“Drop Dead…the DJ Murders”–murder, mystery and politics

Serah, Tonne. “Drop…Dead: The DJ Murders”, The Haworth Press, 2007.

Murder, Mystery and Politics

Amos Lassen

Dirty fun and camp are what make Tonne Serah’s “Drop…Dead: The DJ Murders” a fun book to read. It’s a ride through the club scene and the political arena as our characters “search for better living through chemistry”.

Party favors are the way of life in Joey DeVega’s world which is centered at Club Galaxy. Here the guys live life fast and go through sex, drugs, fashion and dancing a mile a minute. Then one night the DJ of the club just dropped dead. Clues were left and they Joey on a trip to the discos of the world. What he discovered was a real shocker.

If the suspense of the book doesn’t rope you, the humor will. As we get an inside view at gay circuit parties and clubs in the San Francisco area we meet a cast of characters that is suspiciously recognizable.

The book was written an episode at a time ala Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” but instead of finding a home in a newspaper, Serah’s stories were distributed by email to a list of readers. Like “Tales of the City” we sit and guess about the people and places in the book. But as much fun as the book is, there are serious references to the war on drugs and what we have learned from the AIDS epidemic.

Here is a real look at the gay party scene and a wonderful cast of characters—the “pod” boys, an Asian-American (who is our hero), a straight couple, a former activist now circuit boy, a policeman whose gender is suspect and a very mysterious and sinister transsexual.

That area of gay life known as the circuit, the world of partying and dancing until you drop is the scene of this wonderful whodunit. As Serah looks at the glamour of the circuit world, he also exposes us to the dark side of it. He is an amazing story teller. He is a new voice in the filed of gay literature and if he can keep up the standard he introduces in this book, he will be one to watch. His book is very funny yet political at the same time.

“Drop…Dead” is trashy circuit fiction but it delivers a wallop. It has sex and satire, suspense and drama and it is just a wonderful read.

You will feel like you are in the clubs yourself and dropping the drugs.

When the murder is discovered at Club Galaxy, the first transgendered police officer of San Francisco is called upon to take the case and discovers something is not quite so legit with the mayor of the city and the heat is turned up very high.

To make the book even more interesting are sixteen pages of colored illustrations so we don’t have to guess what the characters look like. I am telling you that this is one heck of a book and deserves to be not only read but savored sentence by sentence.

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