Death Goes Overboard

BOOKS

Terri Schlichenmeyer


Can you float me a loan?

It’s a common question when your friends know you’re flush with cash. Can I hold a ten for a minute? Can you spot me five? Sure, you probably could but will it be hard to collect on that debt or, as in the new noir mystery, “Death Goes Overboard” by David S. Pederson, will you be paid back swimmingly?

The weekend was all set.

Detective Heath Barrington had everything planned down to the last detail: he and police officer Alan Keyes were heading to a cabin in Northern Wisconsin, just the two of them, under the guise of a “fishing trip.” It was 1947, after all, and discretion was absolutely necessary for two professional gay men, but the getaway would be a great chance to see where their new relationship was going.

Still, despite his and Alan’s carefulness, rumors could come from anywhere, which was why Barrington was worried when his boss called him in early one day. Fortunately, the Chief didn’t want to quiz Barrington on his love life; he wanted to send the Detective on a special assignment.

Milwaukee law enforcement had been following Gregor Slavinsky ever since the small-time hood got out of prison, assuming that he’d screw up eventually - and that’s exactly what happened: word on the street was that Slavinsky recently borrowed $25,000 from Benny Ballentine, a bigger crook and the guy the department really wanted to nab. Both were booked on a Lake Michigan excursion, and something was afoot. The Chief needed Barrington to find out more.

The “fishing trip” cancelled, Barrington boarded a small luxury boat for a weekend tour. With few fellow travelers – two known hoodlums, a henchman, plus a man and his elderly aunt – he thought he’d have no trouble keeping an eye on everyone, especially since the boat’s steward was an undercover cop, too. But when a scuffle, a splash, and a missing crook proved otherwise, Barrington knew his assignment had suddenly changed.

Slavinsky was nobody’s favorite guy… but who among the handful of possible suspects had the most reason to kill him?

Every cliché ever packed in a noir novel – every single one – seems to be inside “Death Goes Overboard.” You’ve got mobsters, a fedora-wearing detective in a pinstriped suit, seemingly-prim matrons, and man-hungry blondes eager for marriage. It’s like an old black-and-white movie in book form – but curiously, you probably won’t mind.

You won’t mind because author David S. Pederson has packed a lot of else in this novel. You don’t normally find a soft-sided, poetry-writing mobster in a noir mystery, for instance, but he’s here. And then there’s the sweetly chaste, budding romance between two men; not so unusual, again, except that one of them is considering something drastic in order to hide his secret, a side-plot that’s historically accurate and that fits.

So this novel is both predictable and not, making it a nice diversion for a weekend or vacation. If that’s the kind of book you enjoy, then “Death Goes Overboard” will make you buoyant.








http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/05/12/new-novel-death-goes-overboard-film-noir-spoof-initially-seems/


COVERING THE LGBT COMMUNITY SINCE 1969

May 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm EDT | by Terri Schlichenmeyer

New novel ‘Death Goes Overboard’ is more than the film noir spoof it initially seems


Death Goes Overboard

By David S. Pederson

Bold Strokes Books

$18.95

237 pages

The weekend was all set. Detective Heath Barrington had everything planned down to the last detail.

Protagonists in “Death Goes Overboard,” by David S. Pederson, Barrington and police officer Alan Keyes were heading to a cabin in Northern Wisconsin, just the two of them, under the guise of a fishing trip. It was 1947, after all, and discretion was absolutely necessary for two professional gay men, but the getaway would be a great chance to see where their new relationship was going.

Still, despite his and Alan’s carefulness, rumors could come from anywhere, which was why Barrington was worried when his boss called him in early one day. Fortunately, the chief didn’t want to quiz Barrington on his love life; he wanted to send the detective on a special assignment.

Milwaukee law enforcement had been following Gregor Slavinsky ever since the small-time hood got out of prison, assuming that he’d screw up eventually. And that’s exactly what happened: word on the street was that Slavinsky recently borrowed $25,000 from Benny Ballentine, a bigger crook and the guy the department really wanted to nab. Both were booked on a Lake Michigan excursion and something was afoot. The chief needed Barrington to find out more.

The “fishing trip” cancelled, Barrington boarded a small luxury boat for a weekend tour. With few fellow travelers — two known hoodlums, a henchman, plus a man and his elderly aunt — he thought he’d have no trouble keeping an eye on everyone, especially since the boat’s steward was an undercover cop, too. But when a scuffle, a splash and a missing crook proved otherwise, Barrington knew his assignment had suddenly changed.

Slavinsky was nobody’s favorite guy, but who among the handful of possible suspects had the most reason to kill him?

Every cliché ever packed in a noir novel seems to be inside “Death Goes Overboard.” You’ve got mobsters, a fedora-wearing detective in a pinstriped suit, seemingly prim matrons and man-hungry blondes eager for marriage. It’s like an old black-and-white movie in book form. But rather than feeling tired, here it just feels like part of the fun.

You won’t mind because author David S. Pederson has packed a lot in this novel. You don’t normally find a soft-sided, poetry-writing mobster in a noir mystery, for instance, but he’s here. And then there’s the sweetly chaste, budding romance between two men; not so unusual, again, except that one of them is considering something drastic in order to hide his secret, a side plot that’s historically accurate and that fits.

So this novel is both predictable and not, making it a nice diversion for a weekend or vacation. If that’s the kind of book you enjoy, then “Death Goes Overboard” will make you buoyant.

Review: Death Goes Overboard by David S. Pederson

Title: Death Goes Overboard

Author: David S. Pederson

Publisher: Bold Stroke Books

Released: 1st April 2017

Genre: M/M (murder/mystery)

Rating:

Synopsis

Gregor Slavinsky went overboard. Or did he? He was murdered. Or was he? It’s up to Detective Heath Barrington and his partner, police officer Alan Keyes, to find out as they search for clues and a missing twenty-five thousand dollars aboard an old lake steamer and throughout 1947 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

They are up against gangsters, con artists, and a very seductive Grant Riker, a fellow policeman who could come between Heath and Alan, upsetting their romance.

The three of them race the clock to find the truth amidst lies, secrets, and possible scandal, while riding the waves of a potential love triangle.

Mark's Review

After reading the first Heath Barrington mystery, Death Comes Darkly, then I couldn’t resist picking up the second book when it came out. I’m delighted to say that all the things I enjoyed in the first book can be found in the second. A solid murder-mystery plot with all the sleuthing that any fan of such books needs. As with the first book what I like about the author’s style is the story has all the ingredients of a traditional Agatha Christie / Columbo style murder-mystery. Heath Barrington has to rely on his skills of deduction and sharp observation to find out who the murderer of Gregor Slavinsky is. I like this kind of plot as it is like a breathe of fresh air to find such books amongst all the high-tech, high-speed, high-adrenalin, style thrillers that we’re more used to today.

Heath has to go undercover, his job is to just keep tracks on Gregor Slavinsky, a small time con-artist who has got himself into trouble by trying to play with the big boys. All well and good, easy job until he goes overboard. So what was a simple surveillance job now becomes murder. So if you’re someone who likes trying to solve the crime as you go then you need to pay attention to all the details as all the clues are there. If you’re like me and prefer to let Heath do his job and go along for the ride, then bit-by-bit everything is revealed and you’ll be having several, “Uh huh!” or “Well, of course!” moments to say the least.

Heath and Alan are head over heels in love but always live in fear of being caught out. This is not a period in history where showing any kind of affection to another man would be looked upon kindly. So a constant battle of being careful in public, not to do anything that might cause suspicion. But rumours start and in this case, why is it that a perfectly good looking guy like Heath isn’t married with at least two children? Here Heath has to deal with the traditions and values of the day. Yes, getting married and having a family would solve all his image problems but he knows he would be living a lie. I found it totally admirable that he is a man of principle and finds it wrong to marry a girl when he knows that he would never be able to love her as she deserves. However, the job always messes up plans and as Heath needs to cancel his weekend away with Alan due to the new assignment this means that they don’t part on a happy note. Alan upset that Heath’s work always comes first and Heath feeling guilty that he has disappointed Alan. Heath also doesn’t reckon with Riker. Riker is on board and undercover too but will put Heath’s resolve to the test as Riker tries to lure him into some casual “no strings attached” fun while on board. Doesn’t help that Riker is an extremely attractive man.

As you know I love my books where the “gay theme” takes a back seat and the plot is in the foreground. However, the human factor of managing relationships is there and compliments the main murder-mystery story. A thoroughly enjoyable read and will return again when the next Heath Barrington mystery is published.


Pederson, David S. “Death Goes Overboard”, Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

Lies, Secrets and Scandal

Amos Lassen

Small-time thug Gregory Slavinsky is a small-time thug who borrowed $25,000 from businessman/ gangster Ballantine. After missing a loan payment, Slavinsky booked a weekend cruise on a Lake Michigan steamer, which sails from Milwaukee and has stops in Chicago, Mackinac Island and Ontario Canada. Ballantine and his bodyguard, George. Also booked the cruise in order to make sure Slavinsky doesn’t escape into Canada with the money. Also on board or Mr. Alex Whitaker and Mrs. Vivian Woodfork (his elderly aunt), Detective Heath Barrington, his working partner, Alan Keynes and undercover policeman Grant Riker are there to monitor the “criminal element.” When a body goes overboard and the money is missing, no one knows if it is suicide or murder. Another question that everyone seems to have is where is the money now. And where’s the money? This is by and large a murder/mystery that is set in 1947, a time when homosexuality was still considered a mental defect with the distinct possibility of one losing your job, getting arrested or “put in an institution and diagnosed as diseased if caught. Pedersen really introduces us to two men who find a way to deal with the difficulties of being gay and living a happy life. It is the mystery holds our interest throughout while at the same time we get a look at gay men in America after WWII.

The plot unfolds through the eyes, ears and perspective of Detective Heath Barrington and the mystery aspects of the book keep us guessing. Ballantine and Keynes are up against gangsters, con artists, and seductive Grant Riker, a fellow policeman who could come between Heath and Alan and upset their romance.