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by Mark Richard Zubro

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Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist. Zubro won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men's Mystery for his book A Simple Suburban Murder.

Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist 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. The books are a part of the Stonewall Inn Mystery series, published by St. Martin's Press. Tom and Scott mysteries.

Simple Suburban Murder is the book that started it all-the debut novel of Lambda Literary Award winner Mark Richard Zubro. When a gay high school teacher starts investigating a colleague's murder.

Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist Zubro won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men's Mystery for his book A Simple Suburban Murder. Series: Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter Paul Turner

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. Series: Tom Mason and Scott Carpenter Paul Turner. I am the author of twenty-four mystery novels and five short stories. My book A Simple Suburban Murder won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men's mystery. I also wrote a thriller, Foolproof, with two other mystery writers, Jeanne Dams and Barb D'Amato.

Someone sat in the last desk in the last row farthest from the door. The window blind was down and in the early-morning dimness I couldn't tell who it wa. flipped on the lights. good morning," I called. There was no response. With the light on I could tell it was a male. Whoever it was had his head cradled in his arms on the desktop, face turned away from the door. What the hell was someone doing here? I dropped my briefcase on top of my desk, tossed my overcoat after it, and started down the aisle.

Simple Suburban Murder is the book that started it all-the debut novel of Lambda Literary Award winner Mark Richard Zubro

Simple Suburban Murder is the book that started it all-the debut novel of Lambda Literary Award winner Mark Richard Zubro. 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. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Paul Turner Mysteries. Mark Richard Zubro St. Martin's Press Stonewall Inn Mysteries.

Simple Suburban Murder is the book that started it all-the debut novel of Lambda Literary Award winner Mark Richard Zubro Paul Turner Mysteries. Craig Lenzati, the rich and powerful CEO of Chicago's answer to Microsoft, is found brutally murdered with stab wounds all over his body.

Author: Mark Richard Zubro. Street Date: November 29, 2001. Mark Richard Zubro is the Lambda Literary Award winning author of two gay mystery series - the Tom & Scott series featuring high school teacher Tom Mason and his lover professional baseball player Scott Carpenter, and the Paul Turner series, featuring gay Chicago Police Detective Paul Turner. He is a high-school teacher, and president of the teacher's union, in the Chicago suburb of Mokena, Illinois.

After years of avoiding volunteer organizations, Chicago high school teacher Tom Mason is finally guilted into volunteering a few hours a week at a local gay services clinic. Tom Mason and his lover, professional baseball player Scott Carpenter, go on the run when they find an ex-teammate and friend of Scott's murdered in their apartment. When two suburban high-school students are found murdered-both boys who were well respected and liked, with solid family lives and no apparent enemies-Detected Paul Turner is assigned the case.

Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist about a Chicago police detective. The books are a part of the Stonewall Inn Mystery series, published by

Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist. about a Chicago police detective. Martin's Press

In Chicago, a math teacher is murdered, and it is discovered the victim was involved in gambling, sadism, and kiddie porn

Comments: (7)

It's AWFUL. The only reason I gave it one star (as in I hate it) is because there IS no "zero stars/I DESPISE it' rating.

Short version-there is no character development-or indeed any actual characters-in this book-there are no human beings in this book-there are only cut out paper dolls set up to display the author's own apparent hatred of just about everyone.

Long version:

Let's start with the lead character. The lead character is a gay Gary Stu with a stereotyped "closet gay" baseball player for a boyfriend (perfect teeth, perfect hair, great body, great with kids...spends his spare time giving speeches to little leagues and giving autographed baseballs to sick kids...blah blah blah....gag). The only "bad" thing about either of them is....horrors...they apparently need to defrost the freezer more often (how amusingly male of them).

Moving on, we now get to meet "the straight women". They virtually all fit in one of two categories; (1) helpless weepy battered woman who "only wants a normal marriage with kids and to be a stay-at-home wife"; or (2) the "kind social worker/teacher" who "only wants to help the children, particularly the little girls, grow up well in life". There is, of course, the obligatory token "older sexually liberated woman" but to be sure we don't go TOO far she is a librarian and at most makes "slightly racy comments and jokes". She is also a minor character, because, no doubt, we wouldn't want anyone thinking that those were common after all or that women might have a sense of humor, or even understand humor. On average, the female characters are entirely lacking anything remotely resembling "character development", "real intelligence" or any apparent desire to do anything more than cook, clean and care for the kiddies.

Then we move on to "the evil malezzz...". In an overly politically correct fashion (think certain radical elements of certain political -ism groups), we can begin with "the teenage boyzzzz". They don't really count. They're all jerks, And let us not forget to devalue them completely either. At one point, following a discussion of abuse in a family home, one of the female characters says, in effect "although I was sure the boys were abused and had problems...I was worried about the girls". Because of course, we don't really care all THAT much about the boys.

And there's a reason for this. The author ENSURES we get to continue down the "evil malezzz" road of misandry by making it painfully clear just what horrors "the boyzzz" will grow into-the terrible "straight menzzz". His portrayal of straight men is basically to present them as Satan. The straight male characters appear to be little more than one dimensional gorillas. They are intellectual Neanderthals who are incompetent in their jobs, have gambling problems, are fat, or ugly, or child abusers or child molesters and/or are involved in kiddie porn. Apparently this author believes that writing a "straight male character" precludes writing a character who might be multi-dimensional, or a human being, or a person with feelings, or a good father, or anything other than, on some level, a barbaric caveman.

Now, given the foregoing, one might expect that his gay characters would be paragons of virtue, but rest assured, dear reader, that this is not the case. In fact, aside from Gary Stu and his closeted boyfriend, his gay male characters generally are either twinks and whores (literally), or over-the-top aging camp queens. It also appears there are no other types of gay men out there. There are no bears, there are no ordinary guys, and of course there are no "gay guys over 50" with jobs and ordinary lives with ordinary issues, because, as this author makes clear, all gay teens become twinks (and whores) who then become camp queens who curl up and die as soon as they hit age 49-after spending their time being "bitchy queens involved somehow in gay community affairs" whatever the heck THAT means.

And last, but not least, we have our token lesbian (just to be inclusive, apparently). She is a completely overdone stereotype of lesbianism in leather who weighs probably 300 pounds, is stronger than most men (of course) AND is an apparently "hated" because "she is a woman" (Because god forbid we should fail to point out how misogynistic those awful gay twine/whores and camp queens are). However, just to ensure we don't decide to feel TOO sympathetic to this abusrd stereotype, for fun our token lesbian pimps out the gay twinks on the side...under the guise of "helping the poor runaway gay boys" because, after all, deep down she is still "just a woman who wants to help the kids". (The lesbian pimp with the heart of gold-a variation of sorts on the "hooker with a heart of gold" trope, I suppose....).

As if the characters weren't bad enough, we ALSO get to cope with the occasional, glaringly obvious inconsistency in the plot line-like the parts where, as you are reading along, you find yourself thinking "no, that did NOT happen this morning it happened yesterday-did you FORGET what you wrote two pages ago?"

In my opinion, this book reads like it was written by some 13 year old boy with SERIOUS problems with his parents and teachers and MAJOR issues with his own sexual orientation.

The only plus I can give this is that the author has actually managed to do something I've almost never encountered before: He has written a story that manages to not only be totally misogynistic AND homophobic, but which ALSO manages to be completely misandric and utterly heterophobic as well. I wouldn't have thought that was even POSSIBLE....although I can HARDLY call that a "redeeming" feature.
Like most mystery readers, I'm always looking for new authors and series. I read this and one of Zubro's later books on the basis of largely positive reviews. Both books disappointed, especially this one. Usually, early books in a series flesh out the characters and do more to establish interest than later volumes. Instead, we get Tom and Scott, their occupations, and Scott's fancy apartment and that's about it. Yes, they cry, they hug, and the star major league baseball pitcher, Scott, always makes a point of saying that they are lovers, but frankly, I got no sense of what brought them together or kept them together. Compared with classic unlikely pairings in other mystery series like Matt Scudder and his call girl girlfriend (Lawrence Block's Scudder books) or Spenser and psychologist Susan Silverman (Robert Parker's Spenser books), these two lack real emotional depth and interest as a couple. There isn't much more to them as individuals, either. The lack of character development wouldn't be so bad if the rest of the book had more depth. Unfortunately, the family triangle that frames the book's murder and its resolution seems as contrived as the characters that are introduced to tell their story. Indeed, many of the minor characters seem like simple plot devices rather than people. Tom and Scott's relationship with the police has little context and the cops are as one dimensional as anyone else. Even Chicago lacks character--Carl Sandburg would be sad to see his city of big shoulders treated so poorly. The whole business is resolved with much melodrama and it is a relief to have it finally end. If you can plow through anything as long as it has gay characters, you might like this one and others in this series. If you're a serious mystery reader, you can probably give it a pass
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 baseball players still are (!).

Somehow, they make their eight-year relationship work. Even if it gets awkward at times. In these books the triumph is not being out and proud, the triumph is surviving as a couple any way you can, and recognizing that your love is just as good, possibly better, that what exists in the straight world around you.

“A Simple Suburban Murder” was first published in 1989. M/M fiction didn’t even exist. What we had is gay men writing novels, in this case a murder mystery—in the great tradition of Joseph Hansen’s Dave Brandstetter mysteries, which were still very much on my reading list then. There is an edge to these “early” gay novels, which reminds today’s reader of the very different reality that we lived in a quarter century ago.

There is virtually no sex in this book. It is not romantic, although Tom and Scott love each other. There is a brutal murder, a byzantine plot involving teenage prostitution and illegal gambling, and the depiction of some really horrible “normal” families. Straight people don’t come off looking very good. Nor do school administrators (was Mark a school teacher???).

Although I didn’t love this book, I enjoyed it, and I’m reviewing it in the light of its historical place at the forefront of American gay popular fiction. The story arc of this murder mystery is only the apparent purpose; the real purpose is to focus a light on a real, live, surviving gay couple and the realities of the closet as it existed (and still exists, I suspect) for many gay men in the wake of the AIDS epidemic’s first deadly decade. These are the books that gay men of my generation read for fun—but also to affirm that we existed and we were good people and solid citizens. Gay people were still largely invisible in mainstream literature (honestly, it’s not much different today, although we pretend otherwise), and Mark Richard Zubro was one of those writers who helped us feel visible in a world that didn’t want to acknowledge our presence.