Lydia Reviews: A Prayer for the Dead by Victor J. Banis

Title: A Prayer for the Dead
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Victor J Banis
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5


Does murder follow Tom and Stanley around, or do they follow the murders?

After a hospital stay, Stanley is invited by Father Brighton to convalesce at St. Marywood, an isolated monastery on the ocean cliffs of Big Sur. Upon arrival, Stanley finds Father Brighton dead. The order’s doctor writes it up as a death by natural causes, but those seem to be quite prevalent at the monastery. The recent demise of a young brother who fell from the cliffs is described as an accident, but Stanley’s nose is twitching. Plus the order’s finances have taken a sudden, mysterious turn for the better. Is something rotten at St. Marywood?

Stanley and Tom can’t resist digging around even if it means testing their tumultuous relationship against a gaggle of handsome, young, virginal, and—they are told—gay men.


A Prayer for the Dead is the newest story in the Deadly Mysteries series by Victor J. Banis. Readers should know that this is a series that should to be read in order. While this newest story is published by Dreamspinner Press previous books can be found at MLR Press.

Like the previous books A Prayer for the Dead is a murder mystery, and like the other stories, Stanley just can’t help but fall into the mess. Stanley has just gotten out of the hospital and at the urging of a friend finds himself at St. Marywood, a monastery run by monks. Only from the moment he gets there he finds himself involved in a murder as Father Brighton, the monk he was supposed to stay with, is found dead.

Stanley has a lot going on in his life at the moment and he isn’t sure he is up to finding out who kill the Father. Unfortunately, he can’t help being curious, so using the circumstances he seems to find himself in, Stanley puts the problems in his life on the back burner and starts nosing around. Of course Tom starts to wonder what is going on with Stanley and heads down to Big Sur. It takes some convincing on Stanley’s part but eventually Tom also starts to see things are not what they seem at St. Marywood. He can also see there is more bothering his boyfriend than the death of Father Brighton.

Mr. Banis once again pulls the reader into the world in which he has created. Readers will find themselves wondering what will happen between main characters, Stanley and Tom, as Stanley and even to some extent Tom, reevaluate their relationship. The reader will also be drawn into the mystery going on at the monastery. While some of the mystery is easy to figure out, the reason for everything is a humdinger that few, if any readers will guess. I know I was not expecting it to go the way it did.

I have been a fan of this series from the start and while he was not one of my favorite characters in the beginning, Tom has grown on me and I love watching his growth from one book to the next. He is becoming the man that Stanley saw from the beginning and readers wondered even existed.

Fans of this series will love A Prayer for the Dead. Readers who have not yet tried this author should do so, especially if they love the mystery sub-genre.

Reviewed by: Lydia

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