Androgynous Murder House Party

Steven Rigolosi, 2009.  The gimmick here is that the six main characters in the book – one of whom is murdered early on while the other five try to figure it out – aren’t identified by gender or sexuality.  Their names are Robin, Lee, Law, J., Chris, and Alex, and we never find out whether they’re male or female, straight or gay.  But the real hook here is the preening first-person narration, reminding me of no lesser light than Ignatius J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces.  Robin, who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, describes her/his upcoming visit to Washington Heights thusly: “Though I have always been quite adventurous — some might even say intrepid — I will admit to being somewhat cowed at the prospect of going so far North on the island, into that no-man’s land of crack houses, brothels, and middle-class housing. For a person of my obvious breeding and means would likely stand out like a sore thumb amidst the pregnant teenagers and nascent terrorists from Middle Eastern nations, which would make me a likely target of aggression based on sheer envy and malice.”  Robin’s ego leads him/her to chase too many red herrings and ignore too many real threats, providing a comedic sideshow while giving the reader a chance to solve the mystery. This adult mystery could have big teen appeal due to its short page count, single plotline, and smug sense of humor.

This entry was posted in 2009, bisexual, gay male, lesbian, mystery, queer adult, queer protagonist, secondary queer character, Steven Rigolosi, unreliable narrator. Bookmark the permalink.

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