Hot Rocks

Hot RocksRaphael S Series Hero, Nick Hoffman, Is In Midlife Crisis When He And Partner Stefan Borowski Return From Their Caribbean Vacation Marred By Murder, Of Course See Tropic Of Murder, To Resume Teaching At The State University Of Michigan Nick S Musings Over Getting Older Halt Abruptly When He Realizes That His Companion In The Health Club Steam Room Is Head Trainer And All Around Stud Vlado Zamario, And He S Dead Before You Can Say Smoldering Temptress, Series Regular Professor Juno Dromgoole Is On The Scene, Spreading The News That It S Murder And Proposing To Solve It With Nick, The Obvious Suspect Because Of His Previous Involvements With Homicide Given Vlado S Encounters With The Women At Michigan Muscle, The Plot Quickly And Deliciously Thickens Into Layers Of Domestic Discord Highly Seasoned With Compromising Photos Raphael S Latest Smoothly Delivers A Satisfying Mystery While Providing Insight Into The Middle Aging Of America, Gay Marriage, The Excitement Of Sleuthing As A Means Of Exercising Control Over Our Lives, The Orwellian Patriot Act, And Whitney ScottCopyright American Library Association All Rights Reserved I got this book from the library thinking it would be a quick easy read It was Unfortunately, it was also pretentious and not written very well.It follows a college professor from a fictional town of Michiganopolis which, let s face it, is Lansing He teaches at a fake university there, and discovers the body of a trainer in the steamroom of his gym His best friend, his partner, and he solve the mystery, but not without ridiculous, unnecessary references to books that most of us read in und I got this book from the library thinking it would be a quick easy read It was Unfortunately, it was also pretentious and not written very well.It follows a college professor from a fictional town of Michiganopolis which, let s face it, is Lansing He teaches at a fake university there, and discovers the body of a trainer in the steamroom of his gym His best friend, his partner, and he solve the mystery, but not without ridiculous, unnecessary references to books that most of us read in undergraduate school years ago, and have no interest in reliving Yes, we re impressed you can quote them We get it You re smart.I love Michigan, and was hoping for an escapest, fun mystery, however, it wasn t the case I read the first 2 books in this series years ago and thought I remembered liking them, so when I saw this one in the library, I checked it out, hoping for an enjoyable time reading But as other reviewers have mentioned, the constant, constant, CONSTANT references to books, movies, and music were intensely annoying At some point, they quit doing anything to define the character and just persuaded me that the author wanted to show his readers how clever and well informed he is Argh Amazingly, I read the first 2 books in this series years ago and thought I remembered liking them, so when I saw this one in the library, I checked it out, hoping for an enjoyable time reading But as other reviewers have mentioned, the constant, constant, CONSTANT references to books, movies, and music were intensely annoying At some point, they quit doing anything to define the character and just persuaded me that the author wanted to show his readers how clever and well informed he is Argh Amazingly, I did finish the book, having just enough interest in finding out whether I was correct about us who the murderer was yep This is the 7th Nick Hoffmann murder mystery.This is a week after the previous book, and we find Nick Stefan back from their Club Med vacation, but still on winter break Shock upon shock, Nick finds another dead body, this time in the steam room of his gym The victim this time is a fitness instructor who we find out was popular with the women clientele he s training Soon we find Nick his gal pal Juno investigating.I think this series characters are starting to wear thin I get sick of Nic This is the 7th Nick Hoffmann murder mystery.This is a week after the previous book, and we find Nick Stefan back from their Club Med vacation, but still on winter break Shock upon shock, Nick finds another dead body, this time in the steam room of his gym The victim this time is a fitness instructor who we find out was popular with the women clientele he s training Soon we find Nick his gal pal Juno investigating.I think this series characters are starting to wear thin I get sick of Nick company snobby attitude Stefan really has an attitude, he s either really loving towards Nick or angry and insulting Nick is annoying with his putdowns of others, hurt about Stefan, and panting over Juno I can see I still plan to read the other books in the series,but still will read the final 2 and will gladly take a break from this series This is one of the most enjoyable gay mysteries I ve read in the past year Nick Hoffman, an associate professor at a state university in Michigan, discovers a dead trainer in the steam room at Michigan Muscle, a cross between an old school exclusive men s now co ed athletic club and a Bally s or Gold s Between Nick s past proximity to crimes and prodding from his friend Juno, Nick finds himself involved in the investigation, and ultimately solves the mystery.What I enjoyed most about the nov This is one of the most enjoyable gay mysteries I ve read in the past year Nick Hoffman, an associate professor at a state university in Michigan, discovers a dead trainer in the steam room at Michigan Muscle, a cross between an old school exclusive men s now co ed athletic club and a Bally s or Gold s Between Nick s past proximity to crimes and prodding from his friend Juno, Nick finds himself involved in the investigation, and ultimately solves the mystery.What I enjoyed most about the novel is its portrayal of the protagonist and his partner as a well adjusted, established gay couple who happen to be in slightly extraordinary circumstances Nick and Stefan are both in their late 30s near 40, have been together for several years, and they arefocused on advancing their careers and continuing to build up their home The dramas of youth, social status, and romance are behind them mostly.Too often in contemporary mystery novels with a gay protagonist, the author seems to fall into the trap of using a straight romance fiction trope the weak, insecure, but bright narrator aka damsel in distress and a strong, stoic romantic interest aka knight in shining armor Thankfully, Lev doesn t do that he gives Nick and Stefan much greater parity They both have strengths and weaknesses, and they come across as a believable couple in real life They are humans, not myth.Even Juno, Nick s brassy partner in crime, gained my respect Early in the novel she struck me as too diva, too queen bee, to be sympathetic But around halfway through the book I found myself rooting for her.If there s one critique I have, it s that the mystery could have usedurgency Nick didn t have enough at stake personally either through physical or reputational threat This is a minor critique though on what is otherwise a very enjoyable read.Looking forward to reading the previous books in the series I gave this book three stars because I thought it was a mediocre attempt at a comedic mystery If you ve watched enough episodes of Law and Order, you ll be guessing the killer within minutes not so bad if that s what you re looking for in a novel The rapid influx of literary and pop culture references while reading can overwhelming at times What really irritates me about Hot Rocks though is the author s name for the city in which the novel takes place, Michiganapolis Clearly, written abo I gave this book three stars because I thought it was a mediocre attempt at a comedic mystery If you ve watched enough episodes of Law and Order, you ll be guessing the killer within minutes not so bad if that s what you re looking for in a novel The rapid influx of literary and pop culture references while reading can overwhelming at times What really irritates me about Hot Rocks though is the author s name for the city in which the novel takes place, Michiganapolis Clearly, written about Lansing Even worse is the alternative name given for Michigan State University, State University of Michigan or SUM , a university which is supposedly, begun over 150 years ago as an agricultural college and had never quite outgrown its humble origins The author takes a couple subtle digs at the school comparing it to U of M too surprise surprise The narrator of these books it s part of a mystery series is a gay and snotty academic who grew up in New York and now lives in Michigan The good part of these books is the portrayal of the politics at the University The bad part is the over abundance of allusions and references to both high culture and pop culture, at an average of 3 per page Although I did enjoy the part about the post post modern holocaust novel everything is cremated Another Lev Raphael look at academic politics, although this one focusedon health club politics among the well off and bored.As usual, Mr Raphael snarks with the best of them, but with engaging wit that you just grin and love it. 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