Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas (The Buck Baxter Mysteries Book 2) by Geoffrey Knight ~ Book Review by Lirtle

Buck-Baxter-and-the-Disappearing-Divas-cover-1Title: Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas (The Buck Baxter Mysteries Book 2)

Author: Geoffrey Knight

Publisher: Wilde City

Cover Artist: Wilde City Press

Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/10/2015

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Historical, Humor/Comedy, M/M Romance, Mystery

Blurb:

omething sinister is occurring at the Maharaja Majestic Theater on Broadville Boulevard. The domineering actress, Dominique Darlington, has vanished without a trace, the opening night of the theater’s new production of The Snake Charmer’s Slave is now in jeopardy, and six suspects are about to have the pleasure of meeting Buck Baxter, Private Detective, as he investigates whether there’s a killer on the loose… or a phantom at the opera?

Could it be the handsome leading man, Errol Hemingway, who’s responsible for the disappearance of his leading lady… or perhaps it’s that sweet, doe-eyed understudy Olivia Overton? Is it the theater owner himself, the tall and mysterious Raja Khan who has committed the crime… or the show’s investor, the autocratic aristocrat Serafina Somerset? Or is it possible that the meek and mild stage manager Stanley Small, or the flamboyant and frustrated director Barnabas Blake, is guilty?

And what of Buck’s romance with playboy millionaire Holden Hart? Will Buck get a backstage pass to access all areas of his one true love… or will this be the final curtain for Buck and Holden?

Follow the clues, and you might just solve… the mystery of the disappearing divas!

My View:

Play Bill

Cast of Characters – in relative order of appearance or mention:

Stanley Small
Stella Starling (Asst to Buck)
Dominique Darlington
Barnabas Blake
Mahara Majestic (Theater)
Holden “Harry” Heart (Buck’s Harry)
Buck Baxter

I smiled, pulled my suspenders out in a gesture of self-assurance and let them snap back against my chest. Unfortunately, it gave my ass a start and a fart escaped me.

That, ladies ‘n gents, is our man Buck, and what you’re in for when you read this second installment in this series. What’s not to love, I ask thee? He had me chuckling from his first scene. Or rather, Knight’s writing by way of the first person voice of PI Baxter had me chuckling from scene one, and many times after.

Gumshoe! The single word earned this story a spot on my faves list. Gumshoe FTW! Yes, sometimes it can be that simple, that easy, that fantastic.

One of the best things about this story is the expanded role of Stella Starling. She. Is. Fab. Loud, humorous, intelligent, wonderfully direct, and unafraid. She’s wrapped in little package that packs the best of loyal and guffaw-inducing punches. It feels like Knight was chomping at the bit to let her loose on all of us. The energy rises anytime she’s involved in the scene.

One of my favorite lines of hers, to Buck:

”Ahh, build a bridge and get over it, toots.”

I love you, Stella!

This is a highly and easily entertaining mix of mystery, haunted theater (orrrrrr… is it? Dun dun dunnnnn!), the funnies, and well-crafted characters, fully realized while simultaneously allowing me to feel that there is so much more to come. Granted, the mystery itself is part run of the mill, part clever, part backdrop for the characters, but it fits the tone and time period.

The relationship between Harry and Buck is… well, it’s complicated, for a lot of reasons. They’re now having to navigate this life together (orrrr… are they? Dun dun dunnnnnn!) after surviving the challenges of book one, “Buck Baxter, Love Detective”.

You wouldn’t necessarily have to read book one before diving into this, but you would miss some of the reasons behind the tension and difficulties Buck and Harry are working through.

Lest you think this gem is without passion, pain, and heart…

It was cold but I didn’t give a damn because as I raised my collar and headed into the downpour, I knew nobody could see my tears.

Yeah. Exactly. I’d want to know why Buck was saying that and feeling that way, too. I’d need to find out.

Gutted. So good.

With excellent pacing, punchy dialogue and snappy prose, emotional signposts that kept me reaching for more, and characters I’d gleefully spend time with on any day and twice on Wednesdays (yeah, you read that right), this story gets two thumbs up with a twist and some sparkle. Smoothly written with a brash bit of modernity surrounded by that which is early 20th century cool, along with realistic personal struggles and gorgeously adult cussing, I kinda sorta no doubt about it couldn’t get enough.

Next up: Buck Baxter and the Magician’s Maze. I’ll be there!

PS: Now that I’ve read this, the title gave me yet another extended chuckle, one of many. 😀

Links

Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas (The Buck Baxter Mysteries Book 2) on Goodreads
Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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