Dana reviews Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas (The Buck Baxter Mysteries, Book 2) by Geoffrey Knight. (Published by Wilde City Publishing, June 9, 2015, 86 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This week we are reviewing two short novels/novellas instead of one longer novel. I love a good mystery/PI story and also have an appreciation for stories set in historical periods. I found that we were given books one and two in the Buck Baxter Mysteries for review and knew that this would be perfect for me to read and review.
Blurb: Something sinister is occurring at the Maharaja Majestic Theater on Broadville Boulevard. The domineering actress, Dominique Darlington, has vanished without a trace, the opening night of the theater’s new production of The Snake Charmer’s Slave is now in jeopardy, and six suspects are about to have the pleasure of meeting Buck Baxter, Private Detective, as he investigates whether there’s a killer on the loose… or a phantom at the opera?
Could it be the handsome leading man, Errol Hemingway, who’s responsible for the disappearance of his leading lady… or perhaps it’s that sweet, doe-eyed understudy Olivia Overton? Is it the theater owner himself, the tall and mysterious Raja Khan who has committed the crime… or the show’s investor, the autocratic aristocrat Serafina Somerset? Or is it possible that the meek and mild stage manager Stanley Small, or the flamboyant and frustrated director Barnabas Blake, is guilty?
And what of Buck’s romance with playboy millionaire Holden Hart? Will Buck get a backstage pass to access all areas of his one true love… or will this be the final curtain for Buck and Holden?
Follow the clues, and you might just solve… the mystery of the disappearing divas!
I love reading books in a series especially ones that features the same characters as the other books. It gives the reader a chance to experience the growth the character goes through, their journeys. You can come to feel a part of the world the author creates. I expected to feel that way to a small degree with Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas. It is an even shorter story than book one, but the way I felt at the end of the book exceeded my expectations. Now I only wish book three was out and ready for me to read
Buck Baxter seems to be overloaded with problems in this book. Professionally he takes on a missing persons case that leads to murder. He has hired on Stella Starling a little person and prostitute who’s personality is larger than life. Her bold speaking and loud voice seem to be turning the case into a circus, though. On top of that, there are more suspects than he can shake a stick at. I found myself unable to be sure who the culprit was. The mystery was intriguing though, and once the killer was revealed, I found the reasons for the murder were much different than what I thought they would have been. I liked that even though I had some suspicions, I was still able to be surprised.
Personally, Buck is having love problems. Holden Hart, also known as Harry, is a wealthy nightclub owner who came to Wilde City expressly for Buck Baxter. At the end of book one it seemed like they might just be a love match. In the harsh light of another day, Buck finds himself being pushed away by Harry, kept secret, and warned not to ask questions. I could definitely empathize with Buck’s anger and hurt because I loved reading about Harry and Buck together.
I really like the narrative the story has. As if Buck is talking to the reader in an aside at times. It made me feel like I was a part of the story. A witness to the events. Even though the story is set in the 1920’s there is a futuristic feeling as well. The mystery and romance in the story had me captivated. As with book one, the end of this story brought some big surprises and I am almost desperate for a book three. I definitely recommend this book and the series.
From palace-hopping across the Rajasthan Desert to sleeping in train stations in Bulgaria, from spinning prayer-wheels in Kathmandu to exploring the skull-gated graveyards of the indigenous Balinese tribes, Geoffrey Knight has been a traveler ever since he could scrape together enough money to buy a plane ticket. Born in Melbourne but raised and educated in countless cities and towns across Australia, Geoffrey was a nomadic boy who grew into a nomadic gay writer. When he’s not travelling the world, Geoffrey is travelling the world of his imagination—where the adventures, thrills and romance are limitless.
He currently owns his own advertising and design agency which he runs from his island home on the Great Barrier Reef, and can’t wait to buy his next plane ticket—whether it’s real or imaginary.