Round, Jeffrey. “The P’Town Murders”
Secret Agent in P’Town
Bradford Fairfax is a hunk. He is also a secret agent who is partly James Bond, partly Sherlock Holmes and partly Quincy. More than all, however, is that he is a man who must be dealt with.
Provincetown has long been a gay resort but the P’town that we get here is one full of greed, murderous jealousies and disappointments. It is also a great setting for a new mystery novel by Jeffrey Round, “The P’town Murders”. When a circuit party boy named Ross Petty dies because of an ecstasy overdose, his death is ruled an accident but along comes Bradford Fairfax, a complicated, human, sensitive and very seductive secret agent who decides that Ross was murdered and feels that the crime was committed by Hayden Rosengarten. Rosengarten is wealthy and has an evil mind but he also suddenly is found dead. This is just the beginning of a string of deaths and Brad must solve the series of puzzling murders. At the same time he learns of a plot to murder the Dalai Lama.
Brad begins to wonder if the murderer is someone he knows and almost loses his own life trying to solve the case. His boss, Grace, who has given him leave to go to P’Town informs him of the plot of the Dali Lama and is concerned that the two cases may be connected. Brad’s next assignment is to guard the visiting religious leader on his visit to America. As his list of suspects grows, the book gets wilder and wilder.
The characters in the book are wild and original and the story is true escapism. It is a great summer read and if you like mysteries, this one is great fun. I loved the flamboyant list of murder suspects and I fell in love with Brad Fairfax. He solves the murder, of course, and falls in love and saves the Dalai Lama. (I hope I did not spoil it for you).
The author has created a wonderful gay detective. He fits no stereotype; he is charming, handsome, human and complicated and a real man. He leads a glamorous life and he is just like any one of us.
There is great humor in the book and it is touching as well. Provincetown comes across as a gay Disneyland and does not come across as it usually does. The list of suspects for the murder a real treat and just great fun. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.