Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Case of the Missing Drag Queen by Michael Rupured

Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie's support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship.

On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a long-time performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance.

Luke reluctantly agrees to help his newfound friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.

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Book 1
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DSP Publications

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the story of a bartender who teams up with a drag queen to find a missing drag legend. It’s a fun story full of quirky characters and references to 80s music.

Despite being published by Dreamspinner Press, this really isn’t a romance. The story opens with a bad case of pubic lice. and while there is some saucy dialogue and a few awkward moments, there is no sex and very little heat in this book. I found the characters entertaining and although Luke and Pixie’s investigation is slow at times, it did keep my interest.

I found the weird and wonderful residents of Luke and Ruby’s apartment building more entertaining than the staff and regulars at the Gilded Lily. I get that this is historic fiction set in the early 1980s but I’m still not completely comfortable with the label ‘drag queen’ being applied to non-binary characters who would now identify as gender fluid or trans. I’m also not sure the historic setting serves any real purpose in this novel. The 80’s references are a little bit sporadic and I’m pretty sure some of the music mentioned wasn’t released until later in the decade.

For the most part, I enjoyed this irreverent and sometimes funny story. It is a little bit slow and there are probably too many characters vying for our attention. Compared to something contemporary like Brandon Witt’s Mary’s Boys stories, this feels quite dated but there are some great characters and laugh out loud moments in this book.

MICHAEL RUPURED grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, the thoroughbred horse capital of the world. In 1998, he moved to Athens, Georgia, home of the B-52s, R.E.M., Widespread Panic, and countless garage bands aspiring to make it big. He’s an avid fan of SEC sports—especially Georgia football, Kentucky basketball, and women’s gymnastics. Michael’s personal involvement in sports consists of running, working out at the gym, and playing with his longhaired Chihuahua, Toodles. In addition to “writing stories true enough for government work,” he’s on the faculty of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. He’s received numerous awards for financial education programs he’s developed over the last thirty years for youths and low-income families and served in a variety of leadership roles at the state and national level. In 2015, he was named Postsecondary Educator of the Year by the Georgia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education. He joined the Athens Writers Workshop in 2010 and has since published three novels: Until Thanksgiving in 2012, After Christmas Eve in 2013 (rereleasing as No Good Deed in 2016), Happy Independence Day—a Rainbow Award runner-up for historical fiction in 2014—and Whippersnapper in 2016.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Case of the Missing Drag Queen (A Luke Tanner Mystery #1) by Michael Rupured to read and review.

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