Michael Craft Boy Toy (Mark Manning Series)

ISBN 13: 9780312269173

Boy Toy (Mark Manning Series)

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9780312269173: Boy Toy (Mark Manning Series)
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Mark Manning gave up a career as a prominent journalist at a major daily newspaper in Chicago to take over as the owner and publisher of the Dumont Daily Register, the daily newspaper in a small Wisconsin town. Living there with his lover, architect Neil Waite, and his nephew and ward Thad Quatrain, Mark's life in Dumont is usually quiet.

At the moment, the biggest news is the forthcoming production of a new play by the local community theater group. Two local teenage boys are alternating in the lead role - one is Jason Thrush, a gregarious and somewhat egotistical athlete, and the other is Thad Quatrain. When Jason and Thad have a verbal clash during rehearsal, it is quickly forgotten by almost everyone involved. But when Jason turns up dead on opening night - leaving Thad to take over the lead role - the local gossip turns against Thad. Jason's death is soon proved to be murder and, even though he has not been charged, opinion about town has all but convicted Thad of the crime.

Sure that Thad is innocent, Mark, with the help of his lover and friends, is determined to publicly clear Thad's name. But that means finding out exactly what happened to Jason Thrush on that fatal day and Manning's investigation may place him and his loved ones in mortal danger.

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Review:

There are so many red herrings in the fifth Mark Manning mystery that you want to look around for some lemon and some thinly sliced red onion. There's hardly a resident of little Dumont, Wisconsin, who doesn't stand to benefit from the death of the handsome Jason Thrush, a high school athlete and amateur actor whose debut as the lead in a local play was spoiled by his mysterious death that very afternoon. His father's failing business would also have gotten a boost from the ten million dollar life insurance settlement, and even his creepy sister had taken out a policy, betting on Jason's early demise. When suspicion settles on his theatrical rival, Thad Quatrain, journalist Mark Manning's ward, Mark and his buff boyfriend Neil must find out who the real killer is before Thad is condemned by public opinion, and before Jason's grieving football buddies can exact their own form of justice. Despite its satisfying plot twists and its surprising conclusion, Boy Toy is driven by character, rather than plot, and is as much about Mark's curious household, his love life, and his tasteful wardrobe as about his sleuthing skills. A gay adventure, by any definition.--Regina Marler

From the Author:

Regular readers of the Mark Manning series have probably noticed that while each of the books has a distinct "surface plot" (the whodunit that our hero is trying to solve), the subplot is continuous from book to book. I intended for Manning’s evolving self-awareness and growth as a mature gay man to supply the thematic underpinnings of the series, giving the books their "serial" flavor. As Boy Toy opens, Manning has largely resolved an unexpected journey to gay parenthood, having established a happy, "normal" home with nephew Thad and partner Neil. Naturally, I couldn’t resist throwing a wrench in the works. When a student actor dies under mysterious circumstances and suspicion begins to mount against Thad, Manning's investigation isn’t just a matter of journalism—it’s personal.

I drew from my own experience in depicting young Thad’s involvement with the Dumont Players Guild, having myself been involved with amateur theater off and on since high school. I’m a past president of our community theater in hometown Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Dumont Playhouse described in the book bears an uncanny resemblance to our troupe's theater, and the history of the two buildings is essentially identical. But the similarity ends there. While artistic temperaments have sometimes flared within our local theater group, they have never—at least to my knowledge—turned murderous.

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Michael Craft
Published by New York: St Martins Minotaur (2001)
ISBN 10: 031226917X ISBN 13: 9780312269173
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Book Description New York: St Martins Minotaur, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. June 2001; 1st printing of 1st edition. New hardcover in New DJ. Bright, clean, square covers and spine; tightly bound; bright, crisp, clean interior. DJ is bright, clean and complete. 8vo, 262 pp. This is a new unread book; DJ is very faintly shelf-scuffed. Seller Inventory # B00941

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