“Fingering the Family Jewels”—a great mystery

Lilly, Greg. “Fingering the Family Jewels”, Regal Crest Enterprises, 2004.

A Great Mystery

Amos Lassen

If you like mysteries, this is a great one. Greg Lilly’s “Fingering the Family Jewels” with its tongue in cheek title is an enjoyable read.

It is a tale of secrets and lies which come to fore as Derek Mason, a detective, and a good looking reported named Daniel uncover family secrets when he comes to North Carolina to bury his aunt.

Derek Mason’s family wanted him away from the family when they found out he was gay. Eight years later he comes home to bury his aunt Walterine. Knowing what he would find upon his return, he was surprised when he met his first cousin mark again. Mark had been his first sexual experience even though he claimed to be a family man and he still could not stop lusting after Derek. When Derek met Daniel and had a drink with him, he discovered that he was a reporter who had published material that could hurt Derek’s family. From here things get really interesting as things come to light that the family would have preferred to keep secret. Derek found out by reading his aunt’s diary was that a gardener who had once worked for the family had been lynched and Derek is determined to find out why and who was involved.

I have to hand it to Greg Lilly. He is masterful in creating characters that it is easy to love. The family that he created here is one we all know, directly or indirectly. As he pokes fun at the Southern way of life, he also creates a wonderful mystery with twists and turns so characteristic of Southern literature. The ending is so unexpected that you are almost tempted to reread the book to see if you missed any of the clues. This is one ending you cannot guess.

Greg Lilly, I predict, is an author to watch although it will be hard for him to follow up this novel with one better. Having known many Southern writers and being aware f the gothic tricks they use, I have to say, that Lilly came close to, if not having reached, the Southern style of writing. I loved this book and I am not a mystery fan. But there is more than mystery here. It is a good story with great characterization and a very satisfying read.

Advertisements
  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: