A lot of people would be bothered if their summer of graduate study in London coincided with the reign of the serial killer dubbed Prince Bi, but Ray O’Brien, taking time off from his teaching job in Colorado to finish a project on “monstrous constructions” of human sexuality, is so besotted by his fellow-student Eduardo Hausmann-Ortiz that he barely notices. As Prince Bi works his way through the populace, alternately raping and killing young men and young women, Ray has eyes only for Eddy—except, of course, when the two of them are twittering about The Beautiful Boy, pansexual British Canadian Derrick Quince. In most mysteries, Ray’s chaste romance with Eddy, who’s struggling to stay faithful to his lover Luis back in Argentina, would get upstaged when Derrick becomes Prince Bi’s latest victim and the questions come thick and fast. Is his killer really Prince Bi, or is this a copycat crime? Is the murderer one of the students lodged in ill-named Hyde Hall, and if so, does that mean that an intimate of Ray’s is really Prince Bi? But since Casey’s debut is much more interested in establishing Ray and Eddy as “a new generation of homosexual men . . . neither closeted nor militant nor flamboyant, but simply open and free,” than in trifling questions of plot and character, the suspects cavort through the corridors of dormitories and sex clubs like so many dim shades until one of them confesses.
As light on thrills as it is on sleuthing.