Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Pinchbeck Bride, by Stephen Anable

Mark, a stand up comic, has been asked to get involved with the board of trustees for The Mingo House, a historical mansion/museum in Boston.  Through this, he meets Genevieve, a young woman in love with the house's history.  Suddenly, she shows up dead, dressed in Victorian finery.  Now, Mark is not sure who to trust, if anyone involved Mingo House can be trusted.  It seems as though everyone has secrets to hide.

This was set up as your pretty typical mystery novel.  A death, some suspects, lots of red herrings, and finally a resolution.  The thing that made this book so different were the characters.  A large number of the men are homosexual, or at least have homosexual encounters.  While none of them are explicit, if the idea of this makes you uncomfortable, skip this book.  But alot of the things related to the sexuality of the characters seem to be for shock value., and did little to drive or clarify the plot.  To me, it seemed to be a let down.

I am not a huge fan of mysteries, but I do like mysteries that involve unusual settings, including history and art. If you tend to be a fan of the same, and like this but may be looking for something a tad more traditional, I would also recommend Fundraising the Dead.  In the mean time, I know Anable wrote another book with the same male protagonist, and if given the chance, I would certainly read it, just to get a better handle on Anable's writing style.

A Pinchbeck Bride is available at Amazon.com.

A review copy of this book was made available by NetGalley.