St. Martin’s Press
You may have heard this on the news: Provincetown has straight people, too. Yes! This Cape Cod murder mystery (written by a straight man from the Midwest, no less) looks at P’town through the eyes of a straight sheriff who’s returned to the seaside resort after he couldn’t hack it as a homicide detective in Baltimore. His dreams of a relatively uneventful slide towards retirement are derailed when a prominent anti-gay preacher is found dead on the beach - in a dress! The wacky beginning is something of a red herring, as the religious hypocrisy is just a bit of color, and the book has the faintly dark tinge you’d expect from a police procedural, especially when the detective has to contend with several more murders, along with his messy personal life. Some of the supporting characters are a bit vague (and the sardonic take on mildly homophobic state troopers is a well-meant touch, but would Cape and Islands Staties really be so ostentatiously bewildered by P’town?), but the central sheriff is a compelling creation, and Loomis’s slow unveiling of small town corruption and dirty politics feels right on. Loomis steadily raises the tension and keeps you guessing almost till the end, making High Season a fun read.
This is a very good thing; should help out a lot with word-of-mouth in the GLBT community.
Update: I am a bit puzzled by the fact that no reviewer has said much about Lola, Frank's sidekick. I'm not sure, but I think she's fairly unique in mainstream crime fiction as a strong, sympathetic lesbian character. Who, as our friend Laura said, "kicks ass."