When I was a kid I was a voracious reader. I spent my summers reading under the elder tree in the front yard, reading as many as 20 books over my summer vacation. I couldn't get enough. This habit has fallen by the wayside I'm sorry to say. However, once in a while I do pick up a book rather than turn on the TV or computer and I'm here to tell you today about two really good reads, both by the same author, Mark Abramson.
The first is "Beach Reading," which is set in San Francisco and follows the escapades of Tim Snow, an HIV-positive waiter who works in the Castro. The storyline involves the "party of the decade" and an anti-gay evangelist who will "preach" on the same night as the party. There's the usual cast of characters - the ex-drag queen and his Nicaraguan lover who own the restaurant, an ex-lover who also waits tables, activists friends, cute Mormon boys, the older, and straight woman who sings show tunes. There is intrigue, humor, and of course, a happy ending!
The second is "Cold Serial Murder," which continues the Tim Snow story with a visit from his Aunt Ruth and not one, not two, but three murders - all of people Tim knows! Again with the humor and intrigue, a ghostly appearance, a new love interest for Tim, and the usual cast of characters, including the mysterious sister of one of Tim's apartment neighbors, a newlywed gay couple, the lounge singer's fifth husband - or is it sixth?
What I absolutely enjoyed most about these two books is Mark's ability to describe The Castro and its denizens so you feel as if you are actually walking past Twin Peaks, The Castro Theater, taking the Muni to see a Giants game, and best of all, actually walking into Hole in the Wall and talking to the hot hunky bartender! (Something I've done!) Both books have a bit of a twist/surprise ending which I didn't see (not that I was looking for it), which is always the sign of a great writer.
A third book in the series, "River Rat," is forthcoming and I can't wait! I totally escaped into his books. As a lover of San Francisco (wish my job would transfer me there), I felt an even greater pull to this fabulous city. Oh....and check out Mr. Abramson....WOOF! I "friended" Mark on Facebook and he graciously allowed me to blog about his books.
If you like good reads especially gay fiction I highly recommend both books. Each is unique in its own way and yet there is tremendous consistency in characters and loyalty to SF, in particular The Castro. Happy reading and BEHR HUGS!!