TIME TO CHECK OUT by Grant Michaels


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 Stan Kraychik (Mask for a Diva, 1994, etc.) arrives in Key West alone--he's mourning the death of his lover under the wheels of a Parisian UPS truck--but everybody on the island seems to know he's gay. Nobody deals with that knowledge in a less classy way than his landlady, Augusta Willits, who orders him out of the Crow's Nest; and nobody is punished more summarily for her antagonism, as Stan discovers when he returns to pick up his stuff and finds Augusta expired (an alarm clock has been stuffed into her mouth). The field is wide open, since the heir of her late son Peter's considerable properties had antagonized a lot of other people who'd expected to inherit: painter Jeri Tiker, who'd had her eye on the Echo Me Gallery; Laura Hope, who'd expected to get ownership of her Fleming Lemming travel agency; Countess Anastasia Rulalenska, who'd figured to take over the Twin Palms craft shop; author Edsel Shamb and saturnalian Ken Kimble, who'd planned to share the Gulf Coast Playhouse; and lounge singer Cozy Dinette, who'd marked out the Crow's Nest as her own. (If you think Cozy Dinette is a great name, wait till you hear what her attorney's called.) Stan's adventures among the Friends of Peter provide reliably lightweight entertainment, though the least interesting character turns out to be the killer. One request, though: Isn't it time for a moratorium on denouements with hurricane obbligato? South Atlantic Chambers of Commerce, take note.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14434-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996


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