Hall of Mirrors

Pegasus. (A Judy Nightingale and Philippa Watson Mystery, Bk. 2). Jun. 2024. 368p. ISBN 9781639366507. $27.95. SUSPENSE
In 1954, Lionel Kane watches his life go up in flames as his apartment burns. The police claim that Lionel’s writing partner and lover, Roger Raymond, died by suicide in the fire. As a white man, Roger was the face of the writing team’s popular books, written under the pen name Ray Kane, because Lionel who is Black, would not have been accepted as an author. Roger was fired from his job in the State Department, a victim of the government’s witch hunt for gay people. As Lionel clings to the hope that Roger didn’t die, Judy Nightingale and Philippa Watson fear they might have sent him to his death. Their obsession with a spy and suspected serial killer, Adrian Bogdan, led them to their favorite author, Ray Kane. Together with Roger, they set a trap for Bogdan, but kept it a secret from Lionel. Now there’s an unidentified corpse as a result of the fire. Roger Raymond or Adrian Bogdan?
VERDICT The second in the Nightingale trilogy, following The Savage Kind, is a mystery, but the historical elements add complexity as the author explores issues of passing as straight or white, concealing an identity at a time of physical and emotional violence toward LGBTQIA+ and Black people.
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