Author: Michael Rupured
Publisher: DSP Publications
Characters: Luke, Pixie
Sub-Genre: Mystery and Suspense
Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship.
On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a long-time performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance.
Luke reluctantly agrees to help his newfound friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.
Luke Tanner is a bartender at the Gilded Lily, but during the course of this book he becomes involved in a kidnapping investigation that had a long list of suspects, but only one true culprit. While I love a good mystery, the road to discovery was a bit easy to follow this time around. At least the secondary characters made it an enjoyable ride!
The main character and focus was on Luke, with his repeated mentions of financial straits and a writing career gone astray. Unfortunately, I felt he fell a little flat in comparison to the other characters we got to know. Or maybe the interconnections of all the secondary characters were just so complex and rich that Luke couldn’t compete. His Aunt Callie is a constant companion during the book, and she appears to be an interesting character herself, but we needed to see more of her. Just the brief mentions of her background make me believe there could be a whole plot just focused on Aunt Callie’s history. There’s a story there just waiting to be told.
Alongside Luke on the case was drag queen Pixie Wilder. She and Luke became acquainted during the investigation, turning from strangers to true friends. I very much enjoyed getting to know Pixie and her personality, how she had grown from the person she was before to this wild and wonderful queen of the stage. She’s sassy and knowledgeable and seems to have learned from life’s hard knocks. But she’s also an elegant lady who deserves all the respect in the world. If we do return to these characters in an upcoming book, I hope we get to learn a bit more about Pixie and her life outside the club because I just know there are some wild and wonderful times to be had with her.
And though we only got a brief interaction with Ruby, she’s another character that could be delved into much more deeply in future books. While we find out why she was kidnapped and who did it, her stature as a mother figure and societal lead makes me want to sit down and hear all the best stories she has to offer. I’m sure she and the other drag queens at the club could tell some whoppers. And now that Luke is more initiated into the family, perhaps he will take part in those adventures as well. Until then, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is a good introduction to the world of the Gilded Lily and all her residents.
Reviewed By: Kimberly
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