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Fingering the Family Jewels

"Click on image to go to Greg Lilly site."

Reviewer: Bob Lind "camelwest" (Phoenix, AZ)

Creative, sensitive and totally engrossing mystery.

Derek Mason isn't different from many other gay men in San Francisco, working at a "dot-com" and sharing a small apartment with a sarcastic, anorexic straight female roommate and a diva-ish cat. His background isn't different from many either, having sought a new life in California after severing ties with his fundamentalist Southern family (by mutual agreement, after he "came out" to them as gay).

But the story begins eight years later, when he has an unexpected reunion he has with that family, in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he returns for the funeral of his favorite Aunt Walterene. Derek quickly faces the same bigotry and status-seeking hypocrisy in most of the members of his family, especially his mother Gladys and his uncle Vernon, who is running for the Senate. His refuge is the house of his Aunt Ruby, who was Walterene's life partner, and his unmarried older sister Valerie. Derek also gets to spend some time with his older cousin Mark (Vernon's son), who was his first lover, before Mark decided he needed to "play it straight" and get married, in order to achieve success in the family's huge construction business.

In helping Ruby sort through Walterene's belongings, Derek comes across her girlhood diary, where she suggests that the reported lynching by the Klu Klux Klan of a black former family employee may have actually been done by Vernon and his father, over reports that the man had mollested Gladys as a girl. When a newspaper reporter picks up on the fact that Vernon Harris has a gay nephew, it becomes a political embarassment to the conservative "traditional values" candidate, and Derek is urged to leave town. Deciding to stay to help Ruby for a while, he becomes the target of a mysterious raspy-voiced assailant who tries to scare him out of town, which he believes may be related to his asking around concerning the lynching.

"Fingering the Family Jewels" is a captivating, sexy, fast-paced and extremely creative mystery, exposing how greed and misplaced family loyalties can result in a pattern of lies, deceit, incest and possibly murder. Author Greg Lilly, previously a writer of short stories who has a background as a technical analyst (and worked at a family-owned company that provided the inspiration for this first novel), hits a home-run with this intelligent, sensitive and highly engrossing masterpiece. Much recommended!

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Reviewer:R.Parklane (Taipeh, Taiwan)

More Please!

It is a pleasure reading "Fingering the Family Jewels". Drama, mystery, romance, "Fingering the Family Jewels" is thrilling and absorbing. To top it all Lilly has created a great protagonist in Derek Mason. Sensitive, smart, romantic at heart and of course gay, this young man is immensely likable and one only wish the best for him. Only 196 pages but Lilly does not need more to tell a great story. The cover says "A Derek Mason Mystery" and I hope that means there is more to come.

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Reviewer: Rick R. Reed (Chicago)

A Fun Beach Read

Greg Lilly has a knack for writing characters you'll fall in love with. In Fingering the Family Jewels, he creates the kind of quirky, bickering family that almost anyone can recognize. But the book is much more than a serio-comic look at a colorful southern family; it's also a superior mystery. Lilly cooks up the kind of gothic twists and turn that place him squarely in the tradition of writers of the south, where his book is set. This is the kind of book you read in one sitting, because you simply must know what happens next. Rick R. Reed, author of Obsessed, Penance, A Face Without a Heart, and Twisted: Tales of Obsession and Terror

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Reviewer: Ray of Light

Engaging

Wow, I read this book straight through. Usually, I read several books at a time, taking a while to finish each, but I couldn't stop with this one. Each chapter spurred me on to the next. The characters are engrossing and I couldn't stop until I reached the last page. Plot twists kept me guessing and I was surprised by the ending.

I don't want to give anything away, but the book tied up well. I'm looking forward to the next in the series. Thanks Greg Lilly for the fast paced and enjoyable read.

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Greg Lilly is a novelist, short story author, editor, and workshop leader. Greg's novel Fingering the Family Jewels - A Derek Mason Mystery is published by Quest books and he is featured in the Women Behaving Badly anthology.

Growing up in Virginia and then living in Charlotte, North Carolina, the rich storytelling tradition of the South pulled Greg into writing, and the heat and humidity brought out the steamy sides of the stories.

He first turned to writing short stories after plot lines and characters emerged from the technical manuals he wrote for a large family-owned corporation (the idea kernel for Fingering the Family Jewels). With the assistance of a hearty critique group of writers in Charlotte, he has published several short stories, numerous articles, and completed two novels.

Today, Greg lives in Sedona, Arizona and is the managing editor for a national magazine. He teaches writing workshops at the Sedona Arts Center and is working on his next novel.

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Purchase the book at AMAZON.COM


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White Ribbon Campaign
Raising Awareness about Gay-Teen Suicide
And remembering those who we've lost

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Click on image to go to site.
The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Tarrant County

Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Tarrant County

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