Drag Queen in the Court of Death



Drag Queen in the Court of DeathWas His Ex Lover Really A Twisted Killer While Cleaning Out His Dead Ex Lover Ronnie S Apartment, Staid History Professor Michael Dunn Barten Makes A Grisly Discovery,a Mummified Corpse In A Trunk Suddenly Michael Must Travel Back Years To Find Answers By Revisiting Everybody Who Knew Ronnie Back To The S, Back To The Realization Of His Sexuality And The Boy He Loved Back To The Troubling Time When His Wife Threw Him Out And His Family Disowned Him Back To Uncover Disturbing Answers Amidst Drag Queens And Murky Memories, And To Reveal Whether Or Not His First Real Love Was Truly A Twisted Killer Drag Queen In The Court Of Death Is A Taut Thriller About A Man Who Needs To Face His Past In Order To Forge A Future He Must Unravel A Mystery That S A Quarter Century Old, No Matter How Painful The Truth May Be

Caro Soles Bio My novels include mysteries, erotica, gay lit, the occasional bit of dark fantasy, and science fiction I received the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada for my work in the mystery field, was short listed for the Lambda Literary Award, the Aurora, and the Stoker Award I live in Toronto with my long suffering husbandand love dachshunds, books, opera and ballet, not necessarily in that order.And yes, I love to read

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Drag Queen in the Court of Death
  • Caro Soles
  • English
  • 10 May 2018
  • 1560236302

10 thoughts on “Drag Queen in the Court of Death

  1. Kassa says:

    This is a great mystery that has elements of passion, romance, heartache, regret, betrayal, new love, friendship, and resolution The large cast is essential to the story where every detail is actually a stepping stone towards much needed answers Initially the title seemed off putting but after reading the story, it s actually incredibly fitting An absorbing and fascinating mystery that holds you captive through the various twists and turns with a wonderful history of gay culture woven into th This is a great mystery that has elements of passion, romance, heartache, regret, betrayal, new love, friendship, and resolution The large cast is essential to the story where every detail is actually a stepping stone towards much needed answers Initially the title seemed off putting but after reading the story, it s actually incredibly fitting An absorbing and fascinating mystery that holds you captive through the various twists and turns with a wonderful history of gay culture woven into the story This is really one of the best mystery books I ve read in quite some time I think this may be one of the only mystery stories to lack any noticeable holes and leave not a single detail hanging A rather impressive feat on top of a wonderful story.The story starts with Michael Dunn Barten discovering a corpse in a sealed trunk of the house of his dead ex lover The existence of this corpse throws everything Michael knew about Ronnie into doubt and he s questioning if he really knew the man at all Considering Ronnie was Michael s first love, and homosexual love at that, Michael struggles with understanding the man who literally changed his life Michael s love affair with the then seventeen Ronnie led him to leave his wife, job, family, friends, and life at the age of twenty two to embark on a passionate relationship with the love of his life After only a few months, Ronnie broke the relationship off, leaving both men wounded and hurt without answers Twenty five years later, Michael embarks on a discovery to find answers about the mysterious corpse and numerous secrets hidden in Ronnie s past.The story is told in person from Michael s perspective, which causes a few writing errors but very few These may benoticeable for those that have difficulty with first person narratives, but for the most part shouldn t cause problems for readers Instead the gripping mystery and complexity of the relationships and the narrating character of Michael capture your attention and hold it throughout the story The pace of the novel is very even with no noticeable increase of drama or tension There is certainly enough drama and tension woven into the story but without the peaks and falls traditionally associated with murder mysteries.The intricacy of the murder plot is really stunning Each of the details, of which there are innumerable, are important and blend to give a texture not only to the characters and the book but are essential to the mystery itself From the story line with Julie and Ryan giving rise to a later conversation between Michael and Bianca to the benefit party where Michael and Lew discuss Nigel, each seemingly superfluous detail and scene is actually a clever foundation for the final answer The actions and choices of the characters have layers of meaning even their mistakes are sometimes acknowledged mistakes but made for reasons important to the characters There are surprisingly no extraneous characters in a cast of dozens, where every person plays a part large or small leading to the resolution of the mystery.The main character of Michael is a strong voice and fascinating in his own right He struggles with understanding the actions and resolution to a love affair that literally changed his life, regardless of the short time they were together His need for answers isthan a need to solve the mystery, but it s a need to come to terms with the truth of his life and the person he loved so passionately that never really left his mind or heart This specter unwittingly stayed with Michael until he could understand and put to rest his own confusion and questions His choices, even his mistakes, are not always easy and sometimes naive and frustrating but always with a purpose and conscientious choice.The setting is very essential to the story and interestingly, takes place in 1989 This dates the book and atmosphere immediately but works especially well considering the plot focuses on memories and actions that took place in the late 1960s and from there to the present time The setting of 1989 questions when this book was written but seamlessly slides into the journey of exploration into a man s past over 25 years This highlights the changes of attitude and especially so during the 1960s in Canada where homosexuality was not accepted in any form Considering the majority of the remembered action revolves around a few months in the spring of 1965, this time period is vividly reflected in the details with all its tawdry glory Additionally the city of Toronto is vibrantly described with a surprising level of detail, giving the book a reality that draws readers in immediately.I have no complaints about this mystery but it may not appeal to all readers for a few reasons First the pacing of the mystery was wonderful in my opinion but it won t appeal to all mystery lovers The details slowly merge, creating different parts to the puzzle until the very end, when the reader steps back to fully appreciate the finished product There is no appreciable tension buildup, no heart racing action scene, no blurted details, no missed clues, and especially no ah ha moments where the answer becomes clear This is a subtle and intricate dance to the end where every scene and subplot adds a careful and essential layer to the mystery The gradual and simultaneous building and unfolding of details creates a different tone and mood from aconventional murder mystery So this may not be for all tastes.The successful accomplishment of this complicated and wonderful mystery however was enough for me and likely others to greatly appreciate the story I can t wait to read this book again and when I finished, I was almost disappointed I wanted to be able to open the book with fresh eyes and no knowledge, just to experience the journey Michael takes as he searches for answers This story is a fabulous piece of mystery fiction and literature lovers will be delighted by this tale

  2. Elisa Rolle says:

    I usually don t like to much mystery, it s not my genre, but this one is different, I have the feeling that the main character, Michael,than trying to solve a mystery is trying to find himself, and for a 47 years old man it s probably the time When Michael was 22 years old, he was the classical good son of an upper class family, English teacher in a private school, already married with a family friend, it seemed a perfect life But then Ronnie entered the picture, 17 years old and America I usually don t like to much mystery, it s not my genre, but this one is different, I have the feeling that the main character, Michael,than trying to solve a mystery is trying to find himself, and for a 47 years old man it s probably the time When Michael was 22 years old, he was the classical good son of an upper class family, English teacher in a private school, already married with a family friend, it seemed a perfect life But then Ronnie entered the picture, 17 years old and American refugee in Canada, officially to avoid the war in Vietnam Even if Ronnie was underage he was wayexperience than Michael, and Michael didn t know that To the young boy it took not so much to convince closeted case Michael to leave job, family and respectability and living as a bohemian in a little apartment sex as food for love was enough But the fairy tale didn t last, another man entered Ronnie s life, and Michael was soon forgotten, apparently 25 years later Ronnie is dead, AIDS complications, and Michael is named executor It s not something he likes, he wasn t so near Ronnie any, and I have the feeling that Michael wanted to remember Ronnie as that 17 years old, the boy who still loved him The man who is now dead is a stranger and looking through his things is like starting to destroy the image of that 17 years old boy to substitute it with the adult Ronnie To help that destroing process, Michael finds a mummified corpse in a trunk inside Ronnie s apartment, the same apartment the man always lived in and stubbornly refused to leave Someone could think the reason was that it was difficult to remove a corpse and it was better to stay there near it, instead I think that, like Michael, also Ronnie wanted to remember the time when he was happy, when Michael was there with him, probably the only man he loved and was loved back As often happens when I read a novel with a deceased character, who can t speak for himself, I try to imagine what his voice is I like Ronnie s voice, probably since, despite the fact that Ronnie dumped him and they didn t speak for years, Michael still loves him and can t believe that he is a murder Since Michael is a good man, there should be a reason if he thinks so highly of Ronnie Of Ronnie himself we have only some pictures, in different moments of his life and a diary, where he mostly talks of his great love, Michael what happened to Ronnie to renounce to that love This is what wants to know Michael it s not a question to discover the true to have some sort of justice, most of the people of that time is notalive, Ronnie is dead, the corpse is obviously dead and no one seems to have missed him in 25 years To Michael is important to know the truth since, if he mistook to judge Ronnie, he probably mistook all his life And in the search of the truth he will grow at first he is still anchored to 25 years before, when he was hardly a man and loved a boy And so, even if he is now 47 years old, he still loves a boy, Ryan, someone that maybe remembers him Ronnie, a runaway kid without family to back him, someone who needs the comfort and steadiness of a man like Michael But Michael is no22 years old, and as I said, he grows during the story and he grows tired also of Ryan To excuse him, Ryan is not exactly a saint, and not even a boy in dear need, and so it s no hard blow for the romantic readers Instead I found wayinterested the other two men who gravitate around Michael, Jaym and Logan Actually I really wondered about Logan, the straight friend, who was like a Jimmy Cricket for Michael, even if he didn t give advice but only borrow a friendly ear The story is all about Michael, and I like very much how it wrapped up I m still a little sad for Ronnie, but he was already dead when the book started, so there was no hope for him but he is anyway the strongest voice in the novel, Michael isthe silent type, pondering and doing always the right thing

  3. Snowtulip says:

    This was a subtley paced story that unravels the truth behind the life of the MCs first and true love Michael learnsabout the man that he loved who recently died and why he was dumped After finding a dead body in the home of his former deceased lover, Michael learns truths about the past and where he stands now in his life This story appealed to me aslayers behind this mystery were peeled away and it really was an enjoyable read It s not fast paced or filled with non stop actio This was a subtley paced story that unravels the truth behind the life of the MCs first and true love Michael learnsabout the man that he loved who recently died and why he was dumped After finding a dead body in the home of his former deceased lover, Michael learns truths about the past and where he stands now in his life This story appealed to me aslayers behind this mystery were peeled away and it really was an enjoyable read It s not fast paced or filled with non stop action, but it was a treat to read

  4. Catherine says:

    I admittedly picked this one up because of the title, which intrigued me.It s a quick read but I got frustrated with the main character who I found unlikeable and not particularly believable and with the character motivations that drove the plot, which I found completely unbelievable There is just enough there to keep you reading though, despite the book s shortcomings.

  5. Chris says:

    Drag Queen in the Court of Death is the story of history professor Michael Dunn Barton, who returns to his hometown of Toronto after a shameful departure decades earlier when he disgraced his wife and family by beginning an affair with an underage student of the same sex Michael s real first love and the aforementioned student , Ronnie, was a celebrity drag queen from the local club scene who died from AIDS complications and appointed Michael the unwitting executor of his estate and owner of h Drag Queen in the Court of Death is the story of history professor Michael Dunn Barton, who returns to his hometown of Toronto after a shameful departure decades earlier when he disgraced his wife and family by beginning an affair with an underage student of the same sex Michael s real first love and the aforementioned student , Ronnie, was a celebrity drag queen from the local club scene who died from AIDS complications and appointed Michael the unwitting executor of his estate and owner of his apartment building One afternoon while gathering some of Ronnie s costumes to donate to a local performance venue, Michael makes a startling discovery a storage chest containing a mummified corpse Already burdened with having to get reacquainted with his former environment, as well as confront and reconcile with the wife and family that disowned him almost 25 years ago, Michael becomes determined to learn the deceased s relationship with his ex lover, how the body ended up there, and if Ronnie was actually a murderer.Logan, a hospitalized burn victim and Michael s best friend, helps compile a list suspects while Michael follows leads from clues obtained from conversations with some of Ronnie s former acquaintances Duane, also known as Glori Daze, a rival drag queen Lew, a flamboyant and outspoken socialite Bianca and Ellis, Ronnie s friends and fellow performers and Nigel, a closeted and successful businessman with political aspirations As Michael s quest for the truth evolves, he becomes less concerned with the unidentified corpse andpreoccupied with the details of Ronnie s life before their scandalous love affair began The investigative trail leads him to New York City, where Ronnie enjoyed a brief stint as a performer during the pre Stonewall era, London Ontario , where he is reunited with Ronnie s sister, and a local charity event with everyone in attendance from his estranged wife, Laura, to his disinterested sister, Trish To further complicate matters, Michael meets and takes in a young drifter, Ryan, who proves to be nothan a friend with benefits and later develops a suspicious connection with his tenant, Julie, a freelance journalist who helps confirm the corpse s identity.Author Caro Soles presents a vibrant, colorful cast of characters, and her protagonist, Michael, is brilliantly portrayed as the quintessential gay male facing middle age The murder mystery is an engrossing page turner and has the reader hooked within the first few paragraphs, yet the fact that Michael is truly likable andthan just a bystander in this sequence of events makes the story a compelling portrayal of a man s life, as well as a first class whodunit His quick witted thoughts and temperate actions are a testament to the author s impressive storytelling ability Michael s family history alone has the makings of a novel, and most of the other players involved in the murder mystery are worth revisiting Since this story takes place in 1990, I would strongly encourage Soles to provide her readers and fans with an update

  6. Tempura says:

    On many gay mysteries, the author neglects the mystery side and focus on the man love Not here The plot is tightly woven, do not blink once, because every little details matters.I am not too fond of the main character, but he s a whole, complex personality, warts and all The secondary characters aren t just background either, Ms Soles can make you see someone with just a couple of sentences.There is a common theme to the book Relationships All kind of them Friendships, acquaintances, lo On many gay mysteries, the author neglects the mystery side and focus on the man love Not here The plot is tightly woven, do not blink once, because every little details matters.I am not too fond of the main character, but he s a whole, complex personality, warts and all The secondary characters aren t just background either, Ms Soles can make you see someone with just a couple of sentences.There is a common theme to the book Relationships All kind of them Friendships, acquaintances, love of right now , lost chances and also selfless love the kind that renounces love for the lover s sake and goes on even when all hope is lost

  7. Jeremy says:

    I wanted to like this one so much, but it defeated itself despite my best efforts It was like the author was curious about the mystery, but his character was so NOT The whole thing fell flat for me, and felt like the main character just gave up and then the mystery unraveled itself, no work, no nothing Too realistic And I was very VERY frustrated that the drag queens were all villains or bitches Uh UH I do not appreciate that.

  8. Alli says:

    Technically well written, compelling mystery good lead character Chaotic from secondary characters pointless arcs The story flatlined emotionally at a certain point, but there was still a HFN ish closure for the MC Technically well written, compelling mystery good lead character Chaotic from secondary characters pointless arcs The story flatlined emotionally at a certain point, but there was still a HFN ish closure for the MC

  9. Hadi says:

    A really enjoyable read

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