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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Faked To Death, by Dean James


Faked To Death
by Dean James
2003


You could argue that Shakespeare and other great poets of yesteryear elevated the writing of sonnets to a fine art, one that may never be surpassed. I'm no expert on that sort of thing but I'll bet that even today there are people turning out pretty decent sonnets. Which is a somewhat gawky way to make the point that even though our forefathers and foremothers from the Golden Age mined out many of the major veins of classic/traditional mystery fiction there's no reason why someone can't pen a good one in a similar style nowadays.

Take Dean James, for example. I was a little leery of picking up Faked to Death, the second of four Simon Kirby-Jones mysteries, because of the fact that the protagonist is a vampire and I'm really, really over that whole vampire thing. It seemed a bit gimmicky but I forged on and found out that Simon is actually a gay vampire who writes history, ghostwrites mysteries and dabbles in amateur detective work on the side.

The fact of the matter is that Simon being gay or being a vampire doesn't have much of a bearing on what happens in the book. He could just as easily have been a straight plumber or a bisexual werewolf who carves duck decoys for a living without having any significant effect on the events as set forth by James.

Said events are laid out in the form of a country house weekend murder mystery, with a slight twist. Being that the principals have gathered for a writer's conference being hosted by one Lady Hermione Kinsale. They are mostly mystery writers and are a somewhat motley and dysfunctional group - what a surprise. Of course, it's not long before someone's gotta go and Simon and his assistant Giles promptly spring into action, trying to solve the crime while staying on the good side of the police.

Worth a look, for sure.

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