When Donald Strachey is hired to find a
couple’s missing son, he immediately knows something strange
is going on. The son, William “Billy” Blount, is under
suspicion for murder, but the parents don’t seem as upset
about that as they should be. Strachey agrees to take the
case because he needs the money and both the alleged
murderer and the victim are gay, but he plans to investigate
the murder as well as Billy’s disappearance.
Once he begins investigating the case,
Strachey realizes it’s much more complicated than even he
expected. With the police working against him and a
murderer on the loose, can Strachey solve the murder before
it’s too late?
Death Trick is the first
Donald Strachey mystery, and while they don’t have to be
read in order it would probably be nice. I wish I’d had
that option, since Death Trick sets up the
other books nicely. At any rate, just like all the Strachey
mysteries I’ve read, Death Trick is a
twisting, action-packed puzzler of a mystery. The setting,
Albany in the late disco era, is fascinating. Strachey, in
all his flawed glory, is equally fascinating. He’s a mass
of contradictions: he wants Timothy, yet monogamy is very
difficult for him; he cares about justice but doesn’t care
how he gets it, and he is ambivalent about his ex-wife.
Timothy is his voice of reason, as well as his refuge. The
secondary characters are well-written as well.
The mystery kept me guessing
throughout the entire book. What I really liked about
Death Trick is that, like the other books in the
series, Richard Stevenson made me care about Donald Strachey
and Timothy despite their flaws and their odd relationship
(well, it seems odd to me, but maybe not to a lot of other
people!). If you like a little mystery with your romance,
or infidelity is an absolute no-no to you, then you probably
shouldn’t pick up Death Trick, or any of the
other Strachey Mysteries. If, however, you’re like me and
like a good old-fashioned mystery with a bit of romance, and
you can get past Strachey’s often unconventional morality,
then Death Trick is well worth a read.