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No Good Deed: An Historical/Mystery/Thriller from DSP Publications

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Thanks, Divine Magazine, for the opportunity to talk about No Good Deed, my first release from Dreamspinner Press Publications.

It’s a mystery/thriller prequel to Until Thanksgiving. Thad Parker’s Uncle Philip is a young man, coping with his lover’s suicide, under investigation for murder, and soon to discover he’s attracted unwanted attention from a serial killer.

The 1960s are often referred to as the Camelot Era. It was a great time for straight white men, but far less idyllic for anyone else. We’ve come a long way since then. A mere fifty years ago, homosexuality was considered a mental illness; homosexual acts between consenting adults were illegal in every state but Illinois; and the federal government banned the hiring of homosexuals.

The motivation to write No Good Deed came from different directions. First and foremost, I wanted to hook readers from the very beginning of the story and keep them turning the page. Providing context for the stunning progress the LGBQ community has made in recent years motivated me almost as much as a desire to tell Philip Potter’s story. I’m pleased with the result and hope you will be too.

A Christmas Eve act of kindness makes Philip a suspect in the slaying deaths of half a dozen male prostitutes. Unlike the police or the parents of the deceased, Philip wants the killer to be caught so no more boys will die. Philip ends up a lot closer to the man responsible for those deaths than he ever expected.

Here’s the blurb:

On Christmas Eve in 1966, Philip Potter, a kind-hearted Smithsonian curator, wraps up his last-minute shopping. Meanwhile, his lover of several years takes his own life back in their home. Unaware of what awaits him, Philip drops off gifts at a homeless shelter, an act of generosity that will later make him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute.

Following James’s shocking death, two men enter Philip’s life—and both drive yellow Continentals. One of them, though, is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. And both are hiding something.

As Philip is about to discover, no good deed goes unpunished.

Review by Debbie Attenborough

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book.

Philip stopped off at the homeless shelter to drop some presents off for the boys on his way home that Christmas Eve and finds himself the prime suspect in a murder. James, Philip’s lover of several years, puts a gun to his own head so as not to disappoint Philip. And two men enter Philips’ life, both with secrets, but only one is a killer.

Oh, I LIKED this book! A lot! Set over Christmas and New Year, 1966/67, its told from everyone’s point of view. Philip, James, the victims, and the murderer. And I loved that! I really do love getting into the minds of the bad guys!

We get a small history lesson on the attitudes of that time to the minorities, but not just same-sex couples, of black people and of women in the workplace. Law enforcement, especially.

You don’t get the full picture straight away, not of the murders, not of James and just what he has been doing. It all comes out in dribs and drabs, just enough to keep you interested, to keep you on your toes, to keep you guessing who the murderer really is.

There are some difficult points, reading wise, especially when you get into the mind of the mad man murdering these boys, and when you hear the stories, these boys have to tell. Of being thrown out of their homes at 15/16, just because they don’t like girls. It’s scary to think, that even 50 years later, this attitude still exists.

It is clean, but that’s not a negative thing here. I think I enjoyed it more BECAUSE it’s clean, you know?? It does get a little…gory…when the murders are described, but not in very great detail, just enough, in my opinion.

It’s billed as Philip Potter book 2, but I can’t find a book one. I should like to read it.

It’s the first of this author I’ve read, I would, book one aside, likes to read more.

4.5 stars


Michael Rupured writes “stories true enough for government work.” He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and, since 1998, has lived in Athens, Georgia. He’s an avid fan of SEC sports—especially Georgia football, Kentucky basketball, and women’s gymnastics. He enjoys running, working out at the gym, and playing with his long-haired Chihuahuas, Tico and Toodles. He joined the Athens Writers Workshop in 2010 and has since published Until Thanksgiving (2012), Happy Independence Day (2014 Rainbow Award runner up for historical fiction), Whippersnapper (2016), and No Good Deed (released by MLR Press as After Christmas Eve in 2013). Visit his blog (, follow him on Twitter (@crotchetyman) and Facebook (, or send an email message to

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