Cards On The Table, by Josh Lanyon
Not too long, not too short, but just right!
Story blurb: Fifty years ago a glamorous Hollywood party ended in murder — the only clue a bloody Tarot card. Timothy North is trying to find out what happened that long ago summer’s night, but when a Tarot card turns up pinned to his front door, the only person Tim can turn to for help is his ex-lover, Detective Jack Brady.
About the author: A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USA Book News awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.
Review by Gerry Burnie
Although I have come across the name Josh Lanyon many times while searching through online bookstores, I had not read any of his books until I picked up Cards On The Table [Just Joshin, January 24, 2012], a short story but, oh, so satisfying.
Timothy North is a former reporter who has turned his hand to writing about an unsolved murder that is well and truly cold. However, as in all such cases, there is something intriguing about it; and sinister as well.
The next plot step up is that the case involved a beautiful Hollywood starlet and a bloodied Tarot card. However, as Tim digs further it becomes very evident that someone wants him off the case by pinning a sinister threat to his door—a Tarot card.
Wisely, Tim looks for support in the one person he knows can help—his ex-lover, Detective Jack Brady. The difficulty is that they parted under somewhat strained circumstances, so the question is: Can they warm up to before the parting?
With this twist we now have a second mystery running parallel to the first (in beautiful fashion), which only doubles the the reader’s already piqued interest.
It is subtle contrivances like these that separate the master mystery writer from the pack; this, and a list of eccentric suspects, mob connections, assorted dangers, and a cute cop with dimples thrown into the mix.
Altogether this story is a jewel; not too long, not too short, but just right. Five bees.
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Fenian Raids (Battle or Ridgeway, Ontario) – June 2, 1866
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