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A Simple Suburban Murder (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #1)
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A Simple Suburban Murder (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter #1)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
When a gay high school teacher starts investigating a colleague's murder, he finds beneath the calm veneer of his Midwestern suburb a seamy underbelly of gambling, prostitution, and child abuse.

Simple Suburban Murder is the book that started it all--the debut novel of Lambda Literary Award winner Mark Richard Zubro.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 31st 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1988)
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Jan 29, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Eyre Monroe
Very good gay mystery about high school teacher Tom, who finds a much-hated math teacher dead in his classroom, and his closeted baseball player boyfriend, Scott.
Ulysses Dietz
Aug 19, 2015 Ulysses Dietz rated it really liked it
I need to catch up on Mark Zubro’s books. “A Simple Suburban Murder” is from what must have been his first series of books, published under his full name by St. Martin’s Press (one of the few gay-friendly mainstream presses in the 1980s). It is one of the “Tom & Scott” series: Tom is a high school teacher in a suburb of Chicago, and Scott is a famous baseball player. Tom is sort of out in the way school teachers had to be in the late 1980s, and Scott is deep in the closet, as big-league base ...more
Apr 11, 2013 A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book will make one feel mystified, sadness, anger, helplessness, relief, and then heartbreak. The author did not disappoint with this mystery starring Tom and his partner Scott.
Ije the Devourer of Books

A simple suburban murder. Or is it? Tom Mason is an ex-marine and now a devoted school teacher, who finds himself plunged into a murder mystery when he discovers the dead body of another teacher in his class one early morning. When shots are fired at him and the dead man's son goes missing, Tom decides to investigate for himself despite a rather unfriendly police detective, an irritating school superintendent and a bullying school principal. Tom teams up with his closeted baseball player partner
Jun 04, 2016 Terry rated it really liked it
Excellent mystery - not sure that the whole Tom and Scott duo come over entirely as believable sleuthing amateurs but nevertheless an excellent read. I gather that this was Mark Zubro's first novel and as such it is very very good. Another plus in my book is the dearth of sex manual type sex in this book - yes the pair are gay and yes they make love but the story stands on it's own without the need for gratuitous erotica/porn.
4 stars
Jan 19, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it
I do love a good gay-themed series of mysteries and have been reading them for years. Recently, I came across this gem and LOVED the main characters. I believe my husband Bill will love them too.

The main characters are a English High School teacher, and his professional Baseball playing lover. The politics of a high school setting with the combination of great plot, fast pace and people you can care about will get me to buy book two in what is over 13 book series!
This was a new author for me and I was pleasantly surprised.
The mystery was a good solid one. I did not guess the identity of the murderer until it was revealed at the end.
If I had any complaints it would be that there wasn't enough loving between the 2 MCs. Then again the book is 26 years old and maybe back then when it was written it was more about the romance and less about erotica.
Walter Hopgood
Feb 02, 2014 Walter Hopgood rated it really liked it
While I don't like works in First Person, some pieces intrigue me. This was one of those; the plot was interesting, and I liked the characters. Depressing ending, but not unexpected. Glad I read it though - I'll move on to the other books in the series.
Eric L Aust
Jun 28, 2017 Eric L Aust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Very good start to series, well plotted and many twists in plots to close at end, very wide opening about the sleazy side of the sex industry as well.
Lexxi Kitty
I'd have to check to make sure, but I believe this is the first M-M book I've read that I've been able to give as much as 4 stars to. It's not the first non-sexual/erotic M-M book I've read, that would probably be that China Mountain Zhang book. I believe it's the first M-M mystery I've read, though.

The book is fairly straight forward as far as plot/story. As in as far as an amateur detective type book. It did include the lead having a partner. That doesn't always happen in amateur detective sto
Oct 21, 2015 Tj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My hometown was tiny and had a library filled with books that came over on the ark. However, that did not matter for the books with their yellow musty pages fed my love for reading. I matched wits with the detectives created by McBain, Christie, Doyle, Stout, Gardner and Shannon to solve the murder before they made the big reveal. I left my hometown and that old library but not my love of reading or a good mystery.

I recently discovered the Tom & Scott Mystery series. Tom is an ex-Marine tur
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Rispetto al periodo in cui è stato scritto, il libro è molto coraggioso e forse un po' scomodo.. Non solo per il giro scabroso intorno cui ruota la storia, ma anche e soprattutto per la presenza dei due protagonisti, una coppia omosessuale.
Purtroppo non è stato in grado di colpirmi al cento per cento né di farmi entrare nella storia come avrei voluto: non sono riuscita a provare empatia, né a sentirmi scossa dalla catena di eventi tremendi che accadono e né tantomeno - ahimé, a inquadrare bene
Nov 19, 2013 Cris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, a big part of the reason I picked this book up was its reputation as an early example of gay characters in a mystery who were more than their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, I simply couldn't get into the book. I found the writing stilted, especially the dialogue. Maybe the book improves, but I couldn't bring myself to read far enough to find out.
Leigh Ann
Mar 20, 2016 Leigh Ann rated it really liked it
Very good beginning for a series. I never had a clue who the murderer was, which is a very good thing. It made me cry, at one point, which is also good, because it means I cared about the characters. A good read.
Bottom line, in my opinion: unless you can read anything as long as it has gay characters, give this a pass. Total lack of character development, one-dimensional with no depth. I don’t even have any desire to try another book in this series.
Oct 19, 2012 Cecil rated it it was amazing
A very good murder mystery.
Jan 05, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I know it was written in the late 80's so it's going to feel dated but it didn't age well.
Willo Font
Mar 11, 2016 Willo Font rated it liked it
Its ok
Mar 05, 2011 Bev rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, mcpl-book
It's been a while since I read this one..don't remember much. But I have it labeled ""Yuck"" in my reading log. Which simply means I hated it. Should have noted down why
Jim McIntosh
Nov 29, 2014 Jim McIntosh rated it it was ok
Sadly, not a good book. Not even a tolerable book. The characters do silly things to create great tension, but to no effect. Skip it.
Chris/krzykris101 rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2013
Alan rated it did not like it
Feb 11, 2016
Yte rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2011
Dan Beliveau
Dan Beliveau rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2014
Bill W3
Bill W3 rated it it was ok
Mar 11, 2013
Elzy  Tibai
Elzy Tibai rated it it was amazing
Sep 21, 2014
Remster rated it really liked it
Nov 28, 2014
Adele Steiner
Adele Steiner rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2017
Alaina rated it did not like it
Jun 18, 2012
Tom rated it it was ok
Sep 24, 2012
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Author also writes as: Mark Zubro.

Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist. He lives in Mokena, Illinois and taught 8th grade English at Summit Hill Jr. High in nearby Frankfort Square, Illinois.

Zubro writes bestselling mysteries set in Chicago and the surrounding Cook County area, which are widely praised as fast-paced, with interesting plots and well-rounded, likeable characters. His n
More about Mark Richard Zubro...

Other Books in the Series

Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Why Isn't Becky Twitchell Dead? (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #2)
  • The Only Good Priest (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #3)
  • The Principal Cause of Death (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #4)
  • An Echo of Death (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter, #5)
  • Rust on the Razor (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #6)
  • Are You Nuts? (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter, #7)
  • One Dead Drag Queen (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #8)
  • Here Comes the Corpse (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter, #9)
  • File Under Dead (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter, #10)
  • Everyone's Dead But Us (Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter, #11)

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