The Case of the Missing Drag Queen by Michael Rupured

suze_1624's review

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A good look back to 1982, easy to read and flowed along nicely. The author has written other books set in the recent past and all ring true.
Luke, our main protagonist, is pulled into investigating the disappearance of drag queen Ruby Dubonnet by fellow drag queen Pixie.
Pixie certainly is the catalyst amongst a cast of others that help Luke grow up as he is forced into investigating. There are lots of circles within circles as Luke and Pixie find more people who know Ruby, who are related or went to school woth each other or kids do. So the culprits for kidnapping Ruby and the reasons are varied.
I did think I knew who got the suitcase but was wrong on that score.
It was a gentle story in that there wasn’t major drama and the songs the queens perform to are all blasts from the past.
Luke and Pixie become firm friends and odd couple whilst not being romantically involved. The last chapters deal with Luke finding his ‘family’ and a potential date but I don’t get good feels from the possibilities.

the_novel_approach's review

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Luke Tanner is a nice guy but just a tad naive about getting his life together. Losing his parents and coming out sent him on a journey, leaving his home and his Aunt Callie behind. Being dependent on Mr. Wrong didn’t help either, when a five-year relationship comes to a screeching halt. Luckily for Luke, his Aunt Callie came to his rescue and saved him from a life on the streets.

Again, lady luck smiled on Luke when Frank Marvin, owner of the Garden, offers him a job as a bartender. The Garden has four bars, and Luke spends his working hours at the Gilded Lily, where a most entertaining drag show takes place. He also lives at the Sinclair Arms, where he is the manager in exchange for half the rent. He tries his best to help the tenants and eventually finds himself having to confront the owner about funds to keep the building’s problems under control.

While tending to an issue at a tenant’s apartment, she brings up a concern to Luke about the tenant in apartment two, Ruby Dubonnet. As Luke recalls who lives at the Sinclair Arms, the name of Garnet D. Bonnet comes to mind. Luke had no idea Ruby lived in the building—he knows her well as the star at the Gilded Lily. A night at the bar becomes worrisome when Miss Pixie Wilder is introduced as the star, and there’s no sign of Ruby.

Luke and Pixie befriend each other and start to investigate the missing Ruby Dubonnet, and there are more than enough suspects that need looking into. Not only do they find themselves caught up in a dangerous investigation, but fans of Ruby’s think Pixie has done something terrible out of bigotry and/or to be the star.

The Case of the Missing Drag Queen looks like the start of a new series from Michael Rupured, and I’m excited, as this has great potential. The storyline has humor, mystery and a wide range of colorful and interesting characters. The setting is the 1980s and does include incidences of bigotry. I also looked at this as a time of growing up for Luke Tanner. He starts to really care about other people, stands up for himself and others, and faces his issues.

I’ve read several of Michael Rupureds novels, and I was not disappointed at all with this one. I look forward to seeing what he has planned for Luke Tanner next.

Reviewed by Maryann for The Novel Approach

miloblue's review

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this was totally my kind of mystery! set in 1982, the specter of the AIDS pandemic is right around the corner, but the queens, fairies and fruit flies don’t know it yet, or don’t care, since it’s never mentioned. that weirdness aside, it’s definitely a fun mystery with a delightful cast of characters. i can’t wait for the next one!