The Dick Hardesty Mystery series was something like that. I fought hard to not read it, not since I didn't like the previous book by Dorien Grey, quite the contrary, I like it, but since, let tell the truth, a series that is at its twelfth book? One, I'm not so fond of mysteries to be so crazy to start something that I already know it has 12 book of backlog, and two, I already was imagining this private investigator who was the classical example of lonely wolf, maybe even gay, but with no possible real good love story around, since it was impossible that the same hero was with the same person for all those books... and now probably the mystery lovers are ready to crucify me, since I know that there are out there famous "mystery" couple who lasted way more than 12 books. But I'm loosing the track of what I was saying.
I though, why not?, let's start from the last book, and if I like it, there is always time to go back to the previous ones. Since a mystery opens and closes with every book, I will have hardly trouble to get the feeling of the story even if I read only this one. And now I'm regretting my choice! Oh no, don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't like Dick Hardesty, it's since I like him so much! Dick is in a long term relationship with Jonathan, a cute guy who is an angel, and they even have a little five years old child, Joshua, an orphan they took to live with them. And I'm eating my nails since I want to know when Dick met Jonathan, when they decided to live together, when Joshua entered their life... and I know, OMG, I know, that I will not have these answers by reading only the previous book, I probably will have to go back for many many books to have them... I'm starting to to have very bad feelings towards Dorien Grey to be so cruel, you can't possible write of so good characters and dosing their story in more books, it's like giving small doses to someone to get them addicted, very bad behaviour.
Anyway, after my vent towards the author, what can I say more on the book? Obviously I can't say more on the mystery, other than it was, on the contrary of other similar stories, more a search for "who didn't do it", the victim, Grant, was quite the less nice guy on the planet, and more or less, everyone who knows him wanted him dead. The mystery unravels in the very closet circle around Dick and his partner Jonathan, the killed guy was in the same choir of Jonathan, and him or / and Dick know all the people involved. At least, the author chose to be original, and Jonathan is never on the suspects list, I really don't like when the private investigator has to dig on his partner's life behind his back. But this is the only thing I will say, since the author never once implied it, and so it's no a big secret to unveal.
The story is told in first point of view by Dick, so it's him the main focus, but I found that both him than Jonathan are balanced. Being Jonathan not new to the past readers of the series, we have not much added info on him, and I had the impression of a good guy, a good substitute father for Joshua, and a man that can hardly have a bad bone on him, he is always ready to find the good side in people. On the other hand, Dick maybe is less naive, but all in all neither him is so hard and aloof; he ponders his judgment, but all in all, he has not the usual disillusioned attitude that seems so common for P.I.s. Actually Jonathan and Dick are an ordinary couple, with a good circle of friends and with a little nice family; they help each other in managing all of it with an easiness that comes from practice, but they are not leading towards habit. They still have a good relationship and even a healthy sexual life, even if, unluckily for us, Dorien Grey didn't spend so much time to make us share in their joy, but there are hints here and there that "dad and dad" still have their moment, and thanks to the practice mentioned above, they manage even now that Joshua is with them.
So yes, Dick Hardesty and his partner Jonathan are a nice surprise, I'm happy to have finally met them, and it was good to read their story; it was refreshing for once to have an hero of a mystery series who has an ordinary life, a family, a comfortable home. I'm true, I was more interested to read of this, even of the little trouble they had in raising a little child, rather than to find who killed Grant, maybe since Grant was not a nice guy, and so I was not compelled to find out. Despite the matter, the story of Dick and Jonathan is light, sometime even funny (search for the scene when five years old Joshua comes home to announce that he has a girlfriend...), but the mystery in the background is not: the author manages to bring on both plots in parallel, each one with its own specific mood, and only in the last chapter, better in the last sentence, the two path cross. And it's again a proof that Dick ponders, and seldom lets his gut having the better on his mind (see how he reacts when the mystery is arriving to the end), and instead Jonathan lets always his heart leading him.
Amazon: The Angel Singers: A Dick Hardesty Mystery