Death Comes Darkly was my first run in with new-to-me author David S. Pederson and his Heath Barrington Mysteries. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this debut novel. Its a mystery set in the mid-1940’s featuring police detective Heath Barrington.
In this first novel Heath is invited to a country/lake residence by an eccentric, but very cranky, millionaire. Wondering why he was invited, Heath goes and invited his secret lover and fellow policeman Alan along. Things get even stranger when a murder happens and it’s up to Heath to solve the puzzle.
And what a puzzle it was. The mystery is one that isn’t easily solved. It’s a cozy mystery unraveled in the drawing room type of story, but well worked out. Through the course of the story the reader gets to know Heath as the main character and his way of thinking and looking at the world. Step by step the reader gets more insight into Heath by also the plot.
The plot isn’t very extravagant, but it’s detailed. As a reader you’d do well to pay attention to the details and little hints. The setting is the remote lake house and the surroundings.
The only way to notice that this is a debut novel is the way the dialogue was written. It’s detailed and at times long winded. Heath moves from conversation to conversation.
Despite that, I liked Heath and I like his story. He’s very aware he’s gay in a time when it was absolutely not accepted, but willing to take the risk. The little quirks in his way of thinking made this an enjoyable story for me.