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Hot Spot: A Mark Manning Mystery (Mark Manning Mysteries) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Comment: Dust jacket has rubbing, dings and dents. Minor shelf-wear, a still-glossy finish, and a barely used appearance. Tight binding. Unmarked pages.
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Hot Spot : A Mark Manning Mystery Hardcover – July 19, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Michael Craft's sixth solid Mark Manning mystery, Hot Spot, the Dumont, Wis., journalist and his lover, architect Neil Waite, are honored to act as witnesses at the wedding of Roxanne Exner, best friend to them both, and Carl Creighton, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Illinois. But when an electric shock at the reception that kills a major donor to Creighton's campaign turns out to be no accident, Mark faces the daunting task of clearing the name of the chief murder suspect-the bride-in this engaging whodunit.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Mark Manning's (Name Games) small-town home becomes the center of media attention when it hosts the wedding reception for his best friend, Roxanne, who plans to marry the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois. Unfortunately, a suspicious death occurs at the reception, garnering even more publicity. For series fans and others.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mark Manning Mysteries (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (July 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312289006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312289003
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1.1 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,414,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Craft is the author of more than a dozen published novels, including the highly acclaimed Mark Manning mystery series, three installments of which were honored as finalists for Lambda Literary Awards. He is currently at work on a "novel in stories," a collection of stand-alone narratives that, taken together, tell a book-length story with the scope of a novel. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and resides in Rancho Mirage, California. Visit the author's website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on June 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Mark and his partner Neil are hosting their best friend Roxanne's wedding to a man who's a candidate for the Governor of Illinois. The wedding is a beautiful affair, hosting all the big names that the small town of Dumont, Wisconsin has to offer. And then a freak accident results in a death at the reception. While at first it seems like a tragic accident, soon evidence points to a planned murder, and the prime suspect is none other than Roxanne, the newlywed. As Mark tries to unravel the convoluted threads of this mystery, more questions than answers come to the surface, but he's determined to clear the name of his best friend, the woman who introduced him to Neil. This book is a bit more staid than the previous Manning mysteries, but with a keen eye and mind, "Hot Spot" blooms into an intellectual puzzle that leads the reader through Manning's thought processes as he sifts through the bewildering tangle. At the heart of this latest mystery is the notion of family in the lives of gay men. Not only do Mark and Neil have an adopted son (Thad, who's leaving for college as the story ends), but they also have a wide circle of close friends who are indeed equal to family members. Since Roxanne is part of this chosen family, Mark won't sit idly by and let her go through this alone. Family, whether by blood or by choice, is wholly important. And this is what makes the Mark Manning series so endearing to fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Edler on July 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
HOT SPOT, the sixth novel in the Mark Manning Mystery series is a tale of transitions. First, Thad Quatrain, Mark's ward and nephew, is preparing to leave home for college. Next, Roxanne Exner, Mark and Neil's best friend, has finally committed herself to matrimony to Carl Creighton. And the wedding is to be held at Mark and Neil's home in Dumont. And to top everything else off, Carl is running for political office in Illinois; a move, which if he is successful, would take him and Roxanne from nearby Chicago to the state capitol of Springfield.
Knowing Roxanne from the past books in the series, you'd expect the wedding to be a major disaster. But other than the actual joining of Rox and Carl, it takes place without a hitch. (Joke) Unfortunately, it is the reception that becomes a disaster when an elderly and wealthy Dumont matron is electrocuted in a freak accident. But was it an accident? It begins to look like homicide and the new bride is the prime suspect
As I've said before, the author keeps getting better with each book in the series, and this one is the best yet. The plot is littered with possible suspects and red herrings that keep you guessing to the very end. And other than "obfuscation" I loved ever word in it. (Another joke) Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the dust jacket illustration. The Bride of Frankenstein photo will probably attract consumer attention but it demeans the text inside.
This story is set in the same timeframe as that of Desert Autumn, the first book in the new Claire Gray series. In that book the noted stage director, Claire Gray is preparing for the opening semester of the Desert Arts College in California, which just happens to be the college where Thad is heading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ron Czebieniak on September 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
HOT SPOT is the sixth Mark Manning mystery & it is a good one! The series has developed the protagonist's coming out story over the course of the series as well as providing a good mystery. The earlier mysteries were fairly easy to figure out, but the writing and character development kept me reading. This latest mystery kept me guessing until the end! I also like the fact that the protagonist starts out the series at age 39 and ages as each book is written. It is nice to have a well written, sexy gay man in his 40's as the hero of the books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Kevin Sowell on July 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is another excellent book by Michael Craft! The book starts off with Mark and Neil preparing for Thad to leave for acting school and with them also preparing for Roxanne to marry Carl. Carl is running for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois on the Democratic ticket, so right after the wedding reception, he and Roxanne are planning to fly to Hawaii for three days, then return for a big debate. However tragedy strikes and changes their plans.
At the wedding reception, Betty Gifford Ashton, a wealthy philanthropist and cousin of the Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois, is electrocuted. Almost immediately, Roxanne appears to be the lead suspect. Mark and Sheriff Pierce do not think she could have done it, so they set out to solve the murder. Carl is soon informed that if the murder is not solved by the time of the debate, or if Roxanne is arrested for the murder, he will be removed from the campaign. The heat is on!
Mark and Sheriff Pierce work hard and come up with many possible suspects. Unfortunately, each one tends to open more possibilities, rather than getting them closer to solving the murder. However, in true Mark Manning style, Mark solves the murder just minutes before the debate starts, and the Gubernatorial running mate keeps Carl in the campaign.
This book is really fast paced and will keep your attention. I though I had the murder solved long before Mark and Sheriff Pierce, but I was wrong. Read this book! You will be glad you did!
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