Move over, Lev Raphael: Here’s another gay academic cozy.
Two of the pleasures that closeted Professor of English William Shakespeare Yates allows himself—fantasizing about gorgeous student Brian Quick and visiting the Bad Boys bar—coincide when, returning home from a Halloween party at the bar dressed as his playwright namesake, he rescues young Brian from drowning in a freezing-cold river. In his inebriated state, Bill can’t be sure, but he thinks he saw someone throw Brian into the water. So he decides to investigate for the boy’s sake and other, less noble reasons. Brian apparently can’t remember what happened, but his roommate, the unpleasant Chris Hogg, disappeared the same night. The new Chief of Police, an Adonis named Tony who’s known Brian for many years, strongly discourages Bill’s presence in his life, especially when, using new forensic technology, Tony discovers the remnants of a bloodbath in Brian and Chris’s kitchen. Meantime, Bill must fend off the attentions of a local artist who resents Brian and seems to know something about the missing Hogg. Fobbing his “Shakespeare’s Lives” class off on his grateful assistant, Bill focuses on answering outrageous calls from his ex-wife and his new therapist and interviewing all the other neurotic possible suspects in Lythia Springs, Colo.
A gently witty and conventional academic whodunit with a happy ending.