The Gay Detective
A Nick and Norm Mystery by Kenneth D. Michaels
Review: Nick Scott, a gay cop in the Chicago Police Department, agrees to host a weekly television show for the local station where his partner Darren Connor works as a producer. Called "The Gay Detective", Nick will interview well-known gay personalities before a live audience. The first show is a success, but when the premiere guest, bestselling author Harold Sapoti, is murdered just hours later, Nick — and his new police partner Norm Malone — are drawn into a dangerous case of a killer with an agenda, in The Gay Detective, the first mystery in this series by Kenneth D. Michaels.
Nick and Norm are just getting started with their investigation when the killer strikes again, this time far too close to home. Darren has been found dead, murdered in a similar manner to Harold Sapoti. Nick is devastated. Norm, whose wife of forty years had died just six months, invites Nick to stay with him as the home Nick shared with Darren is now a crime scene. It also gives Norm a chance to keep an eye on Nick, as he is the only link between the two cases. Nick decides to continue the television interviews, believing that Darren would have wanted him to do so, only to have his second and third guests murdered as well, a note left by the killer saying that Nick was next.
The Gay Detective is an entertaining mystery, but one a little rough around the edges. Nick and Norm are reasonably well-developed characters, the young, personable gay cop paired with the older, gruff straight cop, each with their own strengths that they bring to their relationship as partners on the police force. On an interpersonal level, one of the best scenes in the book is their late-night sparring session; it's strongly written and illustrates the bond that's forming between them. The murder mystery storyline, however, is rather weak, with several plot points that really strain credulity. Too, Nick and Norm spend relatively little time actually doing police work. Tightening up the plot and having them conduct an actual investigation would have gone a long ways towards making the mystery itself more credible. And while there are a few lighter moments, for the most part this is a purposeful crime novel that strikes the right balance between comedic and serious. Overall, a good start to what has the potential to be a promising series.
Acknowledgment: the author provided a copy of The Gay Detective for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Gay Detective: Chicago, Illinois
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The Gay Detective by Kenneth D. Michaels — A Nick and Norm Mystery
Publisher: La Mancha Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: July 2015
List Price: $9.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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