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Lawrence Frightengale Investigates

 by Aidee Ladnier and Debussy Ladnier

Publisher: Boyling Point Press
Pages: 53
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
ISBN-10: 0692921044
ISBN-13: 978-0692921043

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Blurb:

Television horror host Lawrence Frightengale and his leading lady, the glamorous drag performer Myrna Boy, find themselves racing against the clock when the theft of a classic car bound for the Out & About parade threatens to be a showstopper for Lawrence’s career.

Posts about the Lawrence & Myrna Mysteries

Excerpt:

1:25 PM
A perfect day for a parade….

“DARLING, you’re stealing my thunder,” Lawrence Frightengale murmured as he smiled, showing off his sharp canine inserts while dramatically bending his victim over his arm. The click of camera phones and DSLRs sliced through the conversation of the crowd in front of them.

Larry French was theatrically dapper in his Frightengale regalia, his dark hair slicked back from his widow’s peak, save for one perfect, nonchalant curl at his right temple. Makeup blanched his skin and darkened his eyes, creating an eerie quality belied by the ridiculous ebony cigarette holder protruding from his scarlet lips at a jaunty angle. The stylized makeup, combined with the slightly askew, pasted-on, pencil-thin moustache, gave him the look of a distant cousin of Basil Rathbone—if Basil’s cousin were a mildly effete vampire.

On his arm, the cabaret performer Myrna Boy, resplendent in a shimmering red evening gown, raised a tastefully gloved hand to shiny red lips in a mock scream and shook the blonde locks of her elegantly coiffed wig. Lawrence leered down into the mischievous blue eyes of his lover. Behind the glamorous ʼ40s Hollywood makeup of his alter ego Myrna, Nicholas Benson grinned back wickedly. Lawrence pulled Myrna upright, squeezing their bodies close before twirling her away.

“Sweetheart, your thunder is being stolen by this monstrosity of a car you insisted on borrowing for the parade.” Myrna laughed in a smooth contralto, leaned back against the side of the black Cadillac El Dorado convertible, and arched a perfectly drawn brow at him.

The poster set up beside the dancing pair showed Lawrence looming in his cravat and faux crushed-velvet smoking jacket, with the words:

See Lawrence Frightengale in person!
Come to the 16th annual Out & About parade,
the original celebration benefiting out gay youth!

Meet Lawrence Frightengale,
horrifying host of Channel 11’s Terror Time
(Friday nights at 11:00 p.m.—“Be there and be scared!”)

See the amazing Frightmobile!

“I had to beg Ellington to let me borrow this car,” Lawrence said, bowing to kiss the air above Myrna’s gloved fingers as the cameras flashed around them. “Did Max tell you it has a history? When the original Terror Time was canceled back in ʼ77 after Count Creepula retired, Ellington Senior gave the Cadillac to his son as a birthday gift. Channel 11 bought the Caddy for Creepula’s public appearances. It was featured in the series’ weekly promos around the same time Ellington the younger was getting his feet wet at his dad’s station as a production assistant, and he fell in love with it.” Lawrence reached past Myrna to rub a spot on the car’s side door, looking guilty when he caught her knowing smirk.

“Looks like you have a soft spot for the old girl too,” she said with a grin.

Lawrence slid his arms around Myrna’s waist and pressed his body against the manly frame hidden beneath her red satin dress before leaning close to gaze into her eyes. “You’re the only girl for me, Myrna.” The catcalls from their audience quirked his lips up in a grin, and he left a kiss on the long line of Myrna’s neck where, predictably, his lipstick smudged. Lawrence rubbed the light red imprint off with a thumb and an apologetic smile.

“Mr. Frightengale, can we get one of you next to the hood ornament?” someone called out from the crowd. Lawrence pulled himself out of Myrna’s arms, then walked to the front of the car to lounge next to the giant metallic black widow perched on the hood. He shuffled sideways to keep from obscuring the ornamental spider-web grille.

“Myrna! Sit on the hood next to him!” another voice screamed.

“No! There will be no sitting on the car!” Max McDowall strode in front of them, blocking the audience from the performers and the Cadillac. The authority in his voice was undermined by the yipping of the tiny short-trimmed Maltese nestled in his arms.

RAVE REVIEWS!

  • GayList Book Reviews said: “We rarely get to see a couple that is already committed to each other live their life in the pages of a story, without there being crazy drama. I loved the way these partners interacted with each other completely confident and moved to action by the crisis of a theft. If you don’t get swept away in the world building, the overall trust and partnership [of Lawrence and Myrna] makes for great read.” Read the full review.
  • On Top Down Under Book Reviews said: “There are surprises and a humorous cast of secondary characters.  A very entertaining read.” Read the full review.
  • Joyfully Jay Book Reviews said: “Wow, this story is such a delight in every aspect…The main characters are endearingly quixotic and yet oh so relatable that the reader will be left wanting more of their exploits or at least their cable show.  Love this story and the authors.” Read the full review.
  • Hearts on Fire Book Reviews said: “I loved Myrna Boy and I’d love to see a longer book with her and Lawrence.” Read the full review.
  • Amazon Review: “My personal favorite of the tales was Aidee and Debussy Ladnier’s “Lawrence Frightengale Investigates,” with its witty allusions to the “Creature Feature” type horror film television programming I grew up on, and equally smart intimations of the “Thin Man” mysteries featuring legendary couple Nick and Nora Charles. The fact that one of the couple in this tale (set in contemporary times) rejoices in the name of Myrna Boy adds a delicious note of fun and fanciful nostalgia to the proceedings. The suspenseful pacing of the tale is well counterpointed with the characterizations of the two protagonists, and the payoff is surprisingly unexpected.” Read the full review.
  • Goodreads Review: “This was one the most upbeat stories I’ve read, short or otherwise. The spirit is so high and bubbly I feel like I’ve drank champagne. I absolutely adored this one. Every person here is a personality with a capital ‘P’. What really makes this stand out as a romance is the continuous playful, sexy, even tender banter between Lawrence and Myrna, that even if they barely touch, there’s a connection, real and heartwarming. And the mystery is top notch too, with red herrings and unlikely culprits. I recommend this wholeheartedly!”