REVIEW: Death Overdue – David S. Pederson

Death Overdue - David S. Pederson

Genre: Mystery, Historical

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

I know what you are. Five words scrawled on a note, and Heath knew his life was now in jeopardy. He had no choice but to confront the blackmailer and find out what proof he had. But what then? Pay up and risk demands for future payments? Or not give in and throw his life away? 

The decision’s made for him when the blackmailer turns up dead. Is Heath a murderer? Even he isn’t sure, thanks to several double martinis. Other suspects include a voluptuous neighbor, a smarmy grocer, a ruthless gangster, Heath’s cousin Liz, who was once married to the blackmailer, and Miss Caldwell, a wily librarian who has eyes for the blackmailer’s current wife, Alice. Heath tries to read between the lines to solve the case of a death overdue before he’s arrested for the crime.

The Review

David S. Pederson never disappoints when it comes to twisted and suspenseful mysteries from the series “A Detective Heath Barrington Mystery”.  In “Death Overdue” he presents a different side to Heath Barrington. 

Heath Barrington, the by-the-book, sharp as a tack, detective is falling apart.  Something that just isn’t in his nature.  But when he’s blackmailed by a very dangerous low-life his world is taken for a spin.  The blackmailer will not only destroy Heath, his cousin Liz Valentine, but also, Alan Keyes and Heath can’t let that happen.

Because Heath is a possible suspect he’s been warned not to interfere with the case being handled by Detective Alvin Green.  But one small note that could destroy him and Allan gives Heath no choice but to find the guilty party.  Police Officer Alan Keyes has been special to Heath for a long time.  When Alan learns of Heath’s fears about the murder of the blackmailer he knows he has no qualms about helping Heath.  

David S. Pederson does an amazing job showing a different side to Heath Barrington.  Heath is always confident and aware of everything around him, now he struggles with lost time.  With the loss of time and not remembering, Heath has to stay focused as he traces his steps very meticulously.  His emotions and  fear is very clear as he knows the punishment that could befall him and Alan Keyes if their relationship is revealed.  This also brings out how much Heath cares for Allan and the concern he has for his cousin Liz.

This story also opens up views and opinions about:  laws that concern spousal abuse, self-defense, accomplices and accessory to crimes of murder and the intolerance and misconception and hurt that presents itself with being gay.

There’s an interesting bond between three women:  Alice Crow, wife of the deceased Larry Crow, librarian Evelyn Caldwell and Agnes Picking, widower.

On the shady side is:  Larry Crow, blackmailer, scammer and abusive husband.  Melvin “Vinnie the Horse” Horshauer, loan shark, gangster and grocery store owner, Ossip Jarvis.   

I follow several different mystery series from different time periods and “A Detective Heath Barrington Mystery” is my favorite historical series. Pederson knows how to bring the era to life, with his colorful descriptions of dress, places, phrases and music of Milwaukee in 1947.  Pederson also provides interesting facts and ideas that help develop this story with “Mystery History”. 

I highly recommend “A Detective Heath Barrington Mystery” series, and “Death Overdue” in particular is suspenseful and an absolute page-turner. Pederson has a book six in the works – “Death’s Prelude”. But unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for 2021 to read it.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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