Monday, May 11, 2009

A Different Kind of Mystery

"Rigolosi is a completely fresh voice in the mystery genre." --Library Journal

Hey, that's some praise for Steve Rigolosi. How do you do something "completely fresh" in the mystery genre. I mean, we have crime-solving vampires, werewolves, aliens, and talking cats. What could be new?

The Famous Author met Steven Rigolosi two years ago at his first Deadly Ink, the annual New Jersey mystery fan convention, and last month he introduced us at a Sisters in Crime event. I wanted to know the answer to that question -- what's so different, Steve? I asked him.

"You not only have to guess who the murderer is, you have to guess if he's a man or a woman. In fact, you have to guess the gender of every main character in the story."

What? Here's the blurb from Amazon:

"Six longtime friends gather for a holiday weekend at the Long Island estate of independently wealthy snob Robin Anders. As near-fatal accidents and mishaps mount, Robin is faced with the possibility that one of the six is plotting murder most foul--and that Robin may be the intended victim. But no deaths occur until the group returns home to Manhattan. Robin decides to investigate the suspicious circumstances, while the reader is faced with a larger mystery to solve: Are Robin, Lee, Alex, Law, Chris, Terry, and J male or female, straight or gay? And who exactly is Robin Anders? Is Robin a modern take on Oscar Wilde's ferociously snobby Lady Bracknell, zealously guarding Manhattan from the barbarians at the gate? Or is Robin a misunderstood soul in the tradition of John Kennedy Toole's Ignatius Reilly? Or can Robin be the heir apparent to Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar, who finds the confines of gender identification much too constricting in an effective narrator? All will be revealed in the final chapter of Androgynous Murder House Party--perhaps."

TFA and I started reading and we're hooked. The protag, Robin, is a classic "bitch," but darn if we can tell whether Robin is male or female. Fun!

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