Monday, September 13, 2010

All Lost Things by Josh Aterovis

What an absolute pleasure it is to begin a new book and have it totally absorb you, gnaw at you when you put it down, and urge you to pick it up again so you can find out what happens next.  This is what I experienced while   reading Josh Aterovis’ splendid mystery All Things Lost (P.D. Publishing, 2009). 
I learned about Josh's book via this year's Lambda Literary Award nominations. All Things Lost was one of the five finalists for Gay Mystery, and although it did not win the award, it is a book that begs to be talked about and read.
Beginning with Bleeding Hearts (P.D. Publishing, 2002) Aterovis introduced his readers to Killian Kendall, a gay,  amateur teen age detective with a knack for solving crimes others can't. He is a wonderfully likable character, and his "less than professional" approach to a crime is all a part of the fun we have while reading.
All Things Lost is the third installment in the Kendall Mystery series.  If you haven't read the previous books, don't worry. This is a stand alone book, and Aterovis sets the stage for us in its early chapters by bringing us up to date with all that has preceded it. You won't be lost for a minute.

When the book opens, Killian and his “brother” Kane are in a car accident. The other driver is a man named Shane Novak, and when Killian learns that he is a private detective, it takes Killian no time at all to approach him for a job.  Novak has heard of Killian's reputation as a “super” sleuth, and decides to hire him as an apprentice. The partnership that develops is terrific, with a wonderful teacher-student dynamic at play.  

Killian and his lover Asher have had a falling out, and are no longer together. Feelings are still strong however, and when Asher befriends a strange young man named Caleb, Killian is driven to find out what that relationship is all about. Caleb is dark and mysterious. He is also a young man who has been terribly abused by his hateful father, or so he says.
The mystery starts with the sudden death of Caleb's father in a house fire. It is immediately deemed suspicious, and when the father's charred body is discovered, it is determined that he was murdered. Caleb becomes the prime suspect, and Asher asks Killian to help prove his innocence. The plot now thickens.

Once this story line is established, this books takes off like the wind. We follow Killian's process of determining who the real killer is, and his path is filled with delightful twists and turns. To make the book even more fun, the author adds a special ingredient to the plot by dipping  into the realm of the supernatural. 

We learn that Killian is a Sensitive, meaning, he can communicate with the dead. Not only does he see his dead friend Seth, who assists him in solving the mystery, but he has a run in with a ghost, who, we learn, is seeking his help. Just what for is yours to discover.

The good new is, nothing ever seems hokey. The author engages you with well drawn characters, a nice tight plot, and he takes the time to have things make sense. When the plot draws to its action-packed conclusion, we are immensely satisfied. 

Because this book deals with older teen characters, it feels at times like a young adult novel, but that is not a bad thing. If I were wearing my librarian hat, I'd certainly recommend it to younger readers, especially with the positive portrayal of its gay characters. That being said, if you are a veteran mystery fan, whatever your age, you will be very pleased with the quality of the story, and the way the mystery is laid out. All Lost Things is a top notch mystery that will keep you coming back for more. I recommend this book highly. 

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting author, you can follow this link to his web page: I will be talking with Josh on one of my upcoming MyQmunity Gay And Lesbian Book Talks, so check the MyQmunity web page for date and time.  I will be chatting with Josh this Saturday, October 2 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Tune into the MyQmunity Gay and Lesbian Book Talk by going to

Until next time, find a good book to read-and then, pass it on.
Robert Jaquay  

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