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Murder on Monte Vista

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It’s 1946, and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private It’s 1946, and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private hour with the handsome, young Henry Bowtrickle in Walter’s upstairs bedroom. But the night turns deadly when his birthday gift turns up murdered. The room was locked, no way in or out, and only Henry and Mason were inside. Mason Adler is on the case, but he is also a suspect, along with the other assorted party guests who were all downstairs at the time of the stabbing. Or were they?


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It’s 1946, and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private It’s 1946, and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private hour with the handsome, young Henry Bowtrickle in Walter’s upstairs bedroom. But the night turns deadly when his birthday gift turns up murdered. The room was locked, no way in or out, and only Henry and Mason were inside. Mason Adler is on the case, but he is also a suspect, along with the other assorted party guests who were all downstairs at the time of the stabbing. Or were they?

30 review for Murder on Monte Vista

  1. 4 out of 5

    alyssa

    [2.5] i wish i could rate this higher as i could see the potential, but as a huge mystery buff, i place a lot of emphasis on the mystery & investigation itself, and that’s where the story fell short for me. as the first book of a new series (by the looks of it on GR, apologies if i’m mistaken!), this served as more of an intro to the cast of characters and time period than anything. the beginning was a prolonged stay in Exposition City, introducing side characters left and right and their dynamic [2.5] i wish i could rate this higher as i could see the potential, but as a huge mystery buff, i place a lot of emphasis on the mystery & investigation itself, and that’s where the story fell short for me. as the first book of a new series (by the looks of it on GR, apologies if i’m mistaken!), this served as more of an intro to the cast of characters and time period than anything. the beginning was a prolonged stay in Exposition City, introducing side characters left and right and their dynamics, but it was also a bit on the repetitive side—police friend Emil slightly jealous of our main character Mason’s investigational prowess, egotistical decorator Walter acting like the world revolved around him and its inhabitants were his pawns, prudent and careful Mason as the object of many crushes, etc. while i appreciated the time taken to meticulously build the world and characters, i think a mix of the main mystery amongst these conversations would’ve made for a more engaging narrative as >2/3 of the story was spent building up to the events described in the blurb. only at the ~70% mark (keep in mind the book ended at 91% on my Kindle) do we finally reach the big climax event of Mason celebrating his 50th birthday as the main suspect of a murder, but the subsequent scenes tying up the case in a neat bow felt rushed and low-stakes given the prompt shutdown of any sense of urgency. i could understand that the crime occurred on a smaller scale, so investigations were brief and the number of clues weren’t exactly extravagant, but i did wish we could’ve witnessed some face-to-face showdowns/interrogations with the list of suspects and other investigative shenanigans. by the time the case was solved in a light-bulb moment, i found myself unable to bask in that sense of satisfaction that usually springs from the unraveling of the why and how of a crime when it seemed to come so easily. it didn’t help that i wasn’t a fan of his not-really-friend-but-more-a-habit companion Walter either. he’s that toxic “friend” who is constantly pointing out your flaws, thinks he knows what’s best for everyone, and is wildly self-centered—i honestly wanted to skip scenes with him in it, but of course, he somehow managed to insert himself into practically every single one 🤣 not even a murder in his own home could stop his narcissistic streak, and i think that alone speaks volumes. i just hope if he remains a main pillar of Mason’s friend group, the author finds a purposeful way to allow readers to sympathize with him beyond a list of his adolescent woes. Lydia was by far my favorite side character, and i found myself partly hoping she would become Mason’s partner in solving crime. it didn’t come true this time around, but who knows, maybe one day? 😆 that all being said, i can at least partially attribute this to a case of misplaced expectations and would still recommend others to give this a go for themselves! *note: this features a gay protagonist/side characters, but there is no romance (at least at this juncture). Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    David Pederson's first series, the Heath Barrington Mysteries set in Milwaukee in the 1950s, introduced us to his detective protagonist and and placed Heath in a number of situations where he was directly involved in the case - in a secluded private home with a host of suspects, on a boat on Lake Michigan where a murder takes place, at a large hotel in Chicago, etc. In contrast, this first book in his new Mason Adler Mystery series reads as if it were a stage play, with most of the action happen David Pederson's first series, the Heath Barrington Mysteries set in Milwaukee in the 1950s, introduced us to his detective protagonist and and placed Heath in a number of situations where he was directly involved in the case - in a secluded private home with a host of suspects, on a boat on Lake Michigan where a murder takes place, at a large hotel in Chicago, etc. In contrast, this first book in his new Mason Adler Mystery series reads as if it were a stage play, with most of the action happening off-stage. We learn of cases that Mason has solved in the past, including a very recent case of a "was it murder or suicide" and the murder (in an ornately decorated home on Monte Vista in post WWII-Phoenix) doesn't kick in until around 65% through the book. Even when Adler solves this intriguing "locked room" mystery, it doesn't occur at the scene, but rather in a discussion with his acquaintance Walter Wingate, the interior decorator in whose home the murder occurred. As far as the cast of characters, Mason's friend Lydia is nicely fleshed-out, but most of the secondary characters are very lightly developed. One exception is Walter Wingate, but personally I found him very mean-spirited (or completely unaware of anything other than his own interests). I did like the way Pederson gives us a feel for the era and the manner in which one had to live their life at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. Mason is a character I'd like to learn more about, and I'd like to see him more actively involved in investigating for his clients. 3 stars for Murder on Monte Vista and I look forward to seeing how the series develops. I received an ARC from the Publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Visit my blog, Sinfully Good Gay Book Reviews

  3. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    Fun first look at a new series from David S. Pederson. Mason T. Adler's a private eye in the mid-1940's who successfully solves cases often showing up the police. His 50th birthday's right around the corner and of course there's a party thrown by his frenemy Walter Waverly Wingate who's more interested in gathering potential clients for his interior decorating business than he is in actually celebrating Mason's big day. Of course there's a murder and it looks as if Mason might even be the prime Fun first look at a new series from David S. Pederson. Mason T. Adler's a private eye in the mid-1940's who successfully solves cases often showing up the police. His 50th birthday's right around the corner and of course there's a party thrown by his frenemy Walter Waverly Wingate who's more interested in gathering potential clients for his interior decorating business than he is in actually celebrating Mason's big day. Of course there's a murder and it looks as if Mason might even be the prime suspect. Yikes! This story's light and frothy and I imagine it might make a great retro indie film done in black and white. Looking forward to book 2. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for the ARC on this one. Releasing in March. I recommended Murder on Monte Vista for my monthly spot on the podcast, Queer Writers of Crime: https://www.queerwritersofcrime.com/p...

  4. 5 out of 5

    mila

    Murder on Monte Vista is a story set in 1946, and it's about a private investigator Mason Adler, who ends up investigating a murder that takes place at his 50th birthday party. I was expecting to love this story, as I was just in the right mood for a murder mystery, and I am so sad I'm rating this only 2 stars. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The synopsis of the book promises a locked-room mystery, a murder investigation, and a lot more intrigue than the book actually ended Murder on Monte Vista is a story set in 1946, and it's about a private investigator Mason Adler, who ends up investigating a murder that takes place at his 50th birthday party. I was expecting to love this story, as I was just in the right mood for a murder mystery, and I am so sad I'm rating this only 2 stars. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The synopsis of the book promises a locked-room mystery, a murder investigation, and a lot more intrigue than the book actually ended up having. My main complaint about the book, and the reason why my rating is so low, is that the murder and everything that follows happens well after 60% of the book (67% on my NetGalley Shelf app, if I'm not mistaken). The investigation that follows also leaves a lot to be desired - Mason goes to the crime scene once and then solves the entire case sitting on his couch, talking to his friend. Unfortunately, while the mystery itself was interesting, the way it was revealed just felt anticlimactic. I expected more. All that being said, I did enjoy the writing style, and I thought the book had a lot of potential. It just read too much like a slice-of-life story rather than a murder mystery. I enjoyed the characters, I thought they were well-rounded, interesting people, even if I didn't like some of them. Mason Adler is the main character, and he is a gay man living in the 40s, which is sort of the main focus of the first half of the book. There are other queer characters in the book, like Mason's friend Walter, who throws him the fateful birthday party. I enjoyed him as a character, he was annoying at times but very interesting. I also enjoyed Lydia, Mason's neighbor and friend - she was lovely and I enjoyed the scenes she was in. The rest of the side characters had less of a presence in the book, and therefore were less fleshed out, but they had lesser roles so I don't mean that to be necessarily negative. On goodreads, this is marked as the first book in the series and that seems to be its downfall - it reads like an intro to a bigger story, rather than a book that can stand on its own. There was way too much exposition and worldbuilding so t0 speak, and what was marketed as the main focus of the book, seemed like an afterthought. However, I did like the writing style, so come the next book I might pick it up - I have high hopes that the mystery part of it we'll be the main focus then. All in all, this had good writing, interesting characters but the mystery was lackluster and barely existent. If you've read the author's previous books and enjoy his writing - or you don't mind that this is just an introduction to the forthcoming series, I would still recommend it. I received the arc through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lee Hulme

    Pederson is back, and he strikes out on a new path with Mason T. Adler, a 1946 PI, and his friend, the interior decorator Walter Waverly Wingate (and you've gotta love the names. So very noir! They went to the same boarding school and everything, too. It's just perfect). Wingate is throwing Adler a birthday party (well, kind of), but the guest of honor finds himself alone, in a room, with the young waiter Wingate has paid to sleep with him stabbed in the chest. The door and windows are locked, an Pederson is back, and he strikes out on a new path with Mason T. Adler, a 1946 PI, and his friend, the interior decorator Walter Waverly Wingate (and you've gotta love the names. So very noir! They went to the same boarding school and everything, too. It's just perfect). Wingate is throwing Adler a birthday party (well, kind of), but the guest of honor finds himself alone, in a room, with the young waiter Wingate has paid to sleep with him stabbed in the chest. The door and windows are locked, and only he and Adler are in the room. Now, not only will Adler never get any use out of his birthday gift, he also needs to figure out who did it, and how. And this time, it's not only his reputation as a genius sleuth who constantly gets the answer ahead of the police that's on the line. Both Adler and Wingate start off pretty easy to like. It's a smoothly written beginning. The descriptions of the characters flow nicely, and Pederson uses it to make their relationship clear with some mostly good natured ribbing. The first scene description comes quickly afterwards, showing Pederson's great eye for detail. Adler picks scents out of the air to add to the scene as the two go for a meal, and Pederson is a step ahead of them all the way, showing what's there, and letting their actions and responses invite us to know them better. What follows is a conversation that warmed my heart, honestly. Two gay men, talking about other gay men. We see Wingate's easy attitude to offering help to those in his community that need it. It's something the LGBTQ community has always done (and something I believe will continue until the day it's no longer needed). I love seeing this conversation because it's so comfortable, so natural. Neither the characters, nor writer, have anything to prove. There's no awkwardness on the subject, or any fear of the opinions of homophobes, they just banter happily with each other and I love to see it! Anyway, we get some more chat and another friend arrives, offering our first look at some building tension - and the gold standard in "tolerant" homophobia of the time. The "tolerant" friend is, of course, only tolerant as long as he never has to see, hear, or acknowledge in any way that they are "musical". And Adler is almost pathetically grateful about his self-proclaimed tolerance. Having experienced it personally more than once, that hits hard. Meanwhile Adler and Wingate have their own differences of opinion on keeping a low profile (a stroll down to the canal?) and what constitutes living a lie (occasionally going places with a female friend?) It's full of the pain and life of needing to be yourself, but knowing that the wrong people finding out could lead to arrest, ostracism, death. I really liked that Adler had a female friend who knows of his sexuality, and had a genuine connection with him. They both had someone to escort them to places (a requirement for avoiding the people who would otherwise be trying to marry them off), and to spend time with. And they really did loved each other as friends. Lydia almost broke that a couple of times, but fortunately in the end she didn't. Onwards! After half a book or so of setup, eventually we get to the party, and then to the murder. But don't mistake the shortness of my above paragraph. That's just me not wanting to deprive you of the very enjoyable time spent introducing us to the main players and showing us how they move through the world around them. That last is something important for us to understand in the case of our gay characters in particular. We get to know them, so we feel for them in the dangerous world they live in, and then when everything goes horribly wrong, we fear for them even more. It's very well built up and executed. In Adler, we get a depiction of a gay man growing old - which is something we don't see enough. Especially in the gay community, where focus tends to fall on the young and ripped. An older gay gentleman, worrying about the stranger in the mirror, is an excellent touch. It adds layers to Adler that I have to really appreciate. Also, keep an eye out for the moments that made me snigger like a 12yr old. Like the cishet guy calling Adler a one-of-a-kind dick. I had to stop reading for a minute after that one! There's one main issue, really, and that's the speech. First, it feels like it's been learned by rote and rattled off at high speed. There's a lot of conversation which goes directly from speaker to speaker with little in the way of motion from the speakers. It strikes oddly, given Pederson's expertise with environmental details. Second, something about the speech itself feels unnatural, as if it's been written by someone unfamiliar with informal English. It doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment, but it's jarring at times, and it took me out of the flow a lot. The plot plodded along, sometimes a little slowly, but generally enjoyably; even guessing some of what was about to come did little to lessen my enjoyment of seeing how the characters acted and reacted when it did, which was nice. As to the solution to the mystery (it's a crime story so an important detail): it was reasonably sneakily done. We probably didn't need to have it explained twice within 5 pages of each other, but that's a minor point really. It was a fun read, and I'd recommend it for sure. It's my first time reading a book from Pederson, and I'd happily pick up another. Murder On Monte Vista was released on 15th March 2022.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carol Hutchinson

    A great new mystery! Mason’s fiftieth birthday party has been arranged by his friends, of which Walter has arranged a very special present for him. Mason is nervous about the gift but when the young man, Henry, a part of his surprise is murdered, the night takes on a very different turn. As a private detective, Mason must work out how Henry was murdered in a locked room where they were alone, while clearing his name as number one suspect. I was so excited to find out that David S. Pederson had a A great new mystery! Mason’s fiftieth birthday party has been arranged by his friends, of which Walter has arranged a very special present for him. Mason is nervous about the gift but when the young man, Henry, a part of his surprise is murdered, the night takes on a very different turn. As a private detective, Mason must work out how Henry was murdered in a locked room where they were alone, while clearing his name as number one suspect. I was so excited to find out that David S. Pederson had a new Mystery series coming out and to find out all about Mason, as I had read a couple of his Heath Barrington Mysteries and loved them! Definitely love the new Mason Adler Mystery series and it is off to a fantastic start with Murder On Monte Vista. I was so shocked by the outcome of the story, and applaud how simply, but masterfully, David weave these mysteries. Each one lulls me into a false sense of security, then leaves me suspecting literally everyone, and even though I doubted it could be true, I was taken in with the clues that meant it could have been Mason himself. The whole story was just amazing, with a brilliant new cast of quirky characters who I am really hoping we get to learn more about throughout the series as we get to know Mason better. He was very charming, and the way he worked was logical but genius in a way that had me excited by his investigations. When he figured out what had happened, I was truly surprised and then wondering how I hadn’t figured it out, all the signs of a fantastic mystery. I just love the imagery and the way everything is described really puts me in the moment. You feel a part of the story and the way it is written, even though you know Mason is talking to another character, it’s as if he is talking to you personally too, so it is so easy to become emerged in the story and really be a part of it. Most enjoyable, super exciting, and a series I cannot wait for more of! What a fantastic mystery!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Murder on Monte Vista is an offbeat noir PI mystery and the first book in a new series by David S. Pederson. Due out 15th March 2022 from Bold Strokes Books, it's 226 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This book has q Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Murder on Monte Vista is an offbeat noir PI mystery and the first book in a new series by David S. Pederson. Due out 15th March 2022 from Bold Strokes Books, it's 226 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This book has quite an offbeat pacing and plot development. I was impressed at the verisimilitude of the writing. It's set in 1946 and it really reads like a novel written contemporaneously. It's pitch perfect with regard to pacing and dialogue. It definitely could have been written in the years after the second world war and decades before Stonewall. Most of the characters are gay, and in or out of their respective closets in a time when there were real risks involved in living as a gay man in the USA. Main protagonist Mason is a successful PI and something of a loner in his private life, although he has a circle of friends and a steady platonic relationship with a female friend with whom he enjoys outings to films and the occasional dinner date. The plotting is, as stated, quirky and unexpected. The main crime occurs as a locked room mystery where the protagonist himself has insured that the door and windows into the room are firmly locked and bolted. The investigation and resolution are cleared up relatively quickly and cleverly by Mason himself after learning some new and vital information. The presentation of the clues necessary to solving the mystery are not always according to "fair play" rules... but I found the main character and the atmosphere compelling and well done. It reminds me in a lot of complimentary ways of other golden age "gotcha" mysteries by E.C.R. Lorac and Cornell Woolrich. Fans of offbeat noir American PI mysteries who don't mind the more sordid aspects (sex for hire, lots of smoking and drinking, anti-homosexuality laws and threatened violence, etc) will possibly enjoy this one. Four stars. Intriguing. There is no explicit sexual content here and only mild cursing. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacques P Coulliette

    This book is the first of a new series for Pederson and introduces us to a whole new cast of characters. Like previous books from his Heath Barrington series, this one is set in the 1940’s and features several key gay characters. Pederson puts tremendous research into ensuring period details are meticulously accurate, which for me is a fun way to learn more about key locations, words, behavioral norms, etc. from a different era. He blends these in with ease along with the key plot details, so by This book is the first of a new series for Pederson and introduces us to a whole new cast of characters. Like previous books from his Heath Barrington series, this one is set in the 1940’s and features several key gay characters. Pederson puts tremendous research into ensuring period details are meticulously accurate, which for me is a fun way to learn more about key locations, words, behavioral norms, etc. from a different era. He blends these in with ease along with the key plot details, so by the end of the book not only have you read a great mystery, but you’re also a little smarter about life in 1940’s America! Murder on Monte Vista is set in Phoenix and introduces us to private detective Mason Adler. It’s a classic locked-room mystery that’s full of surprises and will keep you guessing until the very end. Of course, all the necessary clues are included, but several are quite subtle – along with a healthy amount of red herrings as well – and I was unable to figure out the mystery until Adler revealed it through dialogue to his friend. Pederson’s books are always a fun, quickly paced read with descriptive visuals that will keep you turning the page. Murder on Monte Vista is no exception. Great for a weekend or beach trip read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Library-Guy

    What a great start to a fun new murder mystery series! Mr. Pederson has done an incredible job of weaving together all the suspects and clues into an enjoyable and puzzling read. Since this is a new series, the first part of the book starts out a little slower as the new characters and new settings are being introduced. I’m fine with this, as I like to become familiar with everything and everyone before the actual murder takes place. We first meet private detective Mason Adler and his decorator What a great start to a fun new murder mystery series! Mr. Pederson has done an incredible job of weaving together all the suspects and clues into an enjoyable and puzzling read. Since this is a new series, the first part of the book starts out a little slower as the new characters and new settings are being introduced. I’m fine with this, as I like to become familiar with everything and everyone before the actual murder takes place. We first meet private detective Mason Adler and his decorator friend Walter Wingate. Clearly there is a lot of history between these two. Their dialog is sharp and witty. The character of Walter, who initially comes across as a bit pushy and overbearing, is just navigating life in the 1940s in a different way. Rather than remain closeted like most of Mr. Pederson’s other gay characters, Walter revels in being flamboyantly different and doesn’t seem bothered by what others think. Flaunting how different they were was another way that gay men survived in the heterosexual world of the 20th century. Truman Capote, Paul Lynde, and other ‘closeted’ gay celebrities often exaggerated their appearances, their speech and/or their behaviors to stand out as different. I found that the contrast in the way that Mason and Walter live their lives differently as gay men in the 1940s gives their relationship much more depth and interest. I’ll be curious to see if any backstory they might have is explored in future novels. The mystery itself is deliciously puzzling. Walter has secured a handsome waiter to spend an hour alone with Mason as a 50th birthday present. When the waiter is murdered in the locked bedroom with only Mason present, Mason becomes the prime suspect. From there the plot twists and turns as Mason must figure out who the actual murderer is and prove his innocence. The clues and list of suspects kept me guessing until the very end. I highly recommend this new mystery.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Goodrich

    When David Pederson moved to Phoenix, AZ, he left the characters he had developed in his previous seven books back in Milwaukee. While I missed Heath, Alan, and Aunt Verbina, getting acquainted with detective Mason Adler in his new book was most interesting. The delicious repartee in chapter 1 between Mason and his friend, interior decorator Walter Wingate, sets the tone for the entire book. Chapter 2 introduces us to Lydia as she and Mason are returning from a movie. I don't recall Heath having When David Pederson moved to Phoenix, AZ, he left the characters he had developed in his previous seven books back in Milwaukee. While I missed Heath, Alan, and Aunt Verbina, getting acquainted with detective Mason Adler in his new book was most interesting. The delicious repartee in chapter 1 between Mason and his friend, interior decorator Walter Wingate, sets the tone for the entire book. Chapter 2 introduces us to Lydia as she and Mason are returning from a movie. I don't recall Heath having a significant female relationship in David's previous books, so this is a nice new touch. While Walter accuses Mason using Lydia as a cover-up for his sexuality, the friendship/relationship appears to be real. But on to the main plot. In succeeding chapters. we are introduced to a variety of characters, all of whom are invited to Mason's 50th birthday party, hosted by Walter in his home. It is there that the "Murder on Monte Vista" takes place. With his usual attention to detail, David describes the locale as well as a detailed description of Walter's home. It's the birthday present which Walter plans for Mason which results in the murder. In the closing chapters, we follow Mason as he analyzes the clues which lead to the murderer and the motive. I'm looking forward to getting better acquainted with Mason Adler in a future mystery by the talented David S. Pederson.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason Kreger

    Murder on Monte Vista is another example of the witty and sharp writing by David S. Pederson. Fans of his “Death” series are sure to love this new set of characters living in Phoenix in the 1940’s. Mason T. Adler is an instantly likable character, and Pederson has once again crafted a cast of fascinating characters; some dear friends, some quirky acquaintances, some flawed but endearing “habits,” and possibly some enemies as well! The dialogue Pederson writes is smart and funny, and pulls the re Murder on Monte Vista is another example of the witty and sharp writing by David S. Pederson. Fans of his “Death” series are sure to love this new set of characters living in Phoenix in the 1940’s. Mason T. Adler is an instantly likable character, and Pederson has once again crafted a cast of fascinating characters; some dear friends, some quirky acquaintances, some flawed but endearing “habits,” and possibly some enemies as well! The dialogue Pederson writes is smart and funny, and pulls the reader through the twists and turns of a murder that our new friend Mason Adler may have committed himself! Pederson weaves together the clues and details sprinkled throughout the book to leave readers with a satisfying mystery solved.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    MURDER ON MONTE VISTA is a mystery set in 1946. Private detective Mason Adler is celebrating his fiftieth birthday in Phoenix, AZ. When a guest turns up murdered in a room that was locked from the inside, it's up to Detective Adler to solve the case. I enjoyed reading a murder mystery set in the 1940s. The descriptive scenes fit the mood of other books from that era, and I liked that it was a mystery that centered around gay characters written by an LGBTQ author. I look forward to more books in MURDER ON MONTE VISTA is a mystery set in 1946. Private detective Mason Adler is celebrating his fiftieth birthday in Phoenix, AZ. When a guest turns up murdered in a room that was locked from the inside, it's up to Detective Adler to solve the case. I enjoyed reading a murder mystery set in the 1940s. The descriptive scenes fit the mood of other books from that era, and I liked that it was a mystery that centered around gay characters written by an LGBTQ author. I look forward to more books in the series. [Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advance review copy in exchange for my honest review.]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter Burnash

    Dave Pederson writes a wonderful murder mystery as he introduces a new detective, Mason Adler, to his collection of novels. As with Dave’s other books, readers find themselves guessing and second-guessing their predictions about who the actual murderer is right up until Mason pulls all the pieces together. Along the journey, the reader experiences what a gay man in the 1940’s went through to survive in the closet, sharing his most private life with just a few close friends. It all makes for a co Dave Pederson writes a wonderful murder mystery as he introduces a new detective, Mason Adler, to his collection of novels. As with Dave’s other books, readers find themselves guessing and second-guessing their predictions about who the actual murderer is right up until Mason pulls all the pieces together. Along the journey, the reader experiences what a gay man in the 1940’s went through to survive in the closet, sharing his most private life with just a few close friends. It all makes for a compelling read that I couldn’t put down.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aislin

    Murder on Monte Vista is a mystery story set in the 1940s. It follows a very comforting and classic formula with a detective main character and a few key side characters who all have different motivations and history with each other. The detective, Mason Adler, is gay and so are many of his friends. There is secrecy surrounding some of the characters' sexualities but not all of them. Also, there is flirting and discussion of sex and dating but no romance in the plot of this one. This book is desc Murder on Monte Vista is a mystery story set in the 1940s. It follows a very comforting and classic formula with a detective main character and a few key side characters who all have different motivations and history with each other. The detective, Mason Adler, is gay and so are many of his friends. There is secrecy surrounding some of the characters' sexualities but not all of them. Also, there is flirting and discussion of sex and dating but no romance in the plot of this one. This book is described with a very intriguing premise for a locked-room murder mystery, which is one of my favorite tropes. However, the first 3/4 of the book (not an exaggeration) is all spent developing characters and listening to them talk to each other. The actual murder occurs when the book is nearly done and then it's solved nearly immediately. I wish this had either been a short story or that the murder had happened much earlier so that the twists in the investigation would have more time to build and be exciting. Overall, I was interested enough in this book to finish it and I wasn't able to figure out how the victim died until the very end. However, I did feel like the portion before the murder went on way too long and I'm not sure I can recommend this without sharing that disclaimer! Thank you to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This crime novel is mainly written as dialogue, but unfortunately in his efforts to get most of the exposition through conversations, it results in really unnatural speech. Then there's the murder: after 300 pages of the protagonists chatting about mostly irrelevant detail, yet somehow failing to develop any depth to their characters, the murder actually happens. It was immediately obvious how it was done, but the supposedly genius detective is initially perplexed. Fortunately there is more lengt This crime novel is mainly written as dialogue, but unfortunately in his efforts to get most of the exposition through conversations, it results in really unnatural speech. Then there's the murder: after 300 pages of the protagonists chatting about mostly irrelevant detail, yet somehow failing to develop any depth to their characters, the murder actually happens. It was immediately obvious how it was done, but the supposedly genius detective is initially perplexed. Fortunately there is more lengthy dialogue with his friend where he quickly works it out. Then there's a bizarre ending where he explains what happened to the only female character in the book, just in case we missed anything when it was explained to the friend earlier. I do love a terrible crime novel as sheer escapism, but this was close to being too terrible even for me. I feel the first 300 pages needed much tighter editing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Booknook Guy

    I LOVED this book! The historical setting (1940's), the witty dialog, the well fleshed out characters, and of course the clever mystery. Well done, can't wait to read more in this series. And the character of Walter is a hoot! I LOVED this book! The historical setting (1940's), the witty dialog, the well fleshed out characters, and of course the clever mystery. Well done, can't wait to read more in this series. And the character of Walter is a hoot!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Y (yangelareads)

    I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Copy provided by Bold Strokes Books. Murder on Monte Vista is a mystery story set in 1946 and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday pr I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Copy provided by Bold Strokes Books. Murder on Monte Vista is a mystery story set in 1946 and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private hour with the handsome, young Henry Bowtrickle in Walter’s upstairs bedroom. But the night turns deadly when his birthday gift turns up murdered. The room was locked, no way in or out, and only Henry and Mason were inside. Mason Adler is on the case, but he is also a suspect, along with the other assorted party guests who were all downstairs at the time of the stabbing. Or were they? As this is the first book of the series, this is set as an introduction to the setting and characters. Most of the book was developing and getting to know the actors I wished there was more of a mystery then waiting till the end of the book to start the mystery. This was suppose to be a mystery book but it did not feel like it. I wished the book was shorter or the murder happened earlier. It was a quick read, but nothing very intrigued me of the book other then it did not take me long to read. I am still unsure if I will read the next book in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    [Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books, Inc. for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review] Murder on Monte Vista is supposedly a locked-room mystery... and I use the word "supposedly" because it took a long while to reach the murder in the book’s title. While I know everything else we read before the actual murder was leading up to it with clues of solving it, the amount of description, dialogue and scenes in general was a bit dull at times It took more than half of the book t [Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books, Inc. for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review] Murder on Monte Vista is supposedly a locked-room mystery... and I use the word "supposedly" because it took a long while to reach the murder in the book’s title. While I know everything else we read before the actual murder was leading up to it with clues of solving it, the amount of description, dialogue and scenes in general was a bit dull at times It took more than half of the book to reach Mason's birthday party and the scene of the crime. Everything was (view spoiler)[ solved really fast, and it was out of the crime of the scene... and after solving it while TALKING to Walter, we still have to read it all again a few pages later when he explains how he solved it to Lydia (hide spoiler)] I read that this book is part of a series, which explains the amount of description. But I do hope for the next installment, there's less explaining in dialogue and more solving mystery "on screen". I also thought Mason was way too perfect and that Walter was really unlikeable and I can't understand how they are friends after everything tbh

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manon

    MURDER ON MONTE VISTA by David S. Pederson is a locked-room murder mystery set in 1946 and starring private detective Mason Adler. I had high hopes for this one, both because I love a classic locked-room mystery and the LGBTQ+ representation in the story (Mason and most of his friends are gay). Unfortunately it fell very flat for me. The first ~60% of the story is character build up and backstory, mostly unnecessary, and mostly dialogue. Then the party happens, and the body is found at around 70%. MURDER ON MONTE VISTA by David S. Pederson is a locked-room murder mystery set in 1946 and starring private detective Mason Adler. I had high hopes for this one, both because I love a classic locked-room mystery and the LGBTQ+ representation in the story (Mason and most of his friends are gay). Unfortunately it fell very flat for me. The first ~60% of the story is character build up and backstory, mostly unnecessary, and mostly dialogue. Then the party happens, and the body is found at around 70%. The pacing is very slow and the information is mostly irrelevant to the mystery. I also found the characters generally unlikeable (other than Lydia!). This is a book that could have strongly benefitted from a developmental editor OR even could have been a short story. If you don’t mind slow pacing and heavy dialogue, then give it a try. Thank you to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for this eARC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Thought I'd branch out from lesbian crime fiction into gay crime fiction, this book is very description and exposition heavy. It takes a long time to get to the plot which is what I read crime fiction for. The story works well and although the characters aren't the most likeable that's not a deal breaker in crime fiction. If you like lots of scene setting you'll love this book, if you prefer to be straight into the action this mayn't be for you. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an Thought I'd branch out from lesbian crime fiction into gay crime fiction, this book is very description and exposition heavy. It takes a long time to get to the plot which is what I read crime fiction for. The story works well and although the characters aren't the most likeable that's not a deal breaker in crime fiction. If you like lots of scene setting you'll love this book, if you prefer to be straight into the action this mayn't be for you. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert Fontenot

    Dreadful book. Overly arch dialogue. Conversations that go on forever yet say nothing. The whole experience was grating.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    1

  23. 5 out of 5

    bookedwithgeorgia

    📕 REVIEW: Murder On Monte Vista ⭐: ☆☆.5 / 5 👩🏻‍💻 Author: @davidspederson 📃 # Pages: 226 Hmmmm. I'm not really sure where to go from here.. I was really excited to give this ago but I was kinda disappointed. From what I can see on goodreads, this is the first book of a new series (apologies if that information is untrue) so I'm still not sure whether I would continue to read the rest of not. But, for me this story seemed to be lacking the 'mystery' genre of this book. Obviously I still appreciate t 📕 REVIEW: Murder On Monte Vista ⭐: ☆☆.5 / 5 👩🏻‍💻 Author: @davidspederson 📃 # Pages: 226 Hmmmm. I'm not really sure where to go from here.. I was really excited to give this ago but I was kinda disappointed. From what I can see on goodreads, this is the first book of a new series (apologies if that information is untrue) so I'm still not sure whether I would continue to read the rest of not. But, for me this story seemed to be lacking the 'mystery' genre of this book. Obviously I still appreciate the time and thought that has gone into this but I just believe it wasn't for me. I was getting quite bored as 3/4 of the book (this is not an exaggeration) was introducing the characters and them having conversations. The actual murder itself occurs at the end of the book. So I guess I would recommend this if you are into quite a slow paced read, but unfortunately this just wasn't the book for me. I would love to hear your thoughts though if you do choose to read this book! **Thank you to @boldstrokebooks @netgalley & David for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!🌻

  24. 5 out of 5

    K

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell Darch

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heydave

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gary A.

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