St. Martin’s, Sep 2007, $23.95
Melinda Merkin visits the basement office of the Provincetown, Massachusetts police department where detective Frank Coffin works. She reports that her renowned anti gay rights husband, Reverend Ron Merkin, has vanished. She also demands that Frank conceal the fact that her spouse is a transvestite who loves wearing female garb. However, not long afterward, Ron’s corpse is found on the Cape Cod beach wearing a floral muumuu and strangled by a raspberry-colored scarf.
Frank suffers palpitations as he left Baltimore for his hometown to get away from panic attacks whenever he worked a homicide, but must find the way to lead the investigation or lose his position into the first murder here in six years. As he struggles to keep his anxieties under control and not faint at the crime scene, a second homicide, that of Sonny Duarte, occurs and others follow.
HIGH SEASON is the opening act of a Cape Cod police procedural starring an interesting lead detective with mental traumas and family issues that harm him at the office and at home. He is ably supported by a strong secondary cast that round out his personal and professional lives. The whodunit is fun to follow as the cops go undercover in drag, but fail to uncover the serial killer. Sub-genre readers will enjoy escaping to the dunes of the Cape escorted by frantic Frank Coffin although much of the story line is introducing the hero and his support.