Title: Death Comes Darkly
Author: David S. Pederson
Release: 1st April 2016
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
Genre: M/M (historical / mystery)
Can a detective and a policeman find love amidst murder? Heath Barrington is an attractive, clever, big city detective, confident, strong, and crazy about police officer Alan Keyes. Down-to-earth, noble, and naïve, Alan struggles with his desires for Heath versus 1940s America and his guilty conscience.
Heath’s skills of deduction and reasoning are put to the test as he and Alan work together to solve the murder of an eccentric millionaire in his mysterious, isolated estate. They search for clues and uncover long buried secrets of the weekend guests while keeping secrets of their own.
It’s up to Heath to solve the mystery and convince Alan that some secrets aren’t worth keeping, and lust can lead to love.
Agatha Christie meets gay Cluedo - LOL! No seriously, I really enjoyed this book a lot. Why? Well, first of all it was a thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end. A detective story in the best Agatha Christie tradition with all the trimmings. Detective Heath Barrington is invited to a weekend at a country residence by a billionaire after he saw a report about the successful conclusion of Heath’s last case. Heath needing a break decides to go with his lover who is also a policeman from the same precinct.
When he arrives he finds a mismatched collection of guests who all have a grievance to bear with their host as he quickly finds out and wonders why he is invited. This whole historical set up I loved, a big, old, isolated country house, a butler and housekeeper who are a husband and wife team. A somewhat cranky and eccentric host and the guests. All holed up in this house for a weekend, Sound familiar? Well I did start having visions of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None as far as the setting goes, but there the similarities end. So why have all these guests been invited? Are they there because Mr Darkly wants to make amends for his past? Well, it’s not very long before a death occurs in the house and Heath soon suspects foul play. I was thrown into a detective story of the best kind. No huge shoot outs, action scenes with stunts and wild chases in fast cars, but treated to a true detective story à la Columbo! Powers of deduction is what is needed and Heath has this in oodles but he has a secret and that is he is gay. Not an easy thing to be in the 1940s so that’s one thing he needs to keep under wraps also his relationship with his partner, policeman Alan Keyes.However, one of the guests has a very sharp and acute gaydar and susses him out, but as of this time the respect not to out is there due to the trouble you could cause for yourself and others. But what happens when they become a suspect? Does this mean they can blackmail the detective? This adds a whole other twist to solving this mystery and the murder.
This book is first and foremost a gay themed, historical, detective story which is plot driven. The main theme is on the murder mystery and not the erotic. But adding in the gay angle then it introduces a whole new set of dynamics to the traditional detective story. This I LOVED as it makes a refreshing change for me to read something without continuous bedroom scenes. I could throw myself into sleuthing with Heath, trying to work out “who dunnit” as he goes after the clues and the murderer. As I said, it is a real treat to read a detective story which is in the best tradition of Agatha Christie and Columbo. Even at the end of the story everyone is called into the drawing room and Heath announces who the murder is. Did I guess? Yes! It was Miss Scarlet in the library with the dagger - LOL! Seriously though, I kind of guessed but the twist as to how, no I didn’t see coming. So if you’re up for a bit of detective work with a handsome, gay detective and a his partner, not only at work but in life, with a super historical setting then I can thoroughly recommend this book by David S. Pederson.
Meet David S. Pederson
David S. Pederson was born in Leadville, Colorado, where his father was a miner. Soon after, the family relocated to Wisconsin, where David grew up, attending high school and university, majoring in business and creative writing. Landing a job in retail, he found himself relocating to New York, Massachusetts, and eventually back to Wisconsin, where he currently lives with his longtime partner, and works in the furniture and decorating business.
He has written many short stories and poetry and is passionate about mysteries, old movies, and crime novels. When not reading, writing, or working in the furniture business, David also enjoys working out and studying classic ocean liners, floor plans, and historic homes.
Follow David S. Pederson