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Death Trick (Donald Strachey #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  513 ratings  ·  58 reviews
A young man has been brutally murdered. The gay son of a wealthy family has disappeared. Now it's up to private dick Don Strachey to get to the bottom of this mess--even if he has to cruise every gay bar in the city to do it Don Strachey isn't exactly the most sought-after private eye in Albany, New York. In fact, this gay P.I. has gotten to the point of having to write ch ...more
Paperback, 199 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Harrington Park Press (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,157)
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Lena♥Ribka


Guys, I've found a new great mystery series and I'm very happy about it!

The 13 existed instalments make already my blood boil and my pulse race!


In spite of the fact that the first book in the series was published in 1981(??!!), it is such a refreshing and surprisingly very up-to-date read! I don't know why I have never heard about Donald Strachey before, because a few instalments have already been made into a TV-film with Chad Allen in the main role. Yes, it is him.




The plot of the first book r
...more
Josh
Jan 30, 2008 Josh added it
Probably the first gay mystery I read that had a sense of humor without being stupid.
MareTara SLiTsReaD Reviews~Lover of all things MM
I liked it. The sarcasm is totally up my alley
Neet
This is the first book in Richard Stevenson' s Don Strachey's mysteries.I was feeling very nostalgic and felt like reading these mysteries from the very beginning.I had the paperbacks which I got from a wonderful little mystery book store that is sadly gone.I no longer have the paperbacks of the series,all of them were falling apart and worn.I decided to replace them and start reading them on my Nook.Don Strachey's mysteries take place and were written in the preAIDS era.Don is a PI with a quick ...more
James
Loved it!

It's your classic pulp detective mystery, sure. But it wasn't exactly predictable. The writing was economical, the story suspenseful, and the ending was satisfying.

What most grabbed me, as a reader, was the casual conversations between characters in the bars and concerning gay life in general. It felt like, despite being 30 years ago, these were conversations I'd have with my friends today. In fact, there were several instances I could swear I've had those exact exchanges with friends o
...more
Jane
Mar 23, 2009 Jane rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jane by: fandom osmosis
Some comments:

- The case in Death Trick is later referenced in Tongue Tied (so the time span between these two books is 1979 to 2000?).
- Death Trick is a bit graphic than the others; there's one explicit sex scene between the protagonist and a minor character of the book.
- Death Trick is the first book published in the Donald Strachey series.

As first book goes, Death Trick is a great opener, with a right touch of suspense, intrigue and character development.
Deanna Against Censorship
A mystery that took me back to the 70's. A murder mystery set in a lifestyle that existed before Aids. A well written mystery with entertaining characters, some likeable and some not. Don Strachey is a licensed detective who is gay and is very funny. He is also a very good detective. I did not feel any true emotion between him and his lover, Timmy. There did not seem to be anything between them except occasional sex. Strachey seemed to feel more emotion for many others than for Timmy. This was a ...more
Kati
Death Trick is the first novel in the Donald Strachey Mysteries series by Richard Stevenson.

I admit that I bought the book because it's a "gay mystery" i.e. it features a gay detective. Usually, these books are full of sex, even porny, and the plot itself takes the backseat, but this book is an exception to this rule. It proved to be a very intriguing story with some very unexpected twists and turns.

Also, even though it's a mystery book, I used the "historical" tag here. This book takes place
...more
leigh

Intriguing gay mystery set in the late 1970’s. Not a genre romance, although the main character has a boyfriend.

Don Strachey, private eye, is hired by the wealthy society parents of a murder suspect who has gone on the lam. They want Don only to find their son, not to prove his innocence. As the investigation proceeds, Don learns that his clients have arranged for Billy to be admitted to a psychiatric clinic to “cure” his homosexuality. His sympathies entirely with Billy, Don tries to find him w
...more
Jaime
Summary : Donald Strachey murder mystery: Don is hired by Billy Blount's parents to get him out of an awkward and embarrassing situation: he's accused of murder. In their minds, though, the fact he's gay is of much greater consequence. It soon becomes Don's intention not to just find Billy, but to prove he's innocent of all charges.

My review: This is one of the better Strachey books, I think. I really enjoyed this one, with it's fast and loose narrative and characters too likeable to hold their
...more
Sheila
This is the first of the Donald Strachey mystery novels, a series about a gay private investigator in Albany, NY (I know, right?). They're being made into a series of movies for Canadian TV/the here! channel. I saw the first movie and liked it, so I went looking for the books.

The most notable thing about the book vs. the movie is the era - the book was written in 1978 or 1979, just before the AIDS epidemic, and the characters are definitely characters of that time, where in the movies they belon
...more
Rob
I first heard of the Donald Strachey mysteries from the TV movies starring Chad Allen. I liked the movies, so I decided to try the books.
Death Trick was written in 1979. Before AIDS changed everything about gay life. This book is a time capsule to a long-gone era. During the narration, the protagonist, private investigator Don Strachey, keeps us informed of the songs that are playing on the local disco radio station, the songs playing in the bars and discos where the action takes place. We see t
...more
Chris
3.5 stars. Good gay mystery set in Albany in 1979, when things were wild pre-HIV. Donald Strachey's been hired by the parents of a missing gay man suspected of murder, but nothing is quite adding up about the case. (This is such a weird cover! Pretty sure there wasn't a dog in the book...)
K
Jan 13, 2015 K rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: read-2015
MLR 12 days of Christmas feebie 16.12.14
3.5 stars rounded up

Pre falling into the syrup pit of M/M (romance or otherwise) that I can't get out of my reading fell into three categories, historicals, fantasy & crime. The crime tended heavily to female protags, particularly PI's. So I was used to a non mainstream PI when I started this. The book was written and is set in around 1979 and it does feel, well, not dated, but of it's time (which is a whole other point - how far back does a story need
...more
OkayKim
Okay...I'm hooked on a new to me mystery series!
Linda
This was a fun read. I loved the voice of Donald, he's a wiseass, snarky bastard. Timmy was sweet and there were a lot of funny moments in amongst all the murder and mayhem. The mystery itself was well-plotted. The police sergeant Donald works with is something else, but thankfully not as bad as some of the others we meet along the way. I was barely walking when this book was written, I didn't understand about 90% of the references, which dampened my enjoyment somewhat. I know maybe three disco ...more
Joe Scholes
I first became aware of the Donald Strachey series when the movies came out starring Chad Allen. Those movies did not start with the very first novel, which is this one. I decided to start from the beginning. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It was fairly well written and I liked the story and the characters. It captured the time period quite well, a time I remember in the 70s, although I was much too young to have experienced anything like the gay life depicted in this novel.

I'll move on to the
...more
Jean
The first of the Donald Strachey Mysteries about gay PI Strachey. His cases always include some interaction with the gay community, and the eight books (soon to be a ninth) span the decades from 1980 through 2005, so it's fascinating to "go back in time" and see some of the major differences in technology especially. (Not to mention that the first book was written pre-AIDS.) The mysteries themselves are fairly run-of-the-mill, but are made infinitely readable by the wisecracking humor of the pro ...more
Kelly
As another reviewer stated, this book doesn't feel it's age. Not really. Or maybe I'm simply old enough to remember appreciate the slightly retro feel. As a detective novel, Death Trick works. I suspected everyone right up until the final twisty reveal. I also liked just about everyone, which made my suspicion feel a bit greasy. Great characters. What I liked best about this book, though, was the glimpse of they gay scene circa 1980. The setting felt wonderfully authentic.
Juliana
The atmosphere of this was interesting, particularly as a look at gay male culture in the New York area pre-AIDS (although I kept wincing every time various unsafe practices were discussed-- I'm definitely a product of my generation in that I can't remember a time when that wouldn't have been a concern). That being said, it wasn't that engaging a mystery-- the characterization's a bit shallow and cliched. I actually found the movies based on this series more entertaining, I must confess-- probab ...more
Writerlibrarian
Richard Stevenson created a wonderful character, Donald Strachey, that the reader can relate to, cheer with and just let go and enjoy the ride. This is the first book in the series Stevenson created. Always fun to start with the first one, it sets the characters. (I usually like to read in order. In fact, I'm kinda obsessed with that but I made an exception with this series as the titles are mostly out of print and I'm rummaging thru online used bookstores for the them). This mystery is set in 1 ...more
Jen
Well, let's start off by saying that I put this on my Historical shelf because it's just enough outside of contemporary to feel that way to me. There were a lot of 1970's references in it that had me lost. I ended up just glossing over those instead of looking them up.

The mystery wasn't bad. But it felt like there was a whole lot of talking going on and not very exciting. I finished it, so there's a plus, but I was dragging a bit trying to get through it.

I didn't feel very connected to the chara
...more
Paul
It wasnt until I purchased this book and read the forward by the author that I realised when this book was actualy Writen and first published.

I came to know the Donald Strachey books through the movies created by Here.

This book relates to a time pre aids, when homosexuality was still considered by many to be an ilness and indead some institutions believed that is could be cured. And this book uses these insights to further the story.

This is a real detective story where the main detective is st
...more
Paul
Okay, I had seen some of the films a couple of year ago, but it never occurred to me that they were based on a series of books. So, starting with this one from 1981 - can we really remember that far back? It will be interesting to see how the characters evolve as times change over the course of the series.
Q
Not the best in terms of mystery but the setting is worth it. It was fun trying to remember if I know the songs mentioned in the text and googling references.
C. A.  Van Zant
I downloaded this book and the next one in the series, "On the Other Hand, Death" for my partner. He wanted me to choose a few "mysteries" on to the Nook. I remember seeing the movies based on these books, I thought I would give them a shot. He had not looked at them but I checked out "Death Trick". My expectations were not high; I was immediately interested, then carried along for a good ride. I did not devour this one like I do so many books. I wanted to take my time to enjoy the scenery of Al ...more
Michael Reale
An amazing book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post - Stonewall detective novel. it shows that we've come a long way since the 1970s. I can hardly wait to read Richard Stevenson's other Donald Strachey mystery novels.
Kay Sachse
The first of the Strachey mysteries, this is. But it wasnt the first of the Strachey books I read, so I already knew the characters.
Set in the early 80s this is the story of homophobic parents, homophobic society and a gay society before the Aids epidemic kicked in. A young man runs after his trick of the night ends up dead in bed. While the police thinks hes guilty, Strachey who was hired by the young mans parents, thinks otherwise. A compelling story with moving parts that sets you thinking a
...more
Sandra
FREE at MLR Press on 12/16/14!
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Goodreads Librari...: Death Trick by Richard Stevenson - wrong page number 2 24 Feb 04, 2013 05:26AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Richard Stevenson is the pseudonym of Richard Lipez, the author of nine books, including the Don Strachey private eye series. The Strachey books are being filmed by here!, the first gay television network. Lipez also co-wrote Grand Scam with Peter Stein, and contributed to C
...more
More about Richard Stevenson...

Other Books in the Series

Donald Strachey (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • On the Other Hand, Death (Donald Strachey #2)
  • Ice Blues (Donald Strachey, #3)
  • Third Man Out (Donald Strachey, #4)
  • Shock to the System (Donald Strachey, #5)
  • Chain of Fools (Donald Strachey, #6)
  • Strachey's Folly (Donald Strachey, #7)
  • Tongue Tied (Donald Strachey, #8)
  • Death Vows (Donald Strachey, #9)
  • The 38 Million Dollar Smile (Donald Strachey, #10)
  • Cockeyed (Donald Strachey, #11)
On the Other Hand, Death (Donald Strachey #2) Ice Blues (Donald Strachey, #3) Third Man Out (Donald Strachey, #4) Shock to the System (Donald Strachey, #5) Chain of Fools (Donald Strachey, #6)

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