises as Dick is sucked into a world of power struggles, gossip, and finger pointing. But as the fog begins to lift, another body clouds the air, and the violence seems to be creeping closer to home.

Although I am, admittedly, not a fan of detective stories, I found The Angle Singers to be a satisfying read. Beyond the normal mystery plot twists, is the convincing story of a community in turmoil. At first it seems that these queens will do anything for a solo number, but as layers of the onion are peeled away, one finds something much more sinister is afoot. This story kept me turning pages, even though I had figured out who was involved early on, I was kept interested to see how the story reveled itself. My only complaint is that the ending seemed a tad abrupt, but that did not diminish the enjoyment I found throughout this story.

Dorien Grey paints rather pleasant prose that is spiked with wit. He gives detailed descriptions of gay relationships, gay parenting, and the hectic life of a private investigator juggling family and career responsibilities. Interesting characters, life style details and suspense, make The Angle Singers an interesting read.

This is the twelfth book in the Dick Hardesty Mystery series. I’ve heard some people call it Dorien’s best work, but I can’t say since this is only the second of this series that I have read. I can say that, having not read the first ten did in no way diminished my enjoyment of this one.

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