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The Dick Hardesty Mysteries Should Not Be Kept Secret! *4.5 stars*
"The Secret Keeper" is the most recent in a long series (he's in the process of writing another) and although it can stand on its own -- you would be missing out on a lot of fun and background if you skip the first twelve stories. For those unfamiliar with the series, Dick Hardesty is a regular guy who happens to be gay and works as a private investigator. He is in a long-term relationship with a sweet younger man named Jonathon and together they are raising Joshua -- Jonathon's very young orphaned nephew. For a few followers of the series, Joshua is a distraction; however, I find it charming and adds another layer to Dick Hardesty's regular guy persona -- plus affirms my belief that loving families are put together in more than one way. "The Secret Keeper" begins with Jonathon being hired by an elderly millionaire to help with a garden that he can no longer keep up himself. A rapport between the two develops - nothing odd - just a senior who has someone to talk to about some shared interests. When he dies suddenly there is a question as to whether it is a suicide as the police and family believe or is it murder? Subsequently,Jonathon's truck is shot at while driving to a false job opportunity, but there is nothing indicating he knows anything or the two events are related. What I enjoy about the series is Dick's ability to go with his gut although the clues are pretty thin. I also enjoy the ordinariness of his life -- he's not rich or glamorous, he thinks about budgets and household chores, he has storytime with his nephew, he and Jonathon make Jell-O desserts to take to friend's potlucks -- yet there is a doggedly determined intelligent mind behind the regular guy that doesn't want to let go until all is solved. Dorien Grey's ability and gift as a storyteller is weaving of all these disparate strands of information into a cohesive satisfying narrative. He doesn't disappoint and his work does not depend on gratuitous sex every four pages as filler (not that I have anything against sex, but sometimes you actually want to read an interesting story too). He makes the reader think or feel like Dick Hardesty is a friend having a conversation with you about something that happened in his life - like somehow you are at the potluck or sharing a drink while he recounts an interesting case. You end up caring about Dick, Jonathon, Joshua and the many friends that Dorien Grey has created because it is comfy - no tuxes, no jets, Porches and unlimited bank accounts - just relatable characters and plausible stories.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.