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Drag Queen in the Court of Death Paperback – June 22, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1608200115 ISBN-10: 1608200116

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: MLR Press (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608200116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608200115
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,123,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A gay/transgender mystery romp that moves with cinematic clarity, grabbing

the reader immediately with the Chapter One appearance of the leather pouch.

Just BE PREPARED TO CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE for a few days--this is ONE OF THOSE BOOKS THAT, ONCE BEGUN, CANNOT BE PUT DOWN." -- Marcy Sheiner, author of Sex for the Clueless and Perfectly Normal: A Mother's Memoir and editor of sever collections of women's erotica --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Caro Soles is the founder of Bloody Words, Canada's biggest annual mystery convention. She has been a Guest of Honor and an invited guest at many genre cons and conferences. Her work includes the mysteries THE TANGLED BOY and DRAG QUEEN IN COURT OF DEATH,mas well as THE ABULON DANCE as well as two short story collections and six novels under a nom de plume She has been published in many anthologies and gay magazines and now teaches writing at George Brown College in Toronto. Her science fiction adventure novels set in the world ohf the hermaphrodites of Merculian, are THE DANGER DANCE, THE ABULON DANCE and THE DEJA DANCE. Her latest. Novel is A MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 6 customer reviews
Having said that, though, I must add that the cast of characters is large and engaging and well drawn.
Victor J. Banis
There is certainly enough drama and tension woven into the story but without the peaks and falls traditionally associated with murder mysteries.
I really enjoyed this novel, and as I said before, it's a very unique story, told in a most convincing, and different manor.
Jak Klinikowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arthur G. Breur on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
The title may sound melodramatic or campy, but this story is absolutely neither. Drag Queen in the Court of Death is a powerfully compelling tale about moving past horror, anger, and betrayal in order to find meaning and understanding. Unfortunately for the title character, that meaning and understanding can only come after his death, and proves extraordinarily hard to find for the loved ones he has left behind.

Caro Soles has created an entire cast of believable characters, many fitting into classic folkloric roles, yet without a single empty stereotype. The author has imbued motivation -- and even dignity -- in even those characters who seem to act in the most superficial manner. I am always impressed when an author shows such compassion in creating fictional personalities, and Soles has impressed me very much with this work.

This story is a murder mystery decades after the actual horrific deed, with the added twist that the primary suspect has also died, leaving an ex-lover to look for the answers. Through a logical, reasonable, entertaining, and always riveting progression, just enough of the facts are finally brought to light, and they provide the story with a meaningful and poignant arc. Adding to this barreling freight train of plot is a very visual style of writing that leaves the reader with mental pictures as vivid as if they had been projected onto the silver screen.

I highly recommend Drag Queen in the Court of Death. The book satisfies on every level.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jak Klinikowski on June 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've read my fair share of gay murder mysteries. They tend to have a great deal in common; hot handsome detectives, sexy suspects, homophobic villains and predictable plots easy to figure out. Many are excellent, but few stray from the tried and true formula. I'm pleased to say that DRAG QUEEN IN THE COURT OF DEATH is completely unique to the genre.

Michael Dunn-Barten was a young naive teacher from a wealthy Toronto family when he met Ronnie Lipinski in 1965. Ronnie was a newly arrived, seventeen year old student at the high school where Michael taught and both were immediately attracted to one another. Ronnie claimed his family sent him to Canada to avoid the draft and Michael never questioned it. For the love of Ronnie, Michael left his wife, was disowned by his family, and lost his job. All this would have been okay, but Ronnie suddenly broke it off with Michael, and left him confused and miserable.

It's now 1990, and after many years away Michael finds himself back home in Toronto, teaching History at the local university. Over the course of twenty five years Ronnie led a double life as a conservative and successful accountant by day, and a wildly popular drag queen by night, and he amassed a sizeable fortune.

Upon his return Michael and Ronnie, who was extremely ill with AIDS, reconnected and became friends again for the short time Ronnie had left. Michael is shocked to discover that Ronnie has named him executor of his estate. Michael begins the sad task of disposing of Ronnie's effects. While at Ronnie's home, an apartment Ronnie lived in his entire life in Toronto, Michael opens an old trunk and discovers a mummified corpse stuffed inside.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Victor J. Banis VINE VOICE on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I confess I found the title offputting for a long time - it seems to me to suggest the mid east, pashas and deys and dark eyed houris - but now that I've read the novel, I think it fits. And a very good novel it is, too - not quite like any other gay mystery I've read before. For one thing, it sort of works as a time machine, moving back and forth from the present to the past while the author lays out for you a labyrinthine story of murder, betrayal, love, desertion. Soles keeps all the threads carefully knitted together to the satisfying wrapup at the end. If I have a complaint, it's that Soles' novel is plot driven rather than character driven, which I prefer, but which I confess is growing increasingly rare in today's writing world. Having said that, though, I must add that the cast of characters is large and engaging and well drawn.

All in all, this is a highly satisfactory read. I tend to place a lot of importance on the writer's ability to start a story out strong, and I doubt that anyone would read the first few lines of this one and not feel compelled to read the rest. Likewise, I think they will be entirely satisfied when they've read the last few lines as well.
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