By: Steven Rigolosi
Publisher: Ransom Note Press
Publication Date: June 2009
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: July 2009
A strange holiday weekend commences when Robin Anders, an extreme fussbudget and wealthy estate owner, invites six friends to stay in his mansion. When a few dreadfully near-fatal mishaps occur during their stay, Robin gets a sneaking suspicion that one of his friends is plotting murder, and worse yet, he just may be the victim. However, all of the friends manage to survive the lavish weekend and return to their normal lives in Manhattan. Well, normal until someone unexpectedly dies thus giving Robin the impetus to start his own private investigation of all the remaining friends. In the meantime, readers are taken on a whirlwind ride, one in which the author questions the sexual orientation and identity of the characters -- for you see, Robin, Lee, Alex, Law, Chris, Terry and J, are all of ambiguous gender. Are they male or female, straight or gay, and who did the murdering in the first place? Hopefully it will all be tidied up in a succinct answer by the time the reader finishes the story, or will it?
Author Steven Rigolosi‘s strange tale of androgyny and unknown sexual orientation wrapped up in a great murder mystery that has plenty of plot twists, keeps the reader on his toes. It is a bit confusing at times, but definitely thought provoking. Robin, the main character is quite hilarious, but also nasty, and has a few strange quirks including narcissism, and a constant need for wonder pills which are oddly named after numerous fruits and vegetables. What keeps readers riveted throughout the story is Rigolosi’s vivid descriptions of all the characters. At the same time, the author leaves critically important points out of the mix that keep readers guessing as to the characters' gender. The suspense thickens when Robin, who is seen as more of a wilting flower than an FBI trained investigator, decides he/she must discover who killed one of the friends. Androgynous Murder House Party is an enjoyable read and written in such a way to both confuse and hook readers with countless questions of “what is it?” and “who did it?”.
Quill says: Androgynous Murder House Party is a story with a strange cast of unusual characters that is neatly woven into an even stranger murder and “who dun it?” investigation.