One Dead Drag Queen, etc.), but his latest isn't going to further his reputation. Wi"/>

SEX AND MURDER.COM: A Paul Turner Mystery

Mark Richard Zubro, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-26683-7

Lambda award winner Zubro has received just praise for his gay mysteries (One Dead Drag Queen, etc.), but his latest isn't going to further his reputation. Within 24 hours Chicago software tycoons and business partners Craig Lenzati and Brooks Werberg are murdered, each stabbed repeatedly. Both men were rich nerds; one was gay. Detectives Paul Turner (the gay father of two boys) and Buck Fenwick (a macho type who secretly writes poetry) take on the two cases. As they painstakingly strip away layers of computer code, the detectives discover that the murder victims were playing a childish sex game. Lenzati and Werberg each offered sex partners money and kept score, their way of gaining nerd revenge for years of social and sexual ineptness. As Turner and Fenwick crack wise and interview copious hired lovers, mysterious gifts of chocolate begin to arrive on Turner's desk, as do threatening messages on his computer screen. A cross-country killing spree targets policemen with good arrest records. The cop murders and the two dead software magnates might just be connected. Or they might not. The verbal interplay between Turner and Fenwick becomes tiresome and contrived. Since weak jokes and labored banter take up most of the book, the identity of potential killers requires the reader skipping backwards to find their initial appearances. It works, but only just. (Aug. 27)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
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