The 9th Man (A Dick Hardesty Mystery, #2)

The 9th Man (A Dick Hardesty Mystery, #2)

by Dorien Grey

Dick Hardesty takes on the job of bringing the real killer to justice as part of his first experience as a gay detective.

What People Think about "The 9th Man (A Dick Hardesty Mystery, #2)"

The Ninth Man (Dick Hardesty Mystery, #2) Dorien Grey Self-published 2015 (print published in 2013) Cover by Ginny Glass Four stars I only started to read Roger Margasons writing as Dorien Grey after his death in 2015. Also, and somewhat disturbingly for me, there is a great deal of internalized homophobia in The Ninth Man that seems to parallel the official homophobia of the police department. This is a pretty great, well-written murder mystery; but I kept asking myself whether Dorien Grey was intentionally filling his story with internalized homophobia to make a point to his latter-day readers, or if was he simply expressing his own attitudes about being gay.

Recently, however, I discovered Dorien Grey and the Dick Hardesty novels am enjoying enjoying the old-fashioned type private investigator novels featuring gay men as the main characters. I enjoyed it so much I had to go back and read book one, 'The Butcher's Son,' so that I could build a good foundation for the other novels in the series. I didn't get that impression in 'The Ninth Man.' Although Hardesty begins in the 60s, it really could be set in most any time period--it probably depends on the reader's own background and imagination.

A new client informs him that his lover was killed, and that the police insist its a suicide. He claims its murder and that the police are ignoring the issue and writing it off as a suicide because the man was gay. We have a nice gay private eye.

I had read Grey first when he published Butcher's Son and while I hated some other gay crime writers and despite remembering being neither emotionally nor intellectually impressed, I certainly didn't hate it and finally read my second of his novels. Apart from that though the novel is very straightforward, short like all the Grey novels, typical mature gay promiscuity, although very little explicitness, not even that much of a mystery - IIRC The Butcher's Son also had it all sort of resolve itself around Hardesty - or so it seems.

After reading some of the reviews for this book I'm glad to know that switching the first and second books around shouldn't impact the first book for me in any way as there isn't much of a carry-over. And the thing I love most about this book is that I had started to care about why these men had been killed and then I found out what they did. And damn Grey for twisting it all up like that so that I cared about the men who did such a horrible thing to such a vulnerable person!

(view spoiler)I am assuming Dick went to the cops with his findings, despite the 'make it up yourself' type ending.

The only trouble I've discovered with Dorien Grey's Dick Hardesty mysteries is that quite of few of them have been nigh on impossible to find.

When long-time book and magazine editor Roger Margason chose the pseudonym Dorien Grey for his first book, it set off a chain of circumstances which has led to the comfortable division of labor and responsibility. While working for a Los Angeles publishing house, he was instrumental in establishing a division exclusively for the publication of gay paperbacks and magazines, of which he became editor. But for a greater insight into the "real person" behind Dorien Grey, the curious are invited to check out his website (, where you can read the first chapter of any or all of his books for free, and his various blogs: Dorien Grey and Me ( and A Life in Photos (http://www.doriengreyphotolife.blogsp...) among them.